Martial law victims march to Palace, Senate

Dennis Carcamo | Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Members of a rights group on Monday marched to the historic Don Chino Roces Bridge near Malacañang to demand from the Aquino administration the indemnification of the victims of rights violations during the imposition of Martial law 40 years ago by the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Members of the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) also scored President Benigno Aquino III’s government for alleged negligence, resulting to unmonitored withdrawals from the account of Imelda Marcos’ account at the Philippine Veterans Bank.

The P36.55 million Marcos ill-gotten wealth under the name of Mrs. Marcos, has shrunk to a little over P1 million despite the garnishment order by the Sandiganbayan, SELDA said.

Earlier in August, martial law victims suffered another setback after the Singapore Court ruled to award the $23 million Marcos ill-gotten wealth to the Lucio Tan-led Philippine National Bank. Tan is a known Marcos crony.

“We take on Mendiola once again just like 40 years ago so that the son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino [would] hear and know that we are still here and that 40 is not just a number to remember, but also a reminder of the length of time we have been fighting impunity and for the attainment of justice,” Selda chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said.

“All we get from the Aquino government are reports of failure after failure,” Enriquez added.

Selda also scored the state of the indemnification bill at the Senate.

“Inaamag na ata ito sa Senado,” Selda board member Trinidad Herrera said.

From the Don Chino Roces Bridge, the group marched to the Senate in Pasay City and held a noise barrage.

“Our senators should remember that they owe us a law that should have been implemented by now. What are they waiting for, another 40 years?” Herrera said.

The Senate Committee on Human Rights reported that it’s still completing the signatories to the bill before bringing it to the plenary.

The bill has been pending in Congress since 1997.

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