CHR head to face raps over construction of martial law museum
Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will be facing criminal charges for initiating the construction of a P500-million martial law museum.

Marcos loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano showed The STAR the complaint affidavit, which he is set to file before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Gascon’s action is tantamount to technical malversation as he initiated the construction without the required appropriation or donation as provided by law, Lozano said.

Gascon allegedly violated Republic Act 6713, the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees, a criminal offense carrying the penalty of imprisonment and disqualification from holding office, he added.

The proposed martial law museum will unjustly perpetuate the hate campaign against President Ferdinand Marcos and his family, Lozano said.

“Gascon seeks to gather exhibit to show abuses of martial law allegedly committed by President Marcos, the evident malintention is to incite anew  the people to unjustly revive the already dead hate campaign against the Marcoses and to undermine the bid of Sen. Bongbong Marcos for higher office,” he said.

Constructing a martial law museum will run counter to a Supreme Court decision that martial law was a valid act of self-defense of the Republic against a violent communist takeover of the government, Lozano said.

“It is also contrary to the public admission of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile that he was the administrator of  martial law, and all martial law powers were delegated to him,” he said.

He will file the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman next week, Lozano said.

Gascon has announced the construction of the museum to house artifacts, memorabilia and other items related to the martial law era.

The money would be sourced from the interest earned from the P10-billion fund allocated by the government to indemnify victims of martial law, he said.

More than 10,000 materials have been gathered from some of the 75,000 victims of human rights abuses during martial law.

The materials include sworn statements, arrest and seizure orders, release papers of those jailed, news articles and photos of the victims.

They are currently kept at the CHR office and will be transferred to the museum as soon as it is built.

BONGBONG MARCOS CHAIRMAN JOSE LUIS MARTIN GASCON OF THE COMMISSION CODE OF CONDUCT HUMAN RIGHTS JUAN PONCE ENRILE LAW LOZANO MARTIAL NBSP OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN OLIVER LOZANO
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