Marcos victims feel victimized again: Imelda now House’s 2nd richest
Victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos dictatorship are disgusted.
Former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos has emerged as the second richest in the House of Representatives, while thousands of the victims are still awaiting government compensation for their sufferings.
“We are very insulted with Imelda’s flaunting of her ‘wealth,’ while martial law victims are denied justice and indemnification,” Angie Ipong, secretary general of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), said in a statement.
The compensation bill for the victims has been pending since 1998 and has yet to become a law. In the meantime, Marcos, the widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has grown richer.
Based on her 2011 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, Marcos is almost a billionaire, with a net worth of P932 million. She ranked second only to boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao. In 2010, Marcos was worth P623.6 million.
Selda said the financial state of confirmed allegations that her family had indeed amassed wealth when they were in power for over 20 years.
The Marcoses, who were ousted during the Edsa “People Power” uprising in 1986, are facing several cases to forfeit their supposed ill-gotten riches, including tracts of land and Swiss bank accounts.
According to Selda, it was impudent for Marcos to use her wealth to secure her hold on power by running for an elective post. It said the practice of political accommodation must stop.
The people who suffered while fighting the dictatorship must be given their due as well, Selda said.
Appeal to Aquino
It noted that the bill to provide compensation to martial law victims had been pending since 1998. Three presidents and over a decade later, the bill has yet to be passed.
The measure seeks to provide monetary compensation to the martial law victims and to recognize their contribution in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship. It states that funding would come from the recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
The House has approved its own version of the bill, but the Senate version is still at the chamber’s committee on justice.
Selda called on President Benigno Aquino III, whose parents played key roles in the ouster of the Marcoses, to push for the passage of the measure.
“We continually remind President Aquino that it was not only his father and family who suffered during martial law. Thousands of Filipinos experienced a much worse plight, and they continue to endure the pain and scars of that dark period,” Trinidad Herrera, Selda board member, said.
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