Human rights board says only 15 pct of 75,000 claims approved


Posted at Mar 06 2018 09:22 PM

Victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime stage a picket in front of the Martial Law Victims Claims board on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- A total of 10,616 claims for monetary reparation has been approved by the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board for martial law victims, its chairperson said Tuesday.

The independent board has only until May 12 this year to distribute the remainder of the P10 billion from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Swiss bank deposits, recovered by the Philippine government, before the board gets dissolved.

Sarmiento said a total of 75,730 people sought compensation from the board but only nearly 15 percent got approved. 

The board may approve more claims until May 12.

She, however, noted that rejected claimants and anyone who dissents with the board's decision can file a complaint.

"Anybody who feels that the claimant who has been approved does not deserve to be approved can file an opposition," she said.

Sarmiento explained that rejected claimants were unable to prove that they suffered abuses under the Marcos regime since the board relies on evidence in assessing claims.

"There might be claims that were denied but it's because the claimants were not able to prove that they were victims; then we really cannot do anything but to deny," she said.

She added that if the board was given more time, it could have done more extensive research on the claims.

"Perhaps, if we have more time we could interview each one of them...But because of limited time, we already have to contend with what we have, [the] documentation during that period," she said.

"I think one of the reasons for the enactment of the law is to honor the sacrifices of the Filipino people at the time."