Press Release
February 25, 2013


The signing of the reparation law, which will provide P10 billion in compensation to human rights victims of martial law, gives true meaning to the celebration of the 27th anniversary of the Edsa revolt, Senator Chiz Escudero said.

The law aside from providing financial compensation, also more significantly provides recognition to Filipinos who suffered under the martial rule of Marcos.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, sponsored the measure, known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2012.

The signing of the law during the People Power revolt festivities was fitting since the events of 1986 that led to the ouster of Marcos and Cory Aquino's ascendance to the presidency marked the beginning of the rendering of justice for martial law victims, Escudero noted.

"While it took all of 27 years for the state to finally recognize the atrocities it inflicted on Filipinos whose democratic rights were suppressed under Marcos, the compensation law seeks to give justice to victims of the dark days of oppression and hopefully give an assurance that it will not happen again," Escudero said.

Under the law, the amount of compensation to be awarded to the victims is proportionate to the gravity of the offense inflicted on them through a point system that is a basic component of the law.

Victims who died or who disappeared are given 10 points, while those tortured and, or sexually abused gets from six to nine points, for instance.

Political detainees get from three to five points while those who can prove that their rights were violated under the Act are awarded from one to two points.

Escudero noted that the Marcos compensation law is unique since it is the first time that a state recognizes a previous administration's abuse on its citizens through reparation and recognition.

He said the recognition given under the law provides victims of martial law who do not need financial compensation the rendering of justice from the state.

"The expanded coverage of the law includes not only monetary compensation but also non-monetary benefits such as social and psychological assistance on victims of atrocities through different concerned government agencies. Instead of merely calling it compensation bill, we now call it the reparation bill," Escudero said.

The law also created a Human Rights Claim Board from where a victim of human rights violation during the Marcos regime is qualified to file a claim as stated in section 16 of the Act.

Also under the law all those involved in the class and direct action suit in Hawaii against Marcos and all victims recognized by the Bantayog Ng Mga Bayani Foundation were accorded the same conclusive presumption of being human rights victims defined under the law.

"Conclusive presumption means that any person who has secured or can secure a favorable judgment or award of damages from any court in the country arising from human-rights violation shall be considered conclusively as a victim without need of further proof," Escudero said.

Those who will seek relief through the law for the first time may claim compensation under section 18 which states that "the Board may take judicial notice motu propio of individual persons who suffered human rights violations."

The compensations will come from a P10-billion fund held in escrow, plus accrued interest, which was part of the amount transferred to the Philippine government by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court as part of the billions of pesos the Marcoses were suspected to have stashed abroad.

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