MANILA, Philippines – They all became victims of human rights abuses when Martial Law was imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos starting in 1972. And on Monday, May 8, these 311 individuals will receive compensation from the government for the abuses they had suffered during the Marcos regime.
They are the first batch of human rights claimants based in Metro Manila who will receive reparation from the Duterte administration, representing just close to 8 percent of the 4,000 claimants declared eligible so far by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB).
The board is an independent, quasi-judicial body created during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to recognize Martial Law victims and provide them with compensation.
The schedule of payments for the rest of the rights victims based in the provinces will later be scheduled by the HRVCB.
The 4,000 victims, meanwhile, are just 5 percent of the total 75,730 individuals who had filed claims as kin of victims or as victims themselves. As of January, the HRVCB had processed less than half or 30,027 of the claims.
“President Duterte supports the welfare of all, not the least of which are the victims of human rights violations during the martial law years,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Monday.
He said Duterte had directed the HRBCV “to speed up the process of evaluating and releasing the claims of Martial law victims.”
The claimants will receive monthly reparation payments through cash cards that will be issued to them by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Among the first 311 claimants are activists during the Marcos regime, who until now continue campaigning for political and social change in the country, including those who remain as political detainees. They include:
Judy Marigomen Taguiwalo — current secretary of the Department of Social Work and Development and former professor at the University of the Philippines, who was detained while pregnant and sexually abused during Martial Law.
Benito Enriquez Tiamzon and wife Wilma Austria Tiamzon — detained chairman and secretary-general respectively of the Communist Party of the Philippines
Carol Pagaduan-Araullo — chair of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Edita Tronqued-Burgos — mother of activist-farmer Jonas Burgos, who has gone missing for the last 10 years
Ramon Casiple — political analyst and executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform
Neri Javier Colmenares –- human rights lawyer and former Bayan Muna representative
Randall Barber Echanis –- political detainee and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas deputy secretary general and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant
Bonifacio Parabuac Ilagan –- writer and vice-chair of the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto or Selda
Florentino Alabata Iniego Jr. –- activist-professor at the University of the Philippines’ Departmento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas
Vicente Portades Ladlad –- political detained and NDFP consultant
Loretta Ann Paragas Rosales –- former chair of the Commission on Human Rights and Akbayan representative, who is now chair emeritus of the Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party
Aida Santos Maranan — co-founder of feminist organization WedPro, Inc. and Katipunan ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan
Roland Guanlao Simbulan — professor in Development Studies and Public Management at the University of the Philippines, who specializes in Philippine-US relations
Antonio Alesna Tujan Jr. — one of the founders of IBON Research Foundation and serves as its director for international development. He is also the chairman of the Asia Pacific Research Network and a member of the advisory group of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum
Also included in the first batch of claimants are journalist Ma. Ceres Peralta Doyo; Ramon Reinoso Isberto, the public affairs head of PLDT and Smart Communications; former senator Heherson Turingan Alvarez; and Rogelio “Roger Bomba” Arienda, now a pastor and was a fiery radio commentator during the Marcos regime.
SEE LIST OF FIRST BATCH OF ELIGIBLE CLAIMANTS HERE.
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SEE LIST OF ALL 4,000 ELIGIBLE CLAIMANTS HERE.