[Announcement] Active Search and Assistance for ML HR Violation Victims/Claimants -PAHRA

Active Search and Assistance for ML HR Violation Victims/Claimants
Dear Friends,
Greetings from the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) .

PAHRA members together with networks and individual volunteers who were in the forefront of the struggle against Martial Law initiated a loose consortium to conduct an active search of undocumented human rights violations victims under the Martial Law regime.

pahra logo copy

This is in line with the implementation of “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013? and its implementing rules and regulations to ensure that more victims will have the chance to claim for a long due recognition and reparation from their struggles and martyrdom. Unfortunately, the law and it’s IRR did not include active search for thousand more victims that were not properly recorder or documented during the incidence of violations.

In the initial scanning conducted by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) from articles/reports in the institution’s magazines during the Martial Law years, resulted to around 7000 more victims who were not individually documented. More are expected as the research continues. These will be among the targets of the group and volunteers to be reached out and assisted in their application for claims aside from those who are already included in the “conclusive presumptions” provided in the law (Hawaii Class Suit claimants and Bantayog ng mga Bayani list ) but still have not been informed of the law.

It is this regard that we are requesting your benevolence and solidarity to pursue the initiative of actively searching for victims/survivors of martial law atrocities and provide them assistance to claim recognition and/or reparation. Your assistance can be in the form of the following:

1. Assistance in the information and dissemination campaign of the Law, IRR and process of application
2. Actively search and reach out to victims / survivors
3. Use of your facilities for documentation and preparation of documents for application of victims/claimants
4. Volunteer Personnel to assist in the documentation and prepare documents for application of victims/claimants
5. Sending this communication and materials to your networks that can also assist us
6. Others which you think could help in this endeavour

Attached is a brief concept paper of the initiative, however we do not have the budget, thus our appeal for your assistance. We hope that these efforts can somehow facilitate an efficient and effective active search and assistance to the victims/claimants.

For list of documented victims of TFDP, please refer to the link

http://tfdp.net/resources/victims-list , The list of victims who were included in the publications of TFDP but were not individually documented will soon be uploaded in the same website. We will send you the names per geographical locations as you express your support to this initiative. We will also constantly update you on new developments from the Claims Board as available.,

Attached are some materials that you can use for the endeavour:
1. Official Application Form for Claimants
2. Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law
3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in Word and Power Point formats. Please take note that the
Power Point presentation have more notes/information gathered from our interactions with the Claims Board.

Please contact the undersigned at mobile no 0906-553-1792 or Max de Mesa mobile no, 0920-908 0480 Tel. no (632) 436-2633, e-mail : pahra@philippinehumanrights.org for clarification and inquiries.

We hope that you will join us in this effort.

In solidarity with the victims/survivors of Martial Law,

(Sgd) Rose Trajano
Secretary General

Noted by:
(Sgd) Max de Mesa
Chairperson

JUSTICE FOR THE BROADEST NUMBER:
A Two-Phased Active Search for Undocumented Martial Law Victims
Of Human Rights Violations (MLVHRV)

Impunity will come to an end
When people who did not suffer human rights violations
Stand with those who did and fight for justice.

INTRODUCTION

The passage of RA 10368 also known as the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013? is a major victory for victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law period. The law is indicative of the government’s recognition that indeed human rights violations were perpetrated during the Martial Law years, and that all victims should be accorded the long-delayed justice in the form of both monetary and non-monetary reparation.

The implementation of RA 10368 entails being able to reach out, inform and mobilize a significant, if not all, victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law years, seek justice and claim their right to reparation. Identifying who these victims are, knowing where and how to reach them, making them aware of the law and its significance, and assisting them satisfy the requirements to become eligible claimants, are among the most urgent and daunting tasks that need to be done at the soonest possible time considering the limited period of six months stipulated in the law to complete the whole of process of granting reparation. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was recently fixed on May 6, 2014 as the starting date for submission of claims.

The active search, nonetheless, of ML victims of HR violations is not part of RA 10368. The Claims Board itself has unequivocally stated that since it is not part of the law, active search is not one of their tasks.

Human Rights Defenders among civil society should take initiative to ensure in this circumstance that justice be obtained by the broadest number.

TWO-PHASED SEARCH

RESEARCH

A big percentage of ML victims are nameless and faceless, impoverished and marginalized, and located in the rural areas of Northern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern and Western Visayas and Mindanao. Many of them were farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and young men and women during the years of the dictatorial regime of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. Quite a number have died but with surviving family members and relatives who may not be aware of the law and the requirements for claimmants. Researchers are needed to identify these undocumented victims.

Possible sources of information could be archives of organizations and institutions which made or kept publications credibly documenting incidents of violations.

One of the possible area of research is in the archives of the Museum of Courage and Resistance or The Martial Law Museum of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) which has started to receive reports of human rights violations (HRVs) and document HRVs since its establishment in 1974. Another source could be the main library of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City where published materials during martial law have been donated for achiving.

The main expected result of this research is a systematized list of undocumented victims of HRVs.

SEARCH, INFORM AND ASSIST

Search Volunteers (SV) will be assembled proportionally according to the aggregate numbers of identified victims per territory – region, province and town.

All these volunteers will be trained and later coordinated all the time directly with the use of technology by a National Coordinating Center (NCC).

These Volunteers will make and submit their own routes and time table to the NCC.

The Volunteers will search for the persons or their legitimate heirs as found in their lists as well as those that could still be timely communicated during their search period. Upon credible verification, the SVs will inform and assist the victims or their heirs regarding the law and the IRR and the completion of necessary claim forms so that the latter would be recognized and compensated appropriately.

The project duration will be the same as the period stipulated by law for victims to make their claims, i.e., May 12 to November 12, 2014.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
53-B Maliksi St. Diliman, Quezon City
E-mail: pahra@philippinehumanrights.org
Website: http://www.philippinehumanrights.org
Facebook: Philippine Human Rights
Tel/Fax: (632) 436-26-33

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