How much is suffering under Marcos worth? | Inquirer News

How much is suffering under Marcos worth?

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 08:11 AM February 19, 2014

Human Rights Victims Claims Board chair Lina Sarmiento: Thorny issue. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The chair of the newly created Human Rights Victims Claims Board on Tuesday said that putting a monetary value on the abuse human rights victims of the Marcos regime went through was a thorny issue.

Lina Sarmiento, who was named by President Aquino to head the board last week, said the nine-member panel would immediately buckle down to work to finish the body’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).


The board has 15 days to approve the IRR, which would be in force 15 days after its publication in two major newspapers.


Human Rights Act

The board was created under Republic Act No. 10368, the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, to process the applications of claimants and distribute the P10 billion in compensation that a Swiss court awarded to the martial law victims in 1997.

Under the law, Sarmiento said, martial law victims would receive compensation according to the “gravity of the human rights violations” they suffered in the hands of the military and other state forces during the strongman rule of Ferdinand Marcos.

To be discussed

“How much should each martial law victim get? I cannot answer that now. It will be discussed by the board and included in the IRR,” she told reporters at Camp Crame.

“The law says we should observe a point system. There are certain categories. Those who suffered more will get more,” she said.


Sarmiento, a retired Philippine National Police director, said the panel would seek the help of “experts” in computing the amount of compensation each victim should receive.

Point system

Section 19 of the law says the board shall determine the severity of the abuses experienced by the victims using a point system ranging from one to 10.

Those who were killed or remain missing, whose heirs would get the compensation, shall be assigned 10 points, while those who suffered torture or sexual abuse would get from six to nine points.

The victims who were imprisoned would get from three to five points, while those who experienced other kinds of abuse would receive at least one point.

During their first meeting last Friday, Sarmiento said the members of the panel pledged to expedite the processing of claimants’ applications and the release of their remuneration.

She noted that the panel had only two years to complete its task as stated in the sunset clause of the law.

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“The victims and their families have waited years for this. We will not be the cause of any delay in their quest for justice,” Sarmiento said.

TAGS: Human rights, Marcos regime, Philippines

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