MANILA, Philippines—It has been more than five months since President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the Human Rights Victim Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 but its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) cannot be formulated without a claims board.
Former Albay representative Edcel Lagman, who authored the measure in the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress, on Friday urged the President to appoint the chairman and the eight members of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board.
He said that the board was necessary in coming up with the IRR for Republic Act 10368, which was signed into law by the President on February 25—the 27th anniversary of People Power I.
The claims board will be mandated to promulgate the law’s IRR within 15 days of its members’ appointment.
Without the claims board, he said that no IRR can be promulgated and RA 10368 cannot be implemented.
Lagman said that the board was an “indispensable core in the implementation of the Act” as it would be tasked to determine whether a claimant was indeed human rights victims during the Marcos regime.
That was the case “unless he or she already enjoys the conclusive presumption extended by the law to plaintiffs in the class suit adjucated by the US Federal Court of Honolulu, Hawaii against the estate of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos and those acknowledged as human rights violation victims by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani,” he said.
The claims board will also validate the amounts granted to claimants, depending on the “severity of the atrocities they have suffered and in accordance with a point system,” added the former congressman.