Expect campaigning during EDSA commemoration

by Ira Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 24 2013 01:35 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2013 10:48 PM

PNoy to sign reparation bill for HR victims

MANILA, Philippines -- It could also become one big campaign sortie during the celebration of the 27th anniversary of the People Power on Monday.

Asked if the commemoration would become a venue for candidates to campaign for the May polls, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told radio dzRB that the EDSA anniversary "is for everybody. All walks of life can come together to push for one singular aspiration."

While no one can really know what will happen during the festivities, Valte said “you can’t stop anyone from joining.”

President Benigno Aquino III will lead the flag-raising ceremony tomorrow at the People Power Monument in EDSA at around 7:50 a.m.

It will be a historic event since he will also sign the Human Rights Victim Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which will grant to human rights victims the P10 billion ill gotten wealth recovered from the Marcoses.

The bill creates the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, an independent and quasi-judicial body tasked with receiving, evaluating, processing and investigating the applications for monetary compensation.

Aquino will choose nine members, most likely human rights victims themselves.

The board will then draw up a “Roll of Human Rights Victims,” whether they will seek reparation or not. For the compensation, the board will then use a point system depending on the severity of the abuses received during the Marcos years.

Valte asked everyone to join in the celebrations, even via the Internet by browsing through historical snippets and videos prepared by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

Only students, teachers and non-teaching personnel working in schools were given a holiday tomorrow. She clarified that those employed in the divisions, central and regional offices of the Department of Education are required to go to work along with the rest of the country.

She said the event will raise awareness among the youth, who did not see and experience the People Power Revolution, noting that the people power did not end in 1986 but “the process for laying down reforms, we’re still doing that [up to now].”

At 3:30 p.m., the Palace’s Kalayaan Hall will also be opened to the public for the “Tatak EDSA: Salo-Salubungang Pambata”.

Children from different orphanages will join the event at the Palace. There will be story-telling and children are also expected to participate in traditional Filipino games like piko, patintero and tumbang preso.