Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday filed his application for compensation for being a victim of Martial Law abuses and urged other victims do the same.
“I call on my fellow detainees and human rights victims during Martial Law to file their claims. It’s not the money but the recognition of the justness of our fight against tyranny and oppression,” said Binay, a human-rights lawyer during the Marcos regime.
“If now is not the time, when will it be,” he asked, quoting student activist and Martial Law detainee Abraham Sarmiento Jr.
The Vice President said he will file a claim and will use whatever amount that will be awarded him to set up a fund to assist children of Martial Law victims.
“This is but a continuation of the assistance we provided to human rights victims four decades ago,” he said.
The Vice President provided free legal assistance to political detainees during Martial Law.
He was arrested and detained at the Ipil Rehabilitation Center.
Binay also helped found the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (Mabini), a group of progressive lawyers that included former senators Lorenzo Tañada, Wigberto Tañada, Rene Saguisag and Joker Arroyo.
According to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board has set the period for the filing of applications from May 12 to November 1, 2014.
Any victim who does not file a claim within this period will be deemed to have waived his or her right to be compensated.
Under RA 10368, victims of human rights violations committed from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 are eligible to file for compensation.
Victims of human rights violations committed one month before or one month after the prescribed period are also eligible to file for claims, provided they can prove that the violation was committed.
No fee is required to file the claim, but applying in person was mandatory.
Legal heirs or authorized representatives of those who were killed, died, incapacitated or disappeared during Martial Law may also file claims on behalf of the victims.
The government has set aside some P10 billion specifically for the compensation of the human rights victims.
The Vice President previously said the signing into law of RA 10368 “is not only our way of recognizing their sacrifices, but of reminding ourselves of the tyranny that made their struggle justified, a tyranny that must not be repeated.”