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Just Do It Law Firm

Ocampo v. Enriquez
G.R. No. 225973
November 8, 2016

Facts

During 2016 presidential campaign, Duterte publicly announced he would


allow the burial of Marcos in LNMB. After winning the elections, through
Sec. of National Defense Lorenzana, a Memorandum was issued to Chief
of Staff of AFP, Gen. Visaya, for the interment of Marcos, in compliance
with the verbal order of the President to implement his election campaign
promise. AFP rear Admiral Enriquez issued directives to the Philippine
Army Commanding General to provide services, honors, and other
courtesies for the late Former President Marcos. Dissatisfied with the
issuances and directives, various petitioners filed petition for Certiorari
and Prohibition.

Saturnino Ocampo, et. al., in their capacity as human rights advocates


and human rights violations victims
Rene Saguisag and his son, as members of the Bar and human rights
lawyers
Edcel Lagman, as member of Congress
Loretta Pargas-Rosales, former Chairperson of CHr, as victims of State-
sanctioned human rights violations during martial law
Heherson Alvarez, former Senator, as concerned citizens and taxpayers
Zaira Baniaga, as concerned citizens and taxpayers
Algamar Latiph, former chairperson of regional human rights commission
ARMM, on behalf of Moros who are victims during martial law
Leila De Lima, as Senator

Issues

PROCEDURAL

1. Whether Pres. Dutertes determination to have the remains of


Marcos interred
at LNMB poses a justiciable controversy

NO. The Court agrees with the OSG that Pres. Dutertes decision to
have the remains of Marcos interred at the LNMB involves a political
question that is not a justiciable controversy. It is also under the
Constitution and EO 292 (Admin Code of 1987) to allow the interment in
LNMB which is a land of public domain devoted for national military
cemetery and military shrine purposes. It is based on his wisdom that it
shall promote national healing and forgiveness. It is outside the ambit of
judicial review.

2. Whether petitioners have locus standi to file the instant


petitions
NO. Petitioners failed to show that they have suffered or will suffer
direct or personal injury as a result of the interment of Marcos at the
LNMB. The interment of Marcos would have no profound effect on the
political, economic, and other aspects of our national life considering that
more than 27 years since his death and 30 years after his ouster have
already passed. Petitioners failed to demonstrate a clear and imminent
threat to their fundamental constitutional rights

3. Whether petitioners violated the doctrines of exhaustion of


administrative
remedies and hierarchy of courts

YES. Petitioners violated the doctrines of exhaustion of


administrative remedies and hierarchy of courts. They should seek
reconsideration of the assailed memorandum
and directive before the Secretary of National Defense and give them the
opportunity to correct themselves, if warranted. If petitioners are still
dissatisfied with the Secretarys decision they could have elevated it
before the Office of the President which has control and supervision of the
DND.

Even though there are exceptions that would warrant a direct resort to the
Supreme Court under exceptional cases, the petitioners cannot brush
aside the doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts that requires such petitions to be
filed first with the proper RTC which are not only trier of facts but can also
resolve questions of law in the exercise of its original and concurrent
jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, and
has the power to issue restraining order and injunction when proven
necessary.

In fine, the petitions at bar should be dismissed on procedural grounds


alone.
SUBSTANTIVE

1. Whether the issuance and implementation of the memorandum


violates the Constitution, domestic and international law

NO. The Presidents decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is in accordance


with theConstitution, the law or jurisprudence. Laws and Constitutional
provisions cited by petitioner: Art. II: Sec. 2, 11, 13, 23, 26, 27, and 28
not self-executory
Art. VII: Sec. 17 Faithful execution clause, it is consistent with President
Dutertes mandate, the burial does not contravene RA 289, RA 10368, and
the international human rights laws cited by petitioner

Art. XIV: Sec. 3(2) reliance in this provision is misplaced it refers to duty
of educational institutions to teach values of nationalism and patriotism
and respect for human rights

Art. XI: Sec. 1 not self-executory but RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), RA 7080 (Penalizing
Plunder), RA9485 (Anti-red Tape Act) was enacted pursuant to this

Art. XVIII: Sec. 26 transitory provision and freeze order to recover ill-
gotten wealth RA 289 authorized the construction of a National Pantheon
as a burial place for Presidents, National Heroes, and Patriots for the
perpetuation of the memory and for the inspiration and emulation of this
generation and of generations still unborn. Petitioners failed to provide
legal and historical bases that LNMB and National Pantheon is one and the
same. LNMB is distinct from the burial place envisioned in RA 289. The
National Pantheon does not exist at present. Also to apply the standard
that LNMB is reserved only for the decent and brave or hero, it will put
into question all the mortal remains therein. The name of LNMB is a
misnomer, interment of Marcos remain does not confer upon him the
status of a hero.

RA 10368 (compensation for Human rights violations victims during


Marcos regime) recognizes the human rights violations committed and
gives them reparation. However, the court cannot subscribe to petitioners
logic that the reparation includes the prohibition of Marcos interment
when it is not provided. It is undue to extend the law beyond what it
contemplates. Legislators could have easily inserted a provision
prohibiting Marcos internment as reparation but they did not.
The law is silent and should remain to be so. We cannot read into law what
is simply not there. That would be tantamount to judicial legislation.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights these are principles


that call for an enactment of legislative measures. The PH is compliant
with its international obligations evident by the various RAs, exec
issuances, and even in the Constitution.

Our nations history will not be instantly revised by a single resolve of


President Duterte to bury Marcos at the LNMB. Whether petititoners admit
it or not, the lessons of Martial Law are already engraved, albeit in varying
degrees, in the hearts and minds of the present generation of Filipinos.

2. Whether the Sec. of National Defense and AFP rear admiral


committed grave abuse of discretion when they issued the
memorandum and directive in compliance with the verbal order of
Pres. Duterte to implement his election campaign promise of
Marcos interment in LNMB

The Presidents decision to bury Marcos at the LNMB is not done


whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal
bias. Presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty prevails
over the petitioners allegation of Dutertes utang na loob or bayad utang
to the Marcoses. Petitioners should establish such claims but failed to do
so. Then again, the court is not a trier of facts.

3. Whether historical facts, laws enacted to recover ill-gotten


wealth of Marcos
and his cronies, and pronouncement of SC, nullifies his
entitlement as a soldier and former President to interment at the
LNMB

National Shrines are governed by NHCP, military shrines are not. They are
governed by PVAO of DND. LNMB is a military shrine.

Magsaysay issued EO 77 orders remains of war dead interred at Bataan


to be reinterred in McKinley to minimize expenses and accessibility to
widows. Magsaysay issued Proc. 86 changing the name to LNMB Garcia
issued Proc. 423, Marcos issued Proc and General Orders, Cory issued Eos
too. The point is the PVAO manages military shrines which is under DND
which is under the Office of the President AFP Regulations G 161-375
who may be interred
a.) Medal of Valor awardee
b.) Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP
c.) Sec. of National Defense
d.) Chief of Staff, AFP
e.) General/Flag Officers, AFP
f.) Active and retired military personnel
g.) Gov dignitaries, statesman,national artists and others as long as
approved by the C-i-C, Congress or Sec. of National defense
h.) Widows of former presidents
Petitioners did not dispute that Marcos was a former President and C-i-C,
legislator, Sec. of National Defense, veteran, medal of valor awardee.

Marcos does not have any disqualification. He was not convicted of moral
turpitude nor dishonourably discharged.

Marcos rendered significant active military service and military-related


activities.
THOSE WHO Are NOT QUALIFIED:
a.) Personnel who are dishonorably discharged

b.) Convicted of final judgment of an offense involving moral


turpitude
Moral Turpitude conduct that is contrary to community standards
of justice, honesty, or good morals.

4. Whether the Marcos family waived the burial of remains of


Marcos in LNMB when they entered into agreement with Gov. of
PH as to the condition and procedures by which his remains shall
be brought back to and interred in the PH.

The presidential power of control over the Executive Branch of


Government is a self- executing provision of the Constitution nor its
exercise be limted by legislature. As the incumbent President, Duterte is
not bound by the 1992 Agreement between ramos and the Marcos family
to have the remains of Marcos interred in Ilocos Norte, he is free to
amend, revoke or rescind political agreements entered into by his
predecessors, and to determine policies which he considers, based on
informed judgment and presumed wisdom, will be most effective in
carrying out his mandate.

In sum, there is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold that there was
grave abuse of discretion which would justify the Court to interpose its
authority to check and override an act entrusted to the judgment of
another branch. The President through respondents acted within the
bounds of law and jurisprudence. The Court must uphold what is legal and
just and that is not to deny Marcos of his rightful place in LNMB

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petitions are


DISMISSED.
Necessarily, the Status Quo Ante Order is hereby LIFTED.

Counter Argument

Ladies and gentlemen, I understand how controversial this case is in our


History as a nation. Our nation has long been haunted by the ghosts of the
Martial Law. 30 years of being stuck with the ghosts of Martial Law is far
too much. I say enough.
Now, in the same vein, let me tell you a story:

A Greek philosopher was walking along one day, thinking about things,
when he saw two very tall women towering away in the distance; they
were the size of several men placed one on top of another. The
philosopher, as wise as he was fearful, ran to hide behind some bushes,
intending to listen to their conversation. The huge women came and sat
nearby, but before they could start speaking the King's youngest son
appeared. He was bleeding from one ear and shouted pleadingly towards
the women:
-"Justice! I want justice! That villain cut my ear!"
He pointed to another boy, his younger brother, who arrived wielding a
bloody sword.
"We will be delighted to give you justice, young Prince," replied the two
women,
"That's why we are the goddesses of justice. Just choose which of the two
of us you would prefer to help you."

"What's the difference?" the victim asked,

"What would each of you do?"

"I," said one of the goddesses, who looked the more weak and delicate,
"will ask your brother what was the cause of his action, and I will listen to
his explanation. Then I will oblige him to protect your other ear with his
life, and to make you the most beautiful helmet to cover your scar and to
be your ears when you need it."

"I, for my part," said the other goddess" will not let him go unpunished for
his action. I will punish him with a hundred lashes and one year of
imprisonment, and he must compensate you for your pain with a
thousand gold coins. And I will give you the sword and you can do as you
please. Well, what is your decision? Who do you want to apply justice for
the offense?"

The Prince looked at the two goddesses. Then he put his hand to the
wound, and on touching it his face gave a gesture of undeniable pain,
which ended with a look of anger and affection for his brother. And in a
firm voice, addressing the second of the goddesses he gave his answer.

"I'd rather it was you who helps me. I love him, but it would be unfair if my
brother doesn't receive his punishment."
And so, from his hiding place in the bushes, the philosopher saw the
culprit get his comeuppance, and watched how the older brother was very
content to cut the ear of the younger brother.

A while passed and the Princes had left, both without an ear, and the
philosopher was still in hiding when the least expected thing happened. In
front of his eyes, the second of the goddesses changed her clothes and
took her true form. She wasn't a goddess at all, but the powerful Aries, the
god of war. Aries bid goodbye to his companion, with a mischievous smile:
"I've done it again, dear Themis. Mankind, can barely distinguish between
your righteousness and my revenge. Bwahahaha! I will prepare my
weapons, a new war between brothers is approaching ... ha, ha, ha, ha."
When Aries had left and the philosopher was trying to quietly make off,
the goddess spoke aloud:

"Tell me, good philosopher, would you have known how to choose
correctly? Did you know how to distinguish between the past and the
future?"
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, true justice lies in improving the future,
moving it away from past wrongs.

False justice and vengeance, on the other hand is incapable of forgiving


and forgetting past wrongs, and doing so does not fix the future, it always
ends up being just as bad. True justice requires looking into the future and
using compassion so as not to turn into just another form of vengeance.

We will never forget the Martial Law because and that is something that
we could not change. The nation will forever be traumatized by the word
Martial Law and the nation will forever despise the name Marcos, but
how long are we going to keep this grudge? How long are we going to
harbour hatred? We, as a nation, have come a long way since the First
EDSA Revolution. We managed to pick up the pieces of our broken country
and become the free country we are today. But are we truly freed?

Is it not the highest form of liberty to finally let go of all the pain and hurt?

Ladies and gentlemen of the bar, which goddess gives the better option?

The second goddess who in the guise of fairness gives an option for
vengeance so you and your brother lack an ear? Or the first goddess who
looks to the future, making sure that no further damage would be done?