TACLOBAN CITY, March 5 (PNA) – The Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) is eyeing to complete next year the processing of claims of more than 75,000 victims of Martial Law abuses who want to get a share of the Php 10-billion compensations.
Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon said the board had processed about 15,000 cases out of 75,730 applications received from 2014 to 2015.
“On a daily basis, the board processes about 300 to 400 cases. Although the law extended the processing of claims until 2018, our target is to complete this by next year,” Gascon said.
The official said that it took time to process each claim since board had to make sure that applicants were legitimate victims of Martial Law atrocities.
“Not all those who filed will automatically receive. For legitimate claimants, the monetary reparation for each one depends on the number of approved applications and the extent of suffering of each victim. Those who were killed and forcibly disappeared will get more compensation than those who were tortured,” Gascon said.
The HRVCB, which is under the CHR, was created on Feb. 25, 2013 through Republic Act 10368 to provide reparation for the human rights victims during the martial law.
Under Section 29 of the law, the Board was given a period of May 12, 2014 to May 12, 2016 to complete its work.
The government estimated that that there were only 20,000 claimants, but the board actually received 75,730 applications from human rights victims during the authoritarian regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Senate Bill No. 3153, sponsored by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III was recently approved, extending the timetable until 2018.
The principal source of funds for the implementation of RA 10368 is the Php 10 billion, B plus accrued interest which
form part of the funds transferred to the government of the Republic of the Philippines from Switzerland by virtue of an Order of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in 1997.
This was adjudged by the Supreme Court in 2003 as final and executory as Marcos ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the Philippines government. (PNA) RMA/SARWELL Q. MENIANO