Martial Law victims warn of Aquino compromise with the Marcoses


21 July 2012


Reference: Bonifacio Ilagan, SELDA vice chairperson, 09176291241


Organization of ex-political prisoners SELDA (Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) warned the Aquino government not to enter into compromise with the Marcoses, amid efforts of the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party to merge into a coalition in preparation for the 2013 elections.

“The Marcoses and the Aquinos in one party coalition is equivalent to compromising the call for justice of Martial Law victims. We will not be surprised if Justice for Martial Law victims remain elusive under his term,” SELDA vice chairperson Bonifacio Ilagan said.

Ilagan added that Aquino should stop claiming to be a victim of Martial Law if any compromise happens.

“This is a fight we have brought all the way, and the last person to render this futile is Pres. Aquino,” Ilagan said.

According to Ilagan, they will join the protests on Monday together with other victims of the government’s “empty promises of justice.”

“A year after Pres. Aquino declared in his previous SONA that the government aims to give due compensation to the victims of Martial Law, it is still an arrow aiming at nowhere,” Ilagan said.

According to SELDA, there was no progress in the quest for recognition and giving due compensation to the victims of the Marcos dictatorship under the Aquino administration. “If there was,” according to Ilagan, “it was all due to the effort of the victims and their families.”

“A number of prominent Martial Law victims have died this year, while many have grown more sick and old. Yet, we gathered all our energies to tread the halls of the Senate and Lower House. We wrote letters, we marched the streets. When will the Aquino government do their job, when we are all dead?” Ilagan asked.

This July, three SELDA leaders passed away due to sickness. Jose “Bong” Barsoles, 61, chairperson of SELDA-National Capital Region died on June 29; Romeo Luneta, 69, SELDA Board member; and Margarita “Maita” Gomez, 65, SELDA Board member.

SELDA has been urging the Senate to pass Senate Bill 2976, or the Marcos Victims Compensation Bill, which aims to recognize and give due compensation to the 9,539 Martial Law victims who successfully filed a historic class suit against the dictator Marcos, including other victims who were not signed as plaintiffs in the case.

“We continue to demand the Aquino government to pass the indemnification bill before the year ends. We will not tolerate any more delay,” Ilagan declared. ###


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