LAWMAKERS are expected to extend the period for filing of compensation claims by victims of human rights violations during the martial law regime of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
The House of Representatives indicated as much when it approved on second reading late Wednesday night Joint Resolution 16, a measure that seeks to move the November 10 deadline for the filing of the claims because of the large number of claimants.
Joint Resolution 16 was authored by Rep. Barry Gutierrez and Rep. Walden Bello, both of Akbayan party-list.
As of October 2014, the claims board had received more than 29,000 claims under the compensation law, while the expected number of claimants is at 55,000 to 90,000.
“The six-month extension was sought to allow the legitimate claimants, especially those living in far-flung areas of the country, full opportunity to file their claims with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board. We need to provide redress to the victims of human rights violations during the martial law period and ensure that they take their rightful place in our history,” Gutierrez, a lawyer, argued.
The joint resolution is set to be passed on third reading before Congress adjourns on October 29.
“With the November deadline fast approaching, it is evident that the set time frame needs to be expanded to ensure that all victims will be given their proper recognition and compensation and that no victims will be unduly cut off from their rightful claims, “ Gutierrez pointed out.
“We are happy that the leadership of the House lent its full support leading to the swift approval of the measure. This shows that the Congress is serious in its commitment to seeing justice served to the thousands of victims of martial law,” he said.