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CHR works out 1972 Martial Law human rights violations claims

A copy of Daily Express dated September 23, 1972 headlines "FM declares Martial Law."
A copy of Daily Express dated September 23, 1972 headlines “FM declares Martial Law.”

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) are working out compensation claims for nearly 75,000 claimants affected by the Martial Law Declaration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.

CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said this in an interview with DZRH News through “Arangkada Balita” anchored by Neil Ocampo on Monday morning.

Gascon’s statement is in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law wherein many people were reportedly victimized by law enforcers.

“Yung kasong pagbayad ng danyos-perwisyo, naipanalo yan sa mga US court para ibayad sa 75,000 nagsampa ng kaso (The damage claims have been won in the United States courts for the 75,000 claimants),” Gascon said.

He said claims must be accompanied by substantial amount of evidence such as sworn statements, newspaper articles, narratives and copies of release papers to prove their authenticity.

Gascon, also a member of the HRVCB said fact-finding teams are deployed to gather more information. They are also looking into reports that some lawyers had advised their clients to file claims even if they were not actual martial law victims.

If found legitimate, claimants will undergo individual assessment to determine the weight of violation they received through a point system ranging from 1 to 10, said Gascon.

Those that were illegally detained will range from points three to 5; 15 days and below as three, 16 days to six months as four and six months and above as five points. Other minor human violation will receive the least points.

The HRVCB will then based the amount of money that a victim will receive through the assessment identified for them together with the evidence they submitted.

Gascon said a P10-billion fund from the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the late President Ferdinand Marcos that was transferred to the government from a Swiss account will be distributed to the plaintiffs once evaluation is done.

Aside from monetary compensation, victims will also receive a certification of their gallantry and sacrifice under the dictatorial government, he added. (Joel C. Atencio)

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