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Lawmaker asks Aquino to recall appointee

/ 09:01 AM February 15, 2014

Gen. Lina Castillo Sarmiento. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares is urging the President to withdraw his appointment of a retired police general as chief executive of the nine-member Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board because it was “an insult to martial law victims.”

In a statement, Colmenares said the President should replace ex-Philippine National Police director Lina Castillo Sarmiento, formerly of the Directorate for Police Community Relations, and appoint a victim of human rights violations during the Marcos regime as head of the nine-member body that is tasked to process, evaluate and approve applications for reparation claims.

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“President [Benigno] Aquino [III] seems to be insulting Marcos human rights victims by appointing a police general as chair of its belatedly formed claims board. It would be best if President Aquino would withdraw Gen. Lina Castillo-Sarmiento and appoint a Marcos victim who is honed in human rights work as chair of the board,” Colmenares said in a statement.

“Under the Constitution, President Aquino is supposed to implement the law faithfully. He did not give any consideration at all to the criteria set by the law for the selection of board members. We have fought for this law since we first authored it many years ago and we will not allow it to be desecrated by a President who knows nothing of human rights,” said Colmenares.

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The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 is tasked to oversee the distribution of the P10 billion recovered from the multibillion dollar loot of the Marcos family.

Aside from Sarmiento, the PNP’s first female two-star general, the President also appointed Wilfred D. Asis, Galuasch G. Ballaho, Byron D. Bocar, Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon, Glenda T. Litong, Jacqueline B. Veloria Mejia, Aurora Corazon A. Parong and Erlinda N. Senturias as members of the board.

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, Directorate for Police Community Relations, Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, Lina Castillo Sarmiento, Marcos regime, Martial Law Victims, Neri Colmenares, Philippine National Police
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