Updated 18:23 PM PHT Tue, August 23, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday announced that it has issued a status quo ante order for the hero's burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
The status quo order, which has a prescribed period of 20 days, prevents Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) among others, from continuing the preparations for Marcos burial.
"In this case, I would presume the status quo order here would pertain to the period before the issuance of the DND memorandum," SC Spokesman Theodore Te said in a press conference.
"A status quo order brings us back to the prevailing situation before a certain event. The event we're talking about is the order issued by the DND. So we are back to the day before that order."
According to Te, the Court usually decides as to how long the prescription period for the status quo order would be. But in this case, he had no explanation why it was limited to 20 days.
"A status quo order is usually up to the Court as to how long it is. It can be indefinite… So I really do not know why it's 20 days," Te said.
Te added, the Court decided to consolidate all the six cases filed, asking for a temporary restraining order for Marcos' burial.
Because of this, the oral arguments are rescheduled from August 24 to August 31.
The Court also allowed live audio streaming of the oral arguments, which will start at 10:00 in the morning.
Martial law victims laud SC status quo order
One of the petitioners, Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman — whose activist brother disappeared during the martial law — said he truly appreciates the status quo ante order issued by the SC.
"We truly appreciate this favorable development. That means to say that the Supreme Court will look very keenly on the arguments offered by the petitioners," Lagman said.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and Gabriella Party List Rep. Emmi de Jesus, who both claim to be victims of Martial law, said they are pleased with the status quo order.
"The Marcoses have persisted in demanding his LNB burial to send a political message to the world that Marcos was a hero and that the People Power that overthrew him was an unjust coup against a hero president," Colmenares said.
"This will not only exacerbate the long festering wounds of the victims of his abuses who have yet to get justice but is also an odious reversal of history."
De Jesus said the petitions filed against the hero's burial for Marcos "are just and historically necessary to remind the nation of the horrors of a brutal dictatorship."
"Ang dapat natin parangalan ay ang mga tunay na bayani na lumaban sa diktaturya," De Jesus said. [The heroes who fought against the dictatorship should be the ones we should honor.]
Colmenares, meanwhile, further asked the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order so that the Marcos family could finally bury the former President in Ilocos Norte.
CNN Philippines' Rex Remitio and Menchu Macapagal contributed to this report.