Binay presses martial law human rights victims to claim compensation
MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay is urging victims of human rights abuses during martial law to file their applications for compensation.
“I call on my fellow detainees and human rights victims during Martial Law to file their claims. It’s not the money but the recognition of the justness of our fight against tyranny and oppression,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Binay, a human rights lawyer during the Marcos regime, said he would be filing a claim and will use whatever amount that would be awarded him to set up a fund to assist children of martial law victims.
“This is but a continuation of the assistance we provided to human rights victims four decades ago,” he said.
During the martial law, Binay provided free legal assistance to political detainees during martial law. He was arrested and detained at the Ipil Rehabilitation Center.
He also helped found the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), a group of progressive lawyers that included Senators Lorenzo Tañada, Wigberto Tañada, Rene Saguisag, and Joker Arroyo.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board has set the period for the filing of applications from May 12 to November 1, 2014.
Any victim who does not file a claim within the said period will be deemed to have waived his or her right to be compensated.
The law also provides that victims of human rights violations committed from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 are eligible to file for compensation.
Victims of human rights violations committed one month before or one month after the prescribed period are also eligible to file for claims, provided they can prove that the violation was committed, the law further said.
No fee is required to file the claim, but applying in person is mandatory. Legal heirs or authorized representatives of those who were killed, died, incapacitated or disappeared during martial law may also file claims on behalf of the victims.
The government has set aside some P10 billion specifically for the compensation of the human rights victims.
Binay had earlier said that the signing into law of RA 10368 was not only “our way of recognizing their sacrifices, but of reminding ourselves of the tyranny that made their struggle justified, a tyranny that must not be repeated.”
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