Join us in a Letter/Appeal sending campaign to President Aquino! Petition for passage of the proposed bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations (HRVs) during the Marcos administration under Martial Law.
Sign and send letter to https://www.facebook.com/presidentnoy
Benigno S. Aquino
Republic of the Philippines
September 6, 2012
September 21, 2012, the 40th year since the imposition of Martial Law by then President Ferdinand Marcos offers a kairos, a moment of grace and opportunity, to you and your administration. It is a momentous chance to show to the country and to the world that the matuwid na daan breaks through impunity and leads to justice.
All the undersigned request Your Excellency to give an explicit public support for the soonest passage of the proposed bill providing compensation to victims of human rights violations (HRVs) during the Marcos administration under Martial Law. A follow-up to your State of the Nation Address (SONA) on this matter would signal unequivocal determination in seeking justice.
Your support will solidly be grounded in the international human rights instruments the Philippines had ratified, as well as the increasing number of national laws passed compliant to many of the said treaties since the EDSA people power.
Your Excellency’s encouragement will surely enthuse the authors and /or supporters of the Bill from both Houses of Congress.
We, the undersigned, have been very concerned, if not alarmed, at conscious efforts even in cyberspace to distort the real happenings during martial law and to dismiss altogether the atrocious violations of rights and dignity. We thus launched a campaign within a period of six months earlier to broaden and to raise awareness among the citizenry, especially the youth, of the true situation during Martial Law and the justness of enacting a long-delayed compensation bill that is fair and equitable to all victims.
Such a move and passage, Your Excellency, would be unprecedented in the ASEAN and Asian Region. It will be a standard of fulfilment that would make us Filipinos all proud in the realm of human rights.
Thousands of victims of human rights violations engendered hope that the impunity perpetrated during that period of repression would be dealt with progressively when the Presidential Committee on Good Governance (PCGG) allotted a definite portion (Php 10 billion) of the confiscated ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos estate for the victims’ compensation. After all, the United Nations “Updated Principles in Combating Impunity” states, among others, “the right of victims to have an effective remedy and to receive reparations”. Compensation, then, while not the fullness, is an integral component of justice.
Thank you very much, Your Excellency, for the kind consideration of this our request that sincerely seeks
Dignity and justice for us all,
WHEREAS, the Philippines is a Charter-State of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and is, therefore, duty-bound to protect and uphold the basic rights of all its peoples;
WHEREAS, Section 11 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines declares that the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights;
WHEREAS, pursuant to this declared policy, Section 12 of Article III of the Constitution prohibits the use of torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will and mandates the compensation and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices and their families;
WHEREAS, by virtue of Section 2 of Article II of the Constitution adopting generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, the Philippines must also adhere to international human rights laws and conventions, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and also the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPAPED);
WHEREAS, the broadening collective understanding of the need to enact national laws so as to comply with our international human rights commitments as well as the growing public desire to prevent further recurrence of trampling upon human dignity, such as the Anti-Torture Law with its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and the law on the International Humanitarian Law, as well as the near passage of the bill against Enforced Disappearance;
WHEREAS, —- of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations committed during the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos covering the period September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 and restore the victims’ honor and dignity;
#Remember ML@40 – Never Again to Martial Law!
WHEREAS, the State hereby acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize and/or compensate said victims and/or their families for the deaths, injuries, sufferings, deprivations, and damages they suffered under the Marcos Dictatorship;
THEREFORE, We, the undersigned human rights organizations, human rights defenders, people’s organizations, non-government organizations, and other concerned individuals, especially victims of Martial Law, do hereby call on the Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives to both jointly, urgently and immediately pass a ‘Compensation Act to Victims of Human Rights Violations During the Marcos Dictatorship’; and
FURTHERMORE, We also call on all of our country’s young people, youth and students, young workers, community youth, young professionals, and together with all the other basic sectors of Philippine society, to not only sign this ‘People’s Petition Calling on the Philippine Congress to Urgently Pass a Bill to Compensate all Victims of Human Rights Violations During the Marcos Dictatorship’ but, to also help ‘Inform, Inspire and Remember Martial Law after 40 years’. The latter should be one of our primary collective missions in order to prevent any future emergence of a state and society that could once again embrace a brutal militarist dictatorship to undermine and destroy our basic human rights.