In a widely anticipated and controversial landmark ruling, the Supreme Court voted 9-5 to reject petitions blocking the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Senator Kiko Pangilinan called the decision "shameful and deplorable."
"We kicked out a reviled dictator and now we are honoring him by burying him in our national heroes cemetery. No less than our Supreme Court wants our citizens, our children to honor a plunderer and tyrant," he said in a statement.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who was "saddened by the decision," said the ruling may "pass the bar of legal technicality" but it "can never be consistent with morality and the spirit of the Filipino People Power revolution."
The People Power Revolution in February 1986 was a bloodless, peaceful four-day revolt that led to the end of Ferdinand Marcos' dictatorship. His 21-year-rule included nine years under Martial Law, where thousands of his opponents were tortured, imprisoned, or killed.
Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 but his widow Imelda was allowed to bring his body home in 1993. However, a burial at the heroes' cemetery was not allowed by then-President Fidel Ramos, one of the key figures who led the People Power revolution.
The petitions forwarded by human rights victims under Marcos' rule had hoped the Supreme Court would prevent the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, on grounds that he was not fit to be accorded such an honor.
As expected, reactions to the Supreme Court's decision on Marcos' burial range from frustration to vindication. https://t.co/sDo55hwVGt pic.twitter.com/7VGtdEaGEH— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) November 8, 2016
Senator Bam Aquino said the court's decision must be respected, and he expressed sympathy for the human rights victims.
"My heart goes out to the thousands of victims during the darkest years in Philippine history," Aquino said in a statement.
Senator Aquino is nephew of the late Corazon Aquino who was the symbol of opposition to the Marcos dictatorship and was swept into the presidency by the People Power revolution.
He vowed to pursue his work with the Education Department "to ensure that the truth about Martial Law is effectively taught in our schools."
SOURCE: CNN Philippines