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MILF seeks compensation for Moro victims of martial law

/ 12:13 PM March 03, 2011

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front wants to know if Moros who suffered under the Marcos regime are also entitled to compensation.

Khaled Musa, MILF deputy information chief, said this question cropped up in the wake of the distribution of $7.5 million in compensation to more than 1,000 individuals who filed a class suit against the Marcoses.

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“Are Muslims who were massacred during the Marcos regime also entitled to compensation?” Musa asked.

The MILF claims that thousands of Moros were killed in massacres perpetrated by soldiers and state-sponsored paramilitary forces during martial law.

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These included the Manili Massacre, Kauswagan Massacre, Tictapul Massacre, Malisbong Massacre, Patikul Massacre and Pata Island Massacre.

Musa said the irony was that the victims of excesses under the Marcos regime will never be able to sue.

“They have not filed their petitions, they are dead and therefore they cannot expect something forthcoming,” he said.

Musa said relatives of the victims have not filed petitions because they lacked access or were “not educated enough” to do so.

Musa said the government or Judge Manuel Real of the US District Court of Hawaii, who approved the distribution of the compensation, could best answer the question of whether or not Moro victims were entitled to it.

He also called on the government to do something in behalf of the massacre victims “in the spirit of justice and reconciliation.”

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TAGS: Human rights, Insurgency, Massacre, Philippines – Regions, Religion
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