Between a rock and hard place …” was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 5, 2016. (Pilipino version: “Nasa Pagitan ng Nag-uumpugang Bato“)

Is where the Supreme Court justices find themselves. Expected in September to rule on the interment of Ferdinand Marcos’ remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, they set the issuance of their ruling to October, and then to Nov. 8.

Shortly after assuming power, PRRD directed the military to prepare for the Marcos burial in the Libingan, an order forestalled by an appeal lodged at the Supreme Court. He has since said he would accept the high court’s verdict.

Notwithstanding this assurance, it is imprudent, even for members of a coequal branch of government, who presumably know the law as well as PRRD, to defy the decision of a popular president. But can they render, in deference to the President, a judgment whose wisdom future generations of lawyers will question and that will indelibly mark their respective places in the history books?

The agreement that allowed the Marcos family’s return to the Philippines included the condition that Marcos’ remains stay in his region. PRRD believes he can rescind this agreement, arguing that the Libingan, which had been established for soldiers and presidents, should make room for Marcos, who had served as both.

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Edilberto de Jesus
Edilberto de Jesus is a former Secretary of Education. He is also professor emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management.