the press conference of SELDA with martial law victims and
lawyers from the National Union of People's Lawyers.
victims call to get remaining P800M of reparation, seek Congress
August 6, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
“After so many hurdles before being able to receive reparation and
recognition, we do not want to leave anyone behind, especially the
legitimate victims of martial law. Ultimately, we should make sure
that all funds intended for the victims and their kin should be
given to them.”
Thus said SELDA
chairperson Trinidad Herrera-Repuno, as the group is now appealing
to extend the validity and availability of funds intended for
reparation for martial law victims for those who have not claimed
About P800 million worth
of funds remain undistributed, as many approved claimants were
unable to encash their checks. The fund, which is currently with the
Human Rights Victims Claims Board’s account with Land Bank of the
Philippines, will only be maintained until August 11, after which it
will be reverted to the Bureau of Treasury.
“We are concerned that
many martial law victims from different parts of the country might
not be able to resolve these issues before the said date.
Ultimately, it would be a disservice and injustice for the
legitimate victims to be denied receipt what is justly theirs. It is
our responsibility, even when many of us have received reparation,
to call on the government to do something to address this,” Herrera-Repuno
SELDA cited the case of
Cresencia Hizarsa, common-law wife of desaparecido Abner Hizarsa,
who was a victim of illegal arrest detention under Marcos. Because
he was disappeared in 2007, Cresencia filed for claims in Abner’s
absence. However, after fulfilling the requirements said to her like
special powers of attorney, birth certificates of their children,
the check issued to Cresencia was still named after Abner. There is
no possibility that Cresencia can encash the check, only when it is
named after her.
“The claims board has
ceased existence, which is why we call on the Lower House and the
Senate to support the joint resolution to extend the validity of
funds, to give more time to resolve concerns such as that of
Cresencia,” said Herrera-Repuno.
On July 19, Bayan Muna
partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate filed Joint Resolution No.24
entitled “Extending the Validity and Availability of the Fund for
the Marcos Human Rights Violation Victims wth Land Bank of the
Philippines and Authorizing the Commission on Human Rights to
Administer the Effective Distribution of the Funds to Qualified
Victims of their Heirs or Representatives until December 2019,
Amending for the Purpose RA No. 10368 and RA No. 10766.”
SELDA is lobbying for both
houses to support the said joint resolution.
“Umaasa ako at ang aming
buong pamilya ng tulong mula sa inyo para makamit namin ang hustisya.
Alam kong hindi sasapat ang monetary reparation para makamit ang
hustisya para sa amin, bagamat maiibsan nito ang bigat ng aming
dalahin at ito'y parte ng tagumpay sa matagal nating ipinaglalaban
(Me and my family hope for help from you to attain justice. I
understand that the monetary reparation is not enough to attain
justice for us, although this may give respite from the burden that
we carry. This is part of the victory that we have been fighting for
a long time,” said Cresencia.