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More time sought to process claims of HR victims

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) needs more time to process claims in order to fulfill its task of distributing reparations to victims of martial law.

Lina Sarmiento, who chairs the HRVCB, said the board has evaluated about 14 percent or 11,071 of the 75,730 claims filed.

“Knowing that many victims of human rights abuses during martial law are old and sick, we want them to enjoy their monetary and non-monetary reparations. We tried our best to adjudicate as many claims as possible. But after the extended application period, the number of claimants rose to 75,730. The board’s three divisions have to evaluate more than what was initially projected,” Sarmiento said.

She expressed hope the House of Representatives would approve a bill amending Republic Act 10368 (Human Rights Victims’ Reparation and Recognition Act) to give the board enough time as well as resources and staff to finish its mandate.

The measure is authored by Reps. Ibarra Gutierrez, Jose Christopher Belmonte and Angelina Katoh.

The board processed 20,000 claims in 2014 and projected that distribution of reparations would be possible before the end of the year.

Sarmiento advised claimants not to believe rumors that the monetary reparations will be distributed this Christmas season.

“It is not possible to distribute reparations this year. We will be informing claimants about the result of their applications. They will be receiving notices through a letter and other information through media platforms such as radio and newspapers,” she said.

The HRVCB was tasked to distribute the P10-billion fund plus accrued interest that was transferred to the government from a Swiss account holding the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

President Aquino signed RA 10368 into law on Feb. 25, 2013 creating the HRVCB.

The claims board will enshrine the names of legitimate victims of martial rule in the Roll of Human Rights Victims, which will be turned over to the Human Rights Victims Memorial Commission, which in turn will establish a museum, library and compendium of stories during martial law.  

 

vuukle comment

ACIRC

CLAIMS BOARD

FERDINAND MARCOS

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

HUMAN RIGHTS VICTIMS

IBARRA GUTIERREZ

JOSE CHRISTOPHER BELMONTE AND ANGELINA KATOH

LINA SARMIENTO

PRESIDENT AQUINO

REPARATION AND RECOGNITION ACT

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