P36M in 2022 budget to fund mission to memorialize victims of martial law
MANILA, Philippines — Some P36 million in the proposed P5.04 trillion national budget for 2022 was allocated to support an agency’s mission to memorialize victims of martial law.
During House plenary debates on next year’s national expenditure plan, Zamboanga del Norte 1st District Rep. Romeo Jalosjos, who was sponsoring the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), said the P36 million will fund the Human Rights Violation Victims Memorial Commission created in 2013.
The Human Rights Violation Victims Memorial Commission is an attached agency of the CHR which includes among its flagship projects the establishment of the Freedom Memorial Museum in UP Diliman that will be dedicated “to honor the lives and sacrifices of victims and survivors who struggled for freedom, democracy, and human rights” during martial law.
“Ang objective po ng pagtayo ng Human Rights Violation Victims Memorial Commission ay para hindi makalimutan sa ating kasaysayan, ma-immortalize ang pakikibaka, ang pakikipaglaban ng mga Pilipino sa panahon ng diktadura at hindi rin malimutan ng mga susunod na henerasyon ang naging ambag ng maraming martir sa paglaban sa diktadurang Marcos,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said in his interpellation.
(The objective of the Human Rights Violation Victims Memorial Commission is to immortalize the fight of Filipinos against dictatorship and so that future generations will not forget the contribution of our martyrs in fighting the Marcos dictatorship.)
Last Tuesday, September 21, Filipinos marked the 49th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by then-president Ferdinand E. Marcos via Proclamation No. 1081.
According to the Human Rights Violation Victims Memorial Commission, 11,103 individuals had fallen victims to rights violations by the dictatorship.
The count, however, covered only those with approved claims for compensation through the Human Rights Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
Amnesty International (AI) said there were 107,200 victims, mostly killed, tortured, and imprisoned by the Marcos regime.
Lawmakers lamented how only a small portion of martial law human rights victims was compensated over the years.
“Sa katunayan, habang umiigting itong mga rebisyonanistang naratibong ito, itong mga mapanglihis and misleading narratives that there are no human rights violation during that time of the dictatorship, there are still thousands of human rights victims under martial law who fail, who are not yet recognized and compensated,” Zarate said.
(In fact, while these revisionist and misleading narratives are raging, that there are no human rights violations during that time of the dictatorship, there are still thousands of human rights victims under martial law who fail, who are not yet recognized and compensated.)
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