11,000 Martial Law victims to get compensation

Christian Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 09 2018 12:21 PM | Updated as of May 09 2018 12:33 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 11,103 victims of human rights violations under Ferdinand Marcos are set to receive indemnification as the government’s claims board wraps up its work this Saturday.

The number represents only 14 percent of the total 75,749 claims filed because the rest failed to submit "substantial evidence" required by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, its chairwoman Lina Sarmiento said Wednesday. 

“Kahit nakakabagbag-damdamin ang kwento ng affiant o ng claimant, kung walang ebidensya, wala kaming magagawa,” she said in a press conference.

Claimants will get their compensation from Marcos’ secret Swiss bank deposits worth 10 billion pesos.

The amount of indemnification is based on the gravity of abuse suffered by victims. 

A maximum of 10 points worth P1.76 million are assigned for those who were killed or victims of enforced disappearance, Sarmiento said.

Despite the tight deadline, she said some surviving family members were yet to decide who among them should receive the amounts to be released by the board through Landbank. 

“We have to solve this by Friday... Isa lang dapat makausap namin,” she said, warning that unclaimed compensation would be sent to the national treasury. 

“We no longer have the authority to transact business with anyone starting Monday because the board is closed. It does not exist anymore starting May 13, 2018.”

An initial batch of 4,000 claimants received minimum amounts last year, after human rights groups pressured Malacañang and the board to expedite adjudication.

Among them were top communist party leaders such as Jose Maria Sison, who has been on self-exile in The Netherlands since the late 80s.