Human rights victims of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos' regime have filed a last-ditch legal challenge to prevent his burial at the Heroes' Cemetery.

Marcos' burial was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, but it remains an emotional issue for Filipinos who ousted Marcos in a 1986 "people power" revolt.

The petitioners urged the Supreme Court on Wednesday to prevent "a national tragedy" by prohibiting a burial that would glorify a dictator, distort history and aggravate the injustices suffered by human rights victims.

Duterte has remained firm in his stance to allow the burial despite growing opposition, saying there is no legal impediment to honor Marcos.

Rep. Edcel Lagman, a petitioner, says Marcos padlocked Congress, closed media outlets, wantonly violated people's rights and plundered the economy.