Bill on compensation for human rights victims awaits ratification



Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the automatic recognition of Hawaii claimants as martial law victims was just proper and would be a recognition of their long fight to hold the Marcoses accountable. FILE PHOTO

The final version of the compensation bill for victims of human rights violations during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos is now awaiting ratification, after the bicameral conference committee on Wednesday ironed out the last of the contentious provisions in the measure.

The panel agreed that there would be a “conclusive presumption” that over 9,000 plaintiffs in a Hawaii class action suit against the Marcoses are human rights victims entitled to compensation, according to Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.

At the same time, the bicameral panel scrapped the earlier proposal that 80 percent of the compensation fund be set aside for the Hawaii claimants and the remaining 20 percent be given to all other claimants who did not join the case, according to Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III.

Instead, the P10 billion compensation fund would be made equally available to all claimants, with the amount they receive depending on the kind of abuse they suffered. The amount would be determined by a board that would use a point system, with higher points given to those who suffered graver abuses.

Several lawmakers earlier questioned the 80-20 ratio, saying it was unfair to give such a big part of the fund to the Hawaii claimants when thousands of other victims may have opted out of the case, and that it could be constitutionally infirm for violating the equal protection clause.

The “conclusive presumption” clause was a contentious point in previous bicameral meetings. The Senate version only stated that there would be a “disputable presumption” that the Hawaii claimants  are martial law victims, meaning that their claims could be challenged. The House version batted for conclusive presumption.

Victims’ groups also insisted on the conclusive presumption, saying that if this would not be the case, they may have to again endure the painful and rigorous process of proving their rights were violated during martial law.

Colmenares said the automatic recognition of Hawaii claimants as martial law victims was just proper and would be a recognition of their long fight to hold the Marcoses accountable.

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  • cion

    Are they really human right victims? or they are the members of the CPPA-NPA  Jose Maria Sison who voluntarily participated to de-stabilize the gov’t  to advance their cause of communism in a democratic form of gov’t???? There were many unanswered violence and  death committed by this claimants that led to the death of many soldiers fighting to save the country from communism led by the Mao- inspired  communist party of China.

    • Paz Maunahan

      Si JOMA SISON ANG SWERTE SYA SNG KALABANG MORTAL NI MARCOS! Umuwi na sana si Joma para mabayaran na sya.


    Tiyak mag-away away na naman ang rejectionist at reaffirmist factions nito sa composition ng board at ng hatian ng pera. Ang malaking tanong, matatawag ba na biktima ng martial law si Jose Maria Sison for him to be entitled to compensation?

  • Jimbo

    Congratulations Cong Neri Colmenares  for your steadfast resolve on compensation of martial law victims. I would like to remind Cong Colmenares that the people of Mindanao particularly the muslims are the hardest hit by the evil Marcos regime during the martial law. Not one but all of us muslims are victims of the dark age of the Marcos’s martial law.. It was not luzon or the visayan islands who were the real victims of martial law but the muslim of the south…. jimbo

  • Charles Lynel F. Joven

    pay the martial law victims now!!!!..what are you dumb guys in the house and senate waiting for…????

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