Solon renews push for bill recognizing Martial Law survivors

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A LAWMAKER on Wednesday pushed the passage of a bill that seeks to pay back martial law victims who were denied benefits under an old law for lack of evidence.   

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Danniel A. Manuel, who led the filing of House Bill 3505 or the New Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2022 in August, reiterated his call for the passage of the measure following reported death threats received by Martial Law survivor and playwright Bonifacio P. Ilagan.  

“Martial Law survivors serve as living proof of our country’s dark history under the Marcos Sr. dictatorship. Because they cannot kill the truth, they target its survivors as well as those who are telling their stories to the next generation,” Mr. Manuel said in a statement.   

The proposed law seeks to recognize victims of human rights violations under the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., father and namesake of the current Philippine president.   

“Disinformation and redtagging caused the recent death threats against Ka Boni,” Mr. Manuel said in Filipino.  

The bill was filed to fill in the limitations of Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.  

Under that law, “75,000 applicants filed their claims, but only 11,103 were approved and duly recognized by the Human Rights Victims Claims Board until the board became functus officio on May 12, 2018,” the bill’s explanatory note said. 

The bill proposes the creation of a Human Rights Violation Victims’ Recognition and Reparation Board, which will assess and approve applications to be legally recognized as a human rights violations victim.  

The bill is pending at the House committee on human rights. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz