Bongbong Marcos: SC decision 'answer to my prayers'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Former senator Bongbong Marcos said Tuesday that the Supreme Court's (SC) decision to allow the burial of his father Ferdinand Marcos in the heroes' cemetery is a fulfillment of his wishes.

"As a son, it is something that I have been praying for for many, many years," Marcos told CNN Philippines in a phone interview. "Even equally, it's important with the belief that this was for the healing process in this country," he added.

The younger Marcos' statement comes after the Supreme Court ruled 9-5 to dismiss the petitions against burying the dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Read: Supreme Court allows burial of Marcos at Heroes' Cemetery

The petitioners, representing human rights victims under President Marcos' 21-year rule especially during the years of Martial Law from 1972 to 1981, argued that the atrocities committed invalidated Marcos' right to a burial at the heroes cemetery.

Read: Supreme Court decision on Marcos burial at heroes' cemetery expected November 8

Marcos thanked the Supreme Court and President Rodrigo Duterte, who supported a burial for the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Read: Duterte defends hero's burial for Marcos: A matter of enforcing the law

"This is a recognition of the rights of my father as a veteran of the war and a president for 20 years and we thank the justices of the Supreme Court for recognizing that right," Marcos said, adding that he was waiting for Duterte to arrive in Tacloban to commemorate the third anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda.

Tacloban was ground zero of Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan), which killed thousands of people in that city, the hometown of his mother, Imelda.

The decision marks the start of the unification of the country, which has been divided over the legacy of the Marcos regime for almost three decades.

"We believe this is an important in the healing process and the reconciliation process of whatever differences or schisms there might be in the political arena in our country," he said.

Marcos said he and his family are still ironing out the date and details of the burial.

"When the Supreme Court issued the status quo ante order, all the planning and all the decisions that we had to do, we had to stop," he said. "We will make the details public for all those who wish to participate in the interment of my father."

Meanwhile, the petitioners said they will be filing a motion for reconsideration of the Supreme Court's decision. Marcos said he respects the petitioners' right to do so.

"That is their prerogative," he said. "We will simply proceed based on the basis what has been decided. I hope they accept the decision and to see beyond their political concerns and to see that this is an important part of the unification and healing process in our country."

A soldier's burial

Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos welcomed the Supreme Court's decision and said her father only wanted a simple burial.

"Hindi naman state funeral kundi libing lang ng isang kawal, ng isang sundalo, ang minimithi ng ama ko," she told reporters in front of the Supreme Court.

[Translation: My father did not desire a State funeral, but the funeral of a soldier.]

She also said a plot had been designated for President Marcos since the time of President Joseph Estrada.

"Noong panahon pa ni Apo Erap, inassign na yung pwesto sa nilipatan last year ni President (Carlos) Garcia at President (Elpidio) Quirino," she said.

[Translation: The final place was assigned during the time of Sir Erap and is located at the same area where the bodies of President Quirino and President Quirino were transferred last year.]