Hundreds of martial law 'victims' and claimants appear for processing of benefits

September 19, 2014 10:27 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 18 -– More than 200 people have flocked to the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental, to process claims for government benefits for victims of the martial law era in the Philippines.

A team from the Human Rights Claims Board arrived in Dumaguete Wednesday for the three-day processing through Friday, as part of the government’s six-month campaign to process claims by victims of various forms of abuse during martial law under President Ferdinand Marcos.

The Board is being assisted by officials and representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Negros Oriental and its regional office in Cebu.

CHR-Negros Oriental chief, Dr. Jess Cañete, disclosed Thursday that a large fraction of the applicants are from nearby provinces and towns in Mindanao.

He expressed surprise in that he was under the impression the caravan was mainly for martial law victims and their families in Negros Oriental as another similar activity is scheduled in different parts of the country.

Still, these people were provided assistance by lawyers of the Public Attorney’s Office for their affidavits as well as other legal documents and requirements, Cañete added.

Various types of abuses, suffering and sacrifices during martial law are being entertained, however, these will have to go through strict validation and evaluation, he said.

Cañete, meanwhile, cautioned applicants and their families claiming for benefits against untruthful, deceptive or misleading information as these could lead to denial or disapproval of their applications as well as running the risk of being charged for perjury.

The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board website announced that the application for claims ends on November 10, 2014.

Failure of victims to file claims during the 6-month period, as provided by RA 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 will be considered a waiver.

RA 10368 recognized as conclusively presumed human rights violations victims (HRVVs) the class suit and direct action plaintiffs of cases filed in Honolulu and other US courts against Ferdinand E. Marcos, and those recognized by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani. The Claims Board said it can render motu proprio recognition to some victims of martial law through judicial notice.

RA 10368 states that it is a Philippine state policy to recognize and provide reparations to those who suffered and sacrificed during martial law under former President E. Marcos. The names of the victims will be enshrined in the Roll of Human Rights Violations Victims that will be turned over to the Human Rights Violations Victims Memorial Commission, the Claims Board’s website said. (PNA)

LAP/JFP

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