President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday appealed to the Supreme Court to put aside emotions when ruling on whether or not to allow the burial of former President and dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In a media briefing before embarking on a state visit to Brunei and China, Duterte said he would respect the decision that the high court could possibly make on Tuesday on seven petitions filed by Martial Law victims, former and current government officials, and some members of the youth against the hero's burial of Marcos.
"I hope the Supreme Court will decide not on the emotion, but we know it will all be legal at the end of the day. What the Supreme Court will rule must be followed," said Duterte.
"We will follow what the Supreme Court says for after all, it is the Supreme Court [that] interprets the law and decides which of the public interest to serve," he added.
Duterte, however, maintained there is nothing illegal in having Marcos' remains buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"There is a law which grants Marcos of burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. As long as there is that law, it shall be followed," Duterte said.
As for questions on Marcos' heroism and controversial medals, Duterte said that has to be "resolved maybe in the generations to come."
Duterte lamented that the debates over a hero's burial for the late strongman "have alienated almost the entire Ilocano people."
"We cannot just do that because we are all Filipinos," he said.
During oral arguments at the SC last August 31, petitioners said Marcos' acts as a civilian when he was already the president of the Philippines negated his privilege to be honored as a soldier, even as they said Republic Act 10368 or the “Act providing for reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violation during the Marcos Regime," would be violated if the burial will push through.
The government, through Solicitor General Jose Calida, later responded during the second hearing on September 7 that Marcos, being a war soldier and former president, should be interred at the heroes' cemetery despite the petitioners' contention that he has forfeited this privilege due to his alleged crimes.