Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on extending the availability of funds for the victims of Marcos martial law human rights violations

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on extending the availability of funds for the victims of Marcos martial law human rights violations

The House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights has adopted at the committee-level on Tuesday, 7 August 2018, the joint resolution filed by Rep. Carlos Zarate extending the validity and availability of funds allotted for approved, legitimate claims filed by the victims of various human rights violations under the Marcos martial rule.

The said House resolution also moves to authorise the Commission on Human Rights to administer the distribution of the said funds given that Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), the agency mandated to process claims and distribute the financial reparation for victims of human rights violation, has now ceased to function since its sunset on May 2018. To date, a number of cheques have yet to be encashed for varying reasons, but the funds for financial reparation with the Landbank of the Philippines will be reverted to the Bureau of Treasury by 11 August 2018. We understand that a same resolution was filed by Senator Chiz Escudero in the Senate yesterday, 6 August 2018, and will be also be up for deliberation to address this context.

The Commission, for its part, has extended assistance to the HRVCB volunteers in distributing the cheques since its sunset. We continue to echo our support to any measure or effort that will help grant to the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos martial law the acknowledgment and reparation that they deserve. It would be an injustice against them to have gone this far, but fall short on claiming their financial reparation because of certain policies that work against their benefit.

Similarly, the Commission would welcome and support the issuance of an executive order by the Office of the President that would seek to provide an immediate cure for the current hurdle in distributing the said financial reparations.

We thank the Congress for this resolution, as well our partners in the Bureau of Treasury and Landbank, for continuously finding ways to hurdle the challenges of distributing claims to the victims, as we too look forward to their sustained commitment in claiming back the human dignity that was denied during our dark time under martial law.■

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