The Human Rights Violations (HRV) Claims Board—created under the Marcos compensation law to provide P10 billion worth of financial remuneration for victims of martial law atrocities such as summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture, among others—will be in office for another two years.
The extension under House Bill (HB) 6412 was approved by the House of Representatives, via a 127-7 vote.
HB 6412 amends the Marcos compensation law on third and final reading on Monday.
The claims board has sole jurisdiction in determining whether a claimant is a human rights violations victim, unless he or she already enjoys the conclusive presumption extended by the law to plaintiffs in the class suit adjudicated by the US Federal District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii against the estate of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and those acknowledged as human rights violation victims by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, as well as validating the amounts to be granted to all claimants relative to the severity of the atrocities they suffered and in accordance with a point system.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) earlier expressed its support for HB 6412, pointing out that the number of claims filed before the HRV Claims Board more than tripled at 75,730, compared with the expected 20,000 cases.
“If we do not extend [the claims board’s]life, we won’t know what to do next. We can’t make the victims wait for too long,” CHR Chairman Jose Gascon earlier told the House human rights committee.
Gascon was referring to 75,730 claims.
Of this number, the board is only expected to finish processing of 15,000 claims by the end of January.
The Marcos compensation law is the lone Philippine law that makes late President Marcos and his family accountable for the human rights violations committed during his rule.
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto or Selda, however, opposes the measure because of fear that its member-claimants would die because of the extended waiting time before their claims are processed and they are given due monetary compensation.