Victims of human rights abuse during the Marcos martial law regime may be a step closer to receiving state compensation for their suffering.
The House of Representatives appropriations committee has approved a bill providing compensation to the human rights victims, which means the proposed law would now be scheduled for plenary debates before it is presented for passage on second reading.
Bohol Representative Rene Relampagos, chairman of the human rights committee, said the bill had been a long time coming. The regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who instituted martial law in 1972, ended in 1986.
“This bill has been pending in the legislative mill for a long time. Most of the victims are old, some have died. They remain prejudiced the longer they do not get what is due them,” Relampagos said in a statement.
Under the bill, the monetary compensation the human rights victims would receive would come from the recovered ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and his family.
A human rights compensation fund and a human rights victims compensation board would also be established. The proposed amount for the compensation fund is P10 billion.
The board would be tasked with evaluating and approving compensation claims. The amount of compensation victims would receive would depend on the severity of the offenses committed against them, as determined by the board. There would be a point system to determine this.
The appropriations committee also recommended that the board be augmented by a secretariat composed of Commission on Human Rights personnel.
Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada, a coauthor of the compensation bill, said earlier the measure was intended to recognize the heroism and sacrifices of Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, involuntary disappearance and other human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship, and to restore their honor and dignity.