Updated 18:07 PM PHT Tue, October 18, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Supreme Court extended to November 8 its status quo ante order on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Supreme Court Spokesperson Ted Te said on Tuesday it was decided to postpone the decision on the case because many justices still have to write their separate opinions on the issue.
The Supreme Court has issued two status quo ante orders (SQAO), but the extension lapsed Tuesday.
The order, first issued in August, prevented Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and others from proceeding with preparations for the burial.
The Court consolidated all seven cases asking for a temporary restraining order on the controversial plan.
It extended the status quo order last September 7 after hearing arguments on the case.
Marcos family still confident
The former President's son, ex-Senator Bongbong Marcos, attended the gathering of their supporters prior to the Supreme Court announcement. He was with his sister Irene inside the Supreme Court compound.
In a statement, Bongbong said they have been patiently waiting for their father's interment at the LNMB, so they can be patient for a few more days.
"Let us give our Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court the time they need to study this case. I am confident that they will ultimately agree to let my father be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because it is in accordance with law," his statement said.
Marcos once again thanked President Duterte for his support for the "unifying and healing effort" to give his father a hero's burial.
Petitioners: Extension favorable for us
Last Friday, petitioners led by former Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales asked for another extension.
And on Tuesday, they got what they asked for.
Rosales celebrated the postponement of the ruling, "Panalo tayo diyan (This is a win for us)."
Atty. Barry Gutierrez, the legal counsel of some of the petitioners, said the deferment of the ruling is "favorable" to the petitioners.
He said the Supreme Court's extension gives justices time to look into President Duterte's admission that he received campaign money from Gov. Imee Marcos.
In a nine-page manifestation, the petitioners asked the Court "that the status quo ante order be extended to such time that the Comelec can file its comment and considered by the Honorable Court in resolving the petition."
The move comes after President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that Marcos' eldest daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, contributed to his campaign fund.
The petitioners' lawyer, Concep Mendoza, said the Supreme Court should act on the manifestation, noting that Duterte's Statement of Contributions and Expenditures does not show Imee as a contributor.
"This burial is actually some kind of a payback. This is a campaign promise not to the public, not to the Filipino people, but to private people," Mendoza argued.
The long road to a hero's burial
Marcos' remains have been preserved in an air-conditioned family mausoleum in Ilocos Norte since 1993.
The former strongman died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989, three and a half years after he was deposed by the People Power revolution.
The popular revolt swept his opponent and symbol of opposition to Marcos' rule, Corazon Aquino, to the presidency from 1986 to 1992.
Following her death in 2009, her son Benigno Aquino III, won the elections and served as president from 2010 to 2016.
Aquino was succeeded by Duterte last May.
"He (the late President Marcos) is qualified to be buried there. Kung ayaw ng ibang Pilipino, fine," Duterte earlier said . "Mag-demonstrate kayo, go ahead. You can use the streets."
[Translation: ""He is qualified to be buried there. If other Filipinos don't want this, fine. You can demonstrate, go ahead. You can use the streets."]
Duterte believes the issue of Marcos' burial has divided Filipinos for too long.
During his campaign, he promised to allow the former president to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) "not because he was a hero, but because he was a Filipino soldier."
The LNMB was established in 1947 to pay tribute to Filipino soldiers and fallen heroes, and serve as a final resting place for former Philippine presidents, war veterans, notable government statesmen, dignitaries, and national artists.
At the Sunday briefing before Duterte's departure for Brunei, he appealed to the Supreme Court to rule on the issue based on the law and not on emotions.
He stressed, however, that the Supreme Court's ruling will be followed.
CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong, correspondent Anjo Alimario, Digital Producer Lara Tan contributed to this report.