Akbayan Rep. Gutierrez assures passage of 6-month extension of filing of claims for ML victims
With the November 10 deadline fast approaching, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez on Thursday assured the passage of the six-month extension for the filing of claims by victims of human rights violations during Martial Law.
Gutierrez made the statement amid fears that the deadline will effectively cut-off the other victims from filing for claims under Republic Act No. 10368 after November 10.
“Victims of human rights violations during Martial Law who are unable to file by November 10, 2014 may still file their claims for reparation and recognition upon the approval of the Joint Resolution extending the filing period for claims,” the lawmaker said.
“We assure the victims that the deadline will not disenfranchise them or unduly cut them off from their rightful claims,” Gutierrez said.
Together with fellow Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, Gutierrez principally authored the Joint Resolution at the House of Representatives which seeks to move the deadline of filing from November 10, 2014 to May 2015.
Gutierrez underscored that the extension was sought because of the actual situation on the ground, as reported by the Claims board, where a surge of claimants was noted during actual intake operations, particularly in their mobile intake sites.
“The six-month extension was sought to cope with the large number of persons seeking for reparation and recognition under RA 10368,” the Akbayan solon said.
“Further, this also allows the legitimate claimants, especially those living in far-flung areas of the country, the full opportunity to file their claims with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB),” Gutierrez said.
The House has already approved on third reading said Joint Resolution. The Senate, on the other hand, is set to approve the same measure on third reading upon resumption of its session on November 17, 2014.
“There is a strong commitment from both chambers of Congress to approve the six-month extension, which we believe is crucial in providing Martial Law victims the full opportunity for redress and ensuring that they are recognized according to their rightful place in our history,” Gutierrez said.
Thousands still pending recognition
According to the HRVCB, the total number of applications for recognition and reparation filed has already reached 36,253 as of November 4, 2014.
The expected number of claimants is at 55,000-90,000.
“It is evident that we need to expand our time frame, particularly the period for filing of applications,” Gutierrez said.
“By ensuring the passage of the proposed extension of deadline, we are giving the victims the proper recognition and compensation they deserve for their sacrifices in protecting this nation’s liberties and freedom, particularly those who are now on their final years,” the lawmaker concluded.
RA 10368, otherwise known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 was signed into law by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III on February 13, 2013 granting all victims of human rights violations committed by the Marcos regime to receive monetary and non-monetary reparations.
6 November 2014
For Immediate Release
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