Board releases P12M cash cards to martial law victims

MONETARY REPARATION. Mamerta Osorio, already in her 80s, receives monetary reparation from the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board in Davao City on Saturday (13 May 2017) for her late husband Amando, a human rights abuse victim under Martial Law. Members of the Philippine Constabulary illegally arrested and detained Amando, a farmer, in 1981 on charges that he was a rebel. While in detention, government agents burned down their house in Mudiang, Tibungco, Davao City. Amando's brothers Ebilio and Margarito were
MONETARY REPARATION. Mamerta Osorio, already in her 80s, receives monetary reparation from the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board in Davao City on Saturday (13 May 2017) for her late husband Amando, a human rights abuse victim under Martial Law. Members of the Philippine Constabulary illegally arrested and detained Amando, a farmer, in 1981 on charges that he was a rebel. While in detention, government agents burned down their house in Mudiang, Tibungco, Davao City. Amando's brothers Ebilio and Margarito were "salvaged" (summarily executed) in the public cemetery of Tibungco during Martial Law. MindaNews photo by Manman Dejeto

Over 400 human rights violation victims from Davao Region received cash cards distributed by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) on Saturday.

According to Lina Sarmiento, Chairperson of HRVCB, the 474 claimants from Region 11 are included in the list of the first 4,000 eligible claimants nationwide out of over 74,000 claims submitted for human rights violation during the martial law period.

Some 141 of the total claimants in the region received P12.9 million.

“Ito sila yung mga biktima ng pag-abuso ng karapatang pantao noong martial law. Ngayon, magbibigay tayo ng cash cards. Cash cards ang ibig sabihin noon, may accounts na sila sa Landbank. Ayon sa mga puntos na naibigay sa kanila ng board,” said Sarmiento on an interview.

The beneficiaries ranged from late 50s to their 80s, with some on wheelchairs. Others are relatives of dead victims.

Sarmiento said that the cash cards are distributed in accordance to Republic Act 10368 or “An act providing for reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime, documentation of said violations, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes.”

She also divulged that according to the law, there is a point system by which the basis of the amount of reparation to be received by a claimant will be determined.

“Ayon sa batas, mayroon tayong 1-10 points. Halimbawa, 10 points kapag namatay yung kamag-anak at di pa nakita yung katawan. Kapag na torture, 6-9 points. Kapag nakulong, 3-5 points. Kapag ibang violation, kapag kinuha ang negosyo, kinuha ari-arian, nangibang bansa dahil sa takot, 1-2 points.”

Furthermore, Sarmiento clarified that the amount they are releasing are only partial because according to the law, the total amount of reparation of a claimant would only be determined if the decision of the remaining 70,000 claims would be finalized.

“Hindi pa tapos ang 70,000 claims so gumawa kami ng estimate na value ng 1 point which is 25,000. And since ito ay advance muna at hindi pa alam magkano talaga ang makukuha nila, we will give them 50 per cent of the estimated award.”

Human rights victims who have applied for the monetary reparation were validated by their submitted affidavit supported by other documentary evidences like release papers, court decisions, news clippings and some have witnesses who could testify for their experiences.

The HRVCB has received over 74,000 claims when they called for applications from May 12, 2014 until May 30, 2015.