February 14, 2014

Almost one year after BS Aquino signed the Human Rights Victims Reparations and Recognition Act, he has composed the Human Rights Victims Claims Board, has appointed a female two-star general to head the Board, and has significantly snubbed the nominees to the Board proposed by SELDA, the original claimants organization that filed the class suit against the Marcos estate!

This gross insensitivity and arrogance of this president once again proves the low priority that he gives to human rights, that he cannot even rise above his aversion for activists critical of his administration to do the right thing and appoint representatives from the original claimants and victims themselves. Instead he chooses to head the Board with someone from the very institution accused of committing human rights violations and to fill the other slots with people known to have the same dislike for national democratic activists. We challenge the Human Rights Claims Board to rise over its partisanship and to do right by the majority of victims and claimants who are represented by SELDA.

Human rights violations continue under the Aquino administration. It is not only this long delay in the implementation of the law and now questionable composition of the Claims Board. Illegal detention, torture, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances have continued under the P-Noy regime. Many of the victims are indigenous leaders asserting their land rights against large-scale destructive mining and the plunder of the nation’s patrimony and environment. Ongoing militarization of the countrysides in implementation of Oplan Bayanihan has caused the evacuation of communities and the violation of civilian rights. The Philippine government has arbitrarily suspended the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

As long as human rights violations continue, SELDA–Northern Luzon will continue to speak up and assert our human rights.
Assert legitimate martial law victims claims to reparation and recognition!
Free all political prisoners!

Reference: Joanna K. Cariño, SELDA Northern Luzon chairperson 09394549608

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