House ratifies human rights compensation bill for martial law victims
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Monday ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the on human rights compensation bill for martial law victims.
The measure seeks to grant reparation for human rights violations victims under former President Ferdinand Marcos’ regime, including claimants of an earlier case resolved by the US Federal Court in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The bicameral panel has earlier agreed on conclusive presumption for the Hawaii plaintiffs, considering them as legitimate martial law victims.
A compensation board which will scrutinize the applications of human rights victims.
It will be composed of nine members selected by the President out of nominees from human rights organizations like Karapatan, Selda, and Find among others. It will be led by a chairman chosen by the President.
Senator Teofisto Guingona III in a recent interview said that the members of the board must have integrity and a thorough understanding of human rights and the martial law. Three of them should also be members of the bar.
Lagman said that claimants of the Hawaii case will be accorded conclusive presumption as legitimate victims of human rights violations even though the compensation board has the power to determine the extent of violations and amount of reparation to be granted.
The human rights violations victims recognized by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation are also entitled to conclusive presumption, he said.
The reconciled version of House Bill No. 5990 and Senate Bill No. 3334, once signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III, will be known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
Human rights victims during the martial law period will receive reparation from the P10 billion funding transferred to the Philippine government in 1997 by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
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