Marcos victims want partial pay in 60 days
A group of human rights victims under martial law has demanded that the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) comply with President Duterte’s order to start releasing partial compensation in 60 days.
“No less than President Duterte instructed the board to render partial distribution of claims within 60 days. The HRVCB should stop making lame excuses and do their work in the reparation of victims. Justice must be served immediately,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chair of the leftist Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), which counts among its members martial law survivors and reparation claimants.
In a forum with martial law victims at the Department of Agrarian Reform covered court in Quezon City on Saturday, Selda had given updates on the results of a dialogue in Malacañang on Jan. 17 and 19. Foremost among the agreements was the partial distribution of reparations for those whose claims have already been adjudicated as of January, 60 days following the meeting.
This means the release of partial compensation should start around April, said Thaddeus Ifurung, Selda national coordinator.
On Jan. 23, the HRVCB had announced that it will release initial payments to 4,000 eligible claimants by the second quarter of the year.
Selda said both parties have agreed that the partial compensation will be capped at 50 percent of the total amount due the martial law victims.
The HRVCB said it has already adjudicated a total of 30,027 claims since the board started operation in 2014, with 9,000 approved, including the 4,000 to start receiving payouts soon. There are 45,703 remaining applications to be processed.
But to date, the HRVCB has yet to distribute any monetary reparation. The board has argued that the arduous verification and identification process as set out by Republic Act No. 10368, the law creating the body, has proven to be a setback.
“Before monetary reparations can be distributed, the list of 4,000 preliminary eligible claimants must be published, appeals or oppositions resolved, and the corresponding partial final list duly published. The resolution of appeals and opposition will be decided by the board en banc,” the HRVCB said in its statement.
Ifurung said the release of partial compensation was already “a partial victory for the victims,” noting that prior to Duterte’s order, the HRVCB had withheld the distribution of the reparations until all 75,730 applications had been processed.
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