Press Release
November 20, 2012



Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III has filed Senate Bill No. 3330 that seeks to compensate the victims of human rights violations committed during the martial law era.

"The proposed measure was crafted to remember one of the saddest moments in our nation's history, the martial law regime. It was during this time that Filipinos were denied the basic right of free expression and speech. Human rights violations were rampant that the citizens' eyes were shut, mouths gagged, and spirits crushed. Never again that these atrocities should be repeated in the future," Sen. Guingona said.

In his explanatory note, Sen. Guingona said that in passing this bill into law, "the State seeks to recognize the faces behind the numbers and the pains that provided the reason for decades-long battles against the abuses of the past."

Under the bill, it establishes a defined procedure for human rights victims to be granted compensation under the law. It likewise seeks to define human rights violations in the context of the Marcos authoritarian regime.

SBN 3330 also seeks to document the various facets of human rights violations during the martial law era and to recognize the victims of such violations.

As a source of compensation, the bill identified that funds transferred to the Philippine government by virtue of the December 10, 1997 Order of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, adjudged by the Supreme Court of the Philippines as final and executory in Republic vs. Sandiganbayan on July 15, 2003 as Marcos ill-gotten wealth shall be the principal source of funds to compensate the human rights victims.

The amount of P10.5 billion will be set aside from the abovementioned amount to compensate the victims that will be defined by this Act. It also noted that National Government shall not withdraw or disburse such amount for any other purpose.

The bill proposes for the creation of the Human Rights Victims Compensation Board, which will be an independent board with members selected for their probity, competence and integrity.

As to the documentation of the human rights violations committed during the Marcos regime, all evidentiary proof shall be compiled by the board and the Commission on Human Rights, with the assistance of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines, and non-governmental organizations whose assistance maybe engaged for the purposes of documenting and establishing an archive of the said violations.

The compilation will be submitted to the President, the Congress of the Philippines, and the Supreme Court within two years once the bill is approved.

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