MANILA, Philippines - Human rights group Claimants 1081 wants the eventual disposal of the sets of jewelry seized from former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
Lawyer Rod Domingo, who represents the claimants says the planned exhibit or display of Marcos' jewelry may attract international attention but eventually it must be sold so that proceeds can be used by the Philippine government.
According to Domingo, government must focus more on the compensation bill now that the claimants have waited for 40 years since Martial Law was declared in 1972.
Domingo's group cannot understand why the government continues to be so slow in pushing for the passage of the bill which is one of the conditions for the release of the $783 million held in escrow in the Philippine National Bank.
As the 40th anniviversary of Martial Law on September 21, Domingo says it is ironic that the PCGG, the government agency tasked to run after the ill-gotten wealth of Marcoses, is the same agency that opposes the claims of the human rights victims.
Claimants 1081 chairman Roland Abiog on the other hand wants the jewelry displayed but it must emphasize the ostentatious display of wealth of the Marcoses during the Martial Law years.
Abiog calls on the government to teach the younger generation about the abuses of the Martial Law regime. Abiog feels that the current generation no longer appreciates the struggles of the victims of human rights violation during that time.
According to Abiog, the Department of Education or Commission on Higher Education must include in the textbooks a thorough discussion of the abuses of the dictatorship during the Martial Law years so that the younger generation remembers history.
Domingo has lamented that many of the Marcoses are now in power and even Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is aiming for higher post.