Claims board gives Martial law victims 6 months to file compensation claims

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Apr 15 (PIA) – Victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime were given six months or until November 12 to file their compensation claims from the P10 billion-Marcos ill-gotten wealth that the government set aside for victims. The Human Rights Victims' Claims Board will start processing petitions for compensation claims of victims of human rights violation during the Marcos regime on May 12.
Lawyer Jacqueline Mejia, claims board member, said those who are qualified to claim payments include petitioners to the P$2 billion-class suit in Hawaii against the Marcos estate, victims recognized by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation and undocumented victims not under the first two categories. The board expects up to 40,000 claimants of human rights violations across the country. The board was in this city last Friday, April 11 to consult stakeholders on the implementing rules of R.A. 10368 or the law providing reparation and recognition of rights victims during Martial law.
The reparation law  created the claims board, an independent body tasked with receiving, evaluating, processing and investigating the applications for monetary compensation from the P10 billion fund that the government set aside from Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.
Dr. Aurora Parong, claims’ board member, said the law also paves the way for the inclusion of victims’ struggles in school textbooks. Parong, also a rights victim, said school children are clueless on the victims’ heroism and struggles during the Martial law period.
“We can include their stories in the local histories of towns and cities,” Parong, who was jailed for more than a year for supposedly providing medical assistance to rebels during Martial law, said.
The board, which started its public consultations in the National Capital Region last month, is now in the provinces soliciting comments before it starts processing compensation claims. Parong also appealed to claimants to look at the reparation as a token instead of a pay out.
“This is not a pay-out. How can you pay for the sufferings which until now still linger,” she asked.
She said the board wants to avoid a situation where claimants will later compare notes and be envious as to the amount each received.
Lawyer Rommel Daguimol, Commission on Human Rights head in Region 1, said at least 122 rights claimants in the Ilocos have received their compensation from the Hawaii class suit. He said he expects the same number in the region to file their claims under the P10 billion-fund.


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