17 May 2013
Two and a half months after the passage of the ML Victims Reparation and Recognition Act (RA 10368)
SELDA raises concern on the non-implementation of the law on the Human Rights Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 for martial law victims
The rights group SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) raised concerns on the Aquino government’s failure to form the Human Rights Victims Claims Board which will process the application for reparation and recognition of martial law victims. The formation of the said Board signals the implementation of the said law which the victims have fought for so long.
“It has been two and half months since Pres. Aquino signed the bill into law. Within these months, SELDA learned that several martial law victims have died due to their illnesses without having seen the implementation of the said law.“Again, we reiterate what is taking the government so long to implement the law?” SELDA national coordinator Roneo Clamor asked.
Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 or RA 10368 requires that a Human Rights Victims Claims Board be formed within 30 days so it can proceed to formulate the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) after which it can start with its evaluation and processing of the claims of the martial law victims under the Marcos dictatorship. The President will appoint the members of the Claims Board
As one of the five organizations that may nominate members of the Claims Board, SELDA , submitted five names on March 12: its national chairperson, a multi-awarded artist who was twice detained, a UP College of Medicine faculty member, a lawyer from Cebu and another from General Santos City, for prospective members of the Board. Tanggol Bayi nominated a former congresswoman and a former member of the UP Board of Regents. They are individuals “with integrity, competence and probity and who understand the plight of the martial law victims.”
Up to the present, SELDA is kept in the dark about the Board’s formation that many of the victims are awaiting. The absence of information about the Claims Board raises questions as to Malacanang’s transparency in forming the Board and the possibility that for political reasons not even one of SELDA’s nominees will be appointed. This will deprive the victims of a genuine voice in the Board,” Clamor explained.
“We seriously hope that the Human Rights Victims Claims Board will be composed soonest. Martial Law victims cannot afford to be disenfranchised, much more neglected again. The law was a victory for the victims. We cannot allow our efforts to go down the drain.” Clamor stressed.
SELDA is the organization that initiated the class action suit against former dictator Marcos. ###
Roneo “Jigs” S. Clamor, National Coordinator