Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Marcos
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The Supreme Court today upheld President Corazon Aquino’s decision banning the return of Ferdinand Marcos’ body to the Philippines.
Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan said the court ruled 8-7 to reject a petition filed by Marcos supporters Oct. 2 asking that the former president’s body be allowed to return from Hawaii, where he died in exile Sept. 28.
Mrs. Aquino, citing national security, has refused to allow Marcos’ body to be buried in the country he rule until he was ousted in a popular uprising three years ago.
But she had said she would abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.
″The threats to the government, to which the return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased,″ eight of the 15 justices said in the majority opinion.
They cited recent statements by Marcos’ widow, Imelda, that her husband remained the legitimate president of the Philippines until his death.
In the dissenting opinion, Justice Abraham Sarmiento said the alleged threat posed by the Marcoses ″is the realm of conjecture, speculation and imagination.″
He and the six other dissenting justices said the military had offered no firm evidence that the Marcoses pose a threat to national security.
Mrs. Aquino praised the decision.
″Let us now concentrate on solving the remaining problems of our nation and together work for development and economic growth as one people bearing one vision for the common good,″ she said.
On Sept. 15, the court, also in an 8-7 decision, refused to allow Marcos to come home, but his supporters had hoped the court would reconsider since Marcos had died.
They argued the ban violated the country’s Constitution and international human rights covenants. They asked that Marcos’ widow, Imelda, and other members of his immediate family also be allowed to come home.
Marcos was entombed in Hawaii Oct. 15 in what the family said was a temporary burial.
The Aquino government has accused Marcos, his wife and hundreds of associates of stealing up to $10 billion in public funds.