[Press Release] Martial Law Victims of Human Rights Abuses may file claims starting May 12

PRESS RELEASE, April 27, 2014
Martial Law Victims of Human Rights Abuses may file claims starting May 12

The Human Rights Violations Victims Claims Board (HRVVCB) has approved on Thursday, April 24, 2016 the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for RA 10368 also known as Martial Law Victims’ Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

The Philippine government through RA 10368 declared that “consistent with the policy of the State to recognize the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims” of human rights violations during martial law and “restore the victims’ honor and dignity, (T)he State hereby acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize and/or provide reparation to said victims and/or their families for the deaths, injuries, sufferings, deprivations and damages they suffered under the Marcos regime.”

“ Those who were killed, enforced disappeared, tortured, illegally detained,  deprived of livelihood and properties by agents of the state and those acting in their behalf during martial law will be recognized and given reparations by the human Rights Violations Victims’ Claims Board  (HRVVCB). Applications for claims starts May 12, 2014, when the IRR will be effective,” said Chairperson of the HRVVCB Lina Sarmiento.

The IRR states that it “shall be liberally construed to promote the intent, purposes and objectives of the Human Rights VictimsReparation and Recognition Act of 2013…  Any doubt in the implementation and interpretation hereof shall be resolved in favor of facilitating the reparation and recognition of bona fide human rights violations victims or their legal heirs.”

“ Following the guidelines laid down by the law, we have approved an IRR that ensures transparency and a speedy and expeditious procedure that also allows opposition to fraudulent, fictitious or spurious applications,” said the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Claims Board (HRVVCB)

The IRR for RA 10368 (entitled “An Act Providing for Reparations and Recognition of Victims of Human Rights Violations During Marcos Regime,

Documentation of Said Violations, Appropriating Funds Therefor and For Other Purposes” will be published in two newspapers on April 27, 2014 and will become effective on May 12, 2014. The Claims Board has already set the dates for application of claims as May 12, 2014 – November 10, 2014. Failure to submit applications during the period will be a waiver of claims to recognition or reparations.

“ All victims of human rights violations during martial law, or their legal heirs and authorized representatives in cases of those killed, disappeared and incapacitated, must submit personally their applications and supporting documents for recognition and reparations to the Claims Board.

These includes those with conclusive presumption such as those who won in the Hawaii Court class suit and those recognized by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani,” said the Claims Board.

The Claims Board may take judicial notice motu proprio of individual persons who suffered human rights violations during martial law and grant such persons recognition as victims and their names will be enshrined in the Roll of Human Rights Violations Victims.

The IRR states that the determination of award of monetary reparation “shall be based on the type of human rights abuse committed against the victim, frequency and duration of the violations and severity of harm and consequences. In each category, the HRVVs who have suffered more would receive more points. In instances where a victim is classified in more than one category, s/he shall be awarded the points in the higher category.”

Applications for recognition as victims of human rights abuses during martial law from August 22, 1972 – March 25, 1986 may be submitted starting May 12, 2014 on Mondays to Fridays during office hours at the Claims Board office at UP ISSI, Virata Hall, Emilio Jacinto Street, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

“ In the spirit of reaching out to all victims of martial law abuses and to ensure better access to us, we will be announcing other places for acceptance of applications in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. “ said Sarmiento.

The IRR also states that, “A Memorial/Museum/Library shall be established in honor and in memory of the victims of human rights violations, whose names are inscribed in the Roll of Human Rights Violations Victims prepared by the Board… The database prepared by the Board derived from the processing of claims shall be turned over to the Memorial Commission for archival purposes, and made accessible for the promotion of human rights to all government agencies and instrumentalities in order to prevent recurrence of similar abuses, encourage continuingreforms and contribute to ending impunity.” The Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights Loretta Ann Rosales heads the Board of Trustees of the Memorial Commission.

“We thank all those individuals, groups and government agencies who gave their inputs and comments into the IRR. We hope that we will receive continuing assistance from these groups to ensure that we reach out to all the victims of martial law abuses and give due recognition and reparations to them. “ Concluded Claims Board Chair Sarmiento.

The HRVVCB conducted 9 consultations from April 3-21, 2014 in the National Capital Region, La Union, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, WesternVisayas and in Mindanao. Victims and survivors were consulted as well as other stakeholders like human rights organizations and government agencies.

Pursuant to RA 10368, President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed the Chair and members of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Claims Board on February 13, 2014.

The source of funds for the reparation of HRVVs and implementation of the Act shall be the amount of ten billion pesos (P10,000,000,000.00) plus the accrued interest, which form part of the funds transferred to the government of the Republic of the Philippines by virtue of the December 10, 1997 Order of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, adjudged by the Supreme Court of the Philippines as final and executory in Republic vs. Sandiganbayan on July 15, 2003 (G.R. No. 152154) as Marcos ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the Republic of the Philippines.

The operating budget of the Board, as provided in the law, shall not exceed fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) a year comes from the ten billion peso (P10,000,000,000.00) fund while the the Memorial/Museum/Library/Compendium shall have an appropriation of at least five hundred million pesos (P500,000,000.00) from the accrued interest of the ten billion peso (P10,000,000,000.00) fund.

Lina Castillo Sarmiento
Chairperson
Human Rights Violations Victims Claims Board

___________

Brief on the HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS VICTIMS’ CLAIMS BOARD
Chair: Lina Castillo Sarmiento
Members:
Wilfred Asis
GaluaschBallaho
Byron D. Bocar
Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Glenda Litong
Jacqueline Veloria Mejia
Aurora Corazon AlvaredaParong
ErlindaNableSenturias
The Chair of the Board, Lina Castillo Sarmiento, is experienced in forensic investigations, police community relations and implemented reforms as head of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office. Jose Luis Martin Gascon was a Constitutional Convention delegate which framed the 1987 Philippine Constitution which integrates human rights and social justice, taking off from lessons during martial law.

Three have worked with the Commission on Human Rights – Jacqueline Veloria Mejia worked as Executive Director of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 27 years and takes with her extensive managerial experience. Byron Bocar, a lawyer who was forced to seek refuge in the Netherlands worked at the CHR and in Congress. Galuasch Ballaho, a Muslim lawyer from Mindanao worked with the newly established Regional Commission on Human Rights in the ARMM.

Aurora Corazon Alvareda Parong and Erlinda Nable Senturias are medical doctors who both worked with the Medical Action Group and have a track record of 3 decades of work on health and human rights. They visited jails and evacuation centers and rendered services to victims of torture, families of enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and internal displacement during martial law. Senturias also worked with the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform while Parong worked as a leader of Amnesty International and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines.

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS VICTIMS’ CLAIMS BOARD (HRVVCB)
c/o Institute of Small Scale Industries (ISSI) Building,
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
email: hrvictimsclaimsboard@gmail.com
cellphone: 0999-5059737

 

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