Denied HR claimants to petition Congress to amend Reparations Law, RA 10638 | BICOL TODAY

Denied HR claimants to petition Congress to amend Reparations Law, RA 10638

By Joey Natividad

TIGAON, Camarines Sur – Human rights claimants, who were denied by the HR Claims Board for recognition and reparation, are organizing themselves to petition Congress for extension of the law, RA. 10638, the law granting recognition and reparation to victims of human rights violations during the Marcos Regime.

The denied claimants also want to amend the law, which has granted monetary reparations to victims of detention and torture, to include victims who fall under “grey areas” of human rights violations, such as, those who had been threatened with death and body harm but were “not legally tortured” as defined by the anti-torture law, those who were illegally detained but released overnight falling short from the 3 -day rule legally considered as “detention”, and those were subjected to illegal arrest, but later released after a day or two.

These plight suffered by claimants having been denied by the Board have touched the heart of successful claimant Norma F. Payacag of Tigaon, Camarines Sur, who decided to organize unsuccessful claimants into a convincing group who will lobby hard among lawmakers for amendment of RA 10638, and “redefining” the victims of human rights violations to include the more than 65,000 applicants who were denied.

Payacag, whose husband Willy was granted his rightful claim on May this year and died recently due to lingering illness, has initiated moves in organizing the claimants.

“I have met with claimants in Sorsogon, Ragay (Camarines Sur), and next month in Legazpi City, to organize the claimants who were denied,” said Payacag, during a meeting Friday with other claimants in Tigaon.

Payacag said she has been contacted by countless people, even in Davao and Mindanao areas, in her Facebook account appealing for help and how to organize themselves.

Payacag has been a day-care worker, bookkeeper, and sales agent after finishing her studies at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City.

The Human Rights Claims Board has granted monetary reparations only to some 11,000 claimants out of the 75,000 victims who filed for reparations. The law expired on May 2018, with many claims still unprocessed and under-processed owing to lack of time.

Stories of frustration and pain were aired by denied claimants who suffered the brunt of military abuses unleashed during the Marcos dictatorship of strongman rule and repression, but were denied by the HR Claims Board owing to some legal technicalities that required for “living witnesses and evidences” which are presumed to be available after 42 years, starting from the law’s coverage on 1972 incidents, until 2014 when the law was enacted for filing of claims.

But, in most cases, “living witnesses and evidences to prove for human rights abuses and violations” are no longer available after 42 years, leaving many victims in the dark for reparations. []

Posted by on August 19, 2018. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.