Chief Justice Peralta defends hero burial for Marcos, asserts objectivity
MANILA, Philippines — Asked about his role in allowing a hero’s burial for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said Friday in a press conference that the decision was founded on the principle of law.
“We cannot resolve cases based on public opinion,” he said.
“As chief justice, I will base it on the evidence and the law applicable. Insofar as the other cases, I’ve always been objective in the performance of my work. There is no law or even a resolution prohibiting the burial of a former president.”
Before his appointment as chief justice, Peralta previously wrote the ponencia that allowed for a hero’s burial for the late strongman three years ago. Sitting as an associate justice at the time, Peralta himself rejected the petitions file against the burial.
The press conference marked Peralta’s first with the media since his appointment, where the 26th chief justice of the Philippines also contradicted claims that he was unfairly favoring the dictatorial family. “It’s not correct that I’m favoring the Marcoses,” he added.
When asked about the status of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, he simply restated the ruling that both parties were required to comment on the latest developments.
“We did not dismiss the case yet,” he said.
This came after he outlined the integrity of the court as one of his core focuses for his term, and the “weeding out of misfits in the judiciary,” one pronounced point included in his ten-point agenda.
Upon his appointment, he bared that he intended to implement the procedure of “Res ipsa loquitur” in the Supreme Court, which assumes negligence upon any untoward incident.
At the media briefing, he said that he planned to pursue the SC’s self-initiating of investigations of case relating to misdeeds in court decisions.
Peralta was appointed to his post by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 23. He will sit as chief justice until March 27, 2022, outlasting even Duterte’s presidency.
Amnesty International has reported that the Marcos dictatorship was marked by wanton human rights violations, where 34,000 were tortured and 3,240 killed.