Philippine SC puts off decision on Marcos’ burial

Manila, Oct 18 (IANS) The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday extended anew the status quo ante order on the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery, a spokesman for the court said.

Theodore Te, the spokesman, told the media that the court will continue its deliberations on November 8 whether or not Marcos deserves a space in the hallowed cemetery reserved for revered soldiers and past Philippine leaders.

On August 23, the tribunal decided to delay the ruling for 20 days, or until September 12, Xinhua news agency reported.

At the conclusion of the oral arguments last September 7, however, the court again extended the status quo order to October 18.

A status quo order may be issued by a court to prevent any of the parties involved in a dispute from taking any action until the matter is resolved.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a close friend of the Marcoses, allowed the transfer of Marcos body from his home province of Ilocos Norte to the heroes’ cemetery here, drawing both criticisms and support from Filipinos.

Groups against the burial have filed petitions, urging the court to stop the plan to bury Marcos in the cemetery. The Marcos family and supporters also filed petitions to counter the claims of the anti-Marcos groups.

Marcos was elected in 1965 but overthrown in 1986 when millions of Filipinos, backed by the military, took to the streets to protest the dictator’s corrupt administration. He died while in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

His body, which was brought back to the Philippines in 1993, is now on display inside a glass box in an air-conditioned mausoleum beside the family’s ancestral home in Batac, north of Manila.

The Marcos family, pleading for an “honourable burial”, had lobbied the government for Marcos’ remains to be interred at the heroes’ cemetery in Manila.

But the anti-Marcos and human rights groups had opposed the plan, saying the disgraced leader does not deserve a military honour and a plot in the hallowed ground.

–IANS

py/vt

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