reparation bill ratified
By Office of Senator Chiz
January 28, 2013
PASAY CITY –
After close to 20 years, victims of human rights abuses under the
Marcos regime can finally claim compensation and reparation from the
Senator Chiz Escudero
announced that the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act
of 2012 was finally approved by both chambers of Congress. The bill
will now be transmitted to Malacanang for the signature of President
Benigno Aquino III.
“This is a first of such
human rights legislation in the world where a state recognizes a
previous administration’s fault against its own people and not only
provides for, but also actually appropriates for reparation,” the
Escudero, chairman of the
Senate committee on justice and human rights, sponsored the measure.
The bill stipulates that a
human rights violation victim (HRVV) during the regime of the late
strongman Ferdinand Marcos is now qualified to file a claim with the
Human Rights Claim Board for reparation and/or recognition, as stated
in Section 16 of the Act.
“The bicameral conference
committee was able to thresh out contentious issues last week. We also
expanded the coverage of the bill that includes not only monetary
compensation but also non-monetary benefits to include social and
psychological assistance coming from different concerned government
agencies. Therefore, instead of merely calling it compensation bill,
we now call it the reparation bill,” Escudero explained.
He said all claimants in the
class suit and direct action plaintiffs in Hawaii, and all victims
recognized by the Bantayog Ng Mga Bayani Foundation shall now be
accorded the same conclusive presumption that they are HRVVs.
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.
On the other hand, those who
are not recognized by both entities above 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.”
A P10-billion fund, plus
accrued interest, has been set aside and appropriated to fund the
claims. The amount is part of the funds transferred to the Philippine
Government by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is now held in
Escudero said the amount of
compensation shall be proportionate to the gravity of the offense
committed. The Board, he says shall follow the point system in the
determination of the award.
Victims who died or who
disappeared and are still missing shall be given 10 points. Those who
were tortured and/or raped or sexually abused shall be given from six
to nine points.
Those who were detained will
be given from three to five points while those whose rights were
violated under the Act shall be given one to two points.
The Act provides for a work
period of two (2) years from the affectivity of the Implementing Rules
and Regulations (IRR) for the Board to complete its mandate.