• Bicol human rights abuse victims get paychecks

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    LEGAZPI CITY: Myrna Gallardo of Sorsogon said she was at the Commission on Human Rights Bicol office as early as 4 a.m. on Monday with other claimants from the six provinces of the region.

    She is a daughter of a human right abuse victim during the Martial Law and one of the recipients of the human rights abuse compensation.

    Gallardo said in an interview Monday that this is the second time she will receive a compensation check from the CHR office in Bicol.

    About 400 victims of human rights abuse trooped Monday at the CHR Bicol office here to receive P50,000 each as compensation for the abuses they or their relatives suffered during the Martial Law days, said Lawyer Karen Gomez-Dumpit, CHR director for government linkages.

    Some P19.3 million is ready to be given on Monday and Tuesday to 387 victims of human rights abuses in Bicol during the Martial Law regime as their share of a court-ordered settlement arising from a class suit filed in the United States against the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    Dumpit said in a phone interview that the beneficiaries will receive P50,000 each as part of the second tranche arising from the US settlement, whose funding was given by a British multi-millionaire who bought the Monet painting from Vilma Bautista, social secretary of former First Lady Imelda Marcos who is now a member of the House of Representatives.

    She said the P19.3 million is part of the settlement of a billion-peso class suit filed in 1987 under the United States of America Alien Torts Claims Act (ATCA).

    ATCA grants jurisdiction to US Federal Courts over any civil action by an alien for tort only, committed in violation of a law of a nation or a treaty of the United States.

    Dumpit said the amount distributed on Monday is the second tranche of reparation. The first tranche of compensation amounted to P43,000 each or a total of P16.6 million and was distributed in 2012.

    The CHR official warned the public of a syndicate out to deceive other prospective claimants of inclusion of their names in the list of beneficiaries in exchange for a fee.

    Other modus operandi of the syndicate include advising the beneficiaries who have received the compensation that their names would be removed from the list if they would not come across.

    Dumpit claimed that the names of beneficiaries have been processed by the court and once the list has been prepared it will never be changed. So far, there are 10,000 names of beneficiaries in the list, she added.

    PNA

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