for Martial Law victims of human rights abuses need to be through, says
Claims Board chair
MANILA, Dec. 12 -- The reparations process for the victims of human
rights violations during Martial Law in the Philippines need to be thorough,
Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) Chair Lina Castillo Sarmiento
She said the Human Rights Victims’ Reparations and Recognition Act, or
Republic Act 10368, is not just a law for compensation. More importantly,
this will give honor to people who sacrificed and showed heroism during this
dark period in the nation’s history.
It is also the first of its kind in Asia, Sarmiento said recently during the
Kapihan sa Media ng Bayan on human rights under the Aquino Administration.
“Because this is the very first reparations process in this part of the
globe, in Asia, many are observing us and this may become a model that is
why we want it to be apt,” she said.
(Dahil ito ang pinakaunang reparations process in this part of the globe, sa
Asya ito ang pinaka-una, kaya maraming nakatingin sa atin at maraming gagaya
sa atin kaya’t gusto naman nating ayusin.)
Sarmiento explained the process the claimant has to go through before
claiming the reparation.
First, applicants must personally submit their application together with an
affidavit narrating the human rights violations that happened to them during
The application form and the affidavit shall come with other documents such
as release papers if detained, decision papers if they were charged and
tried in a military court or news clippings.
“If these are not available, the Board allowed them to secure an affidavit
from two persons who witnessed the abuse that happened to the claimant,”
Then, when the application form and the needed documents are submitted to
the HRVCB, the Board will take the picture and signature of the applicant
and all of these will be converted in to digital form.
After this, the claimant will receive an acknowledgement receipt, together
with their picture, signature and docket number.
Sarmiento clarified that it is not a certainty that they will receive
reparation but it will serve as a proof that their application was received
by the HRVCB.
If the claimant is already dead, his/her heir may submit the requirements.
If the heir has siblings or other relatives, he/she should have a special
power of attorney which states that he/she is the designated representative,
the HRVCB chair added.
Second, the secretariat will thoroughly examine all the applications and
make sure that all of their testimonies match with their submitted
Third, the application papers will go through the HRVCB divisions. The board
is composed of three divisions and each divisions has three board members.
This is where the claims will be judged if it is in line with the criteria
required by the law.
The law says that the human rights violation should have occurred a 1 month
before 21 September 1972 or 1 month after 25 February 1986 and that the
perpetrator should be a state agent.
RA 10368 also enumerated the human rights violations they can accept with
corresponding points while the monetary equivalent will be decided by the
Sarmiento said, “The law clearly states that 10 points will be given to
those who died or enforced to disappear. Then 6-9 points for those who were
tortured and 3-5 points for the detained. Those who were involuntarily
exiled or their business were seized or other analogous human rights
violations will be given 1-2 points.”
Then, the Board will get the total points given to all the cases which will
be the divisor of the Php 10 billion allotted for the reparations, which was
sourced from the funds transferred to the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines by virtue of the 10 December 1997 Order of the Swiss Federal
Supreme Court, and adjudged as Marcos ill-gotten wealth.
After the Board has their resolution in all the cases, the claimants;
whether approved or denied, will receive the decision papers which state the
verdict of the Board, the evidence presented, how it was resolved and its
Then the HRVCB will publicize all the names of the claimants in all the
newspapers, once a week for three consecutive weeks.
Ten days after it was published, applicants who were denied or given with
points they think they did not deserve can oppose the decision of the Board
while the public can counter the result 15 days after.
RA 10368 also provides non-monetary reparation such as psycho-social
services, health services and others, which will be given by various
Sarmiento was guest at the Kapihan sa Media ng Bayan yesterday. Kapihan airs
live every Friday over Radyo ng Bayan DZRB 738 AM from 10am to 11am, and
delayed telecast over PTV4 from 7 pm to 8pm, and IBC 13 from 10.30 to 11.30
pm. (Andrea Lynne Reposo/Media ng Bayan Operations Center)