Human Rights Reparation Law inked-A A +A
Monday, February 25, 2013
MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III signed Monday the Republic Act (RA) 10368, or the "Human Rights Reparation Act," highlighting the peaceful 27th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution.
"(In the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution) Pinatunayan nating kayang magtipon ng Pilipino; kaya nating magtulungan; kaya nating magtaya ng buhay para sa isa’t isa. Sa Edsa, inisip natin ang kapakanan ng bayan at ng kapwa, bago ang sariling interes," the President said in his speech at the Edsa People Power monument in Quezon City.
"Makalipas po ang 27 taon, matapos nating labanan at wakasan ang diktadurya, muli tayong nagtitipon sa mismong pook na ito kung saan nakamtan natin ang tagumpay," he said.
In recognition of the sufferings of Filipinos during Martial Law, President Aquino said he is signing RA 10368.
More than ever, the President said there is a need to instill in the hearts and minds of every Filipino that the fight for our country's freedom does not end there.
"Mulat po ako: may kakaharapin pa tayong mga suliranin, at hindi pa rin nga po nauubos ang mga balakid sa ating tuwid na daan. Malinaw po, nariyan pa rin ang mga nakinabang sa nakaraang status quo. Kung madadapa po tayo, kung bibitaw tayo sa isa’t isa, kung magpapadaig tayo sa tukso ng pagkakanya-kanya -- tiyak na sasalisi sila at magsasamantala," he noted.
"Kaya nga po, ngayong nakatindig na muli tayo sa ating dalawang paa, sama-sama naman tayong humakbang pasulong sa tuluyang pag-asenso. Ang rebolusyong nagsauli ng demokrasya ay siya ring inspirasyon natin ngayon upang idiretso ang pag-asenso’t pag-arangkada. Araw-araw po nating ipagdiwang ang dangal ng isang lahing hindi na muling babagsak, hindi na muling magpapaapi, hindi na lamang basta makukuntento sa kultura ng pagbangon; araw-araw po nating isapuso ang bagong kultura ng walang-dalawang-isip, walang-atubili, at walang-takot na pagsulong. Iyan po ang aral na handog sa atin ng Edsa," he said.
The signing of RA 10368, a P10-billion fund, which will be taken from the recovered Swiss bank accounts of the Marcoses, was appropriated for the human rights victims’ reparation.
A Human Rights Victims Compensation Board will also be created to accept and evaluate applications for monetary reparation.
It will use a point system to determine the amount of compensation for a victim depending on the victim's experience.
Under the points system, victims who died or who disappeared and are still missing shall be given 10 points.
Those who were tortured and/or raped or sexually abused shall be given from six to nine points.
On the other hand, those who were detained will be given from three to five points while those whose rights were violated shall be given one to two points.
Apart from the reparations, one of the most important aspects of the new law is the creation of the "Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission."
The Commission is mandated to work with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education for the teaching in schools of the abuses inflicted on the opponents of the dictatorship and the heroism of those who fought the Marcos regime.
Malacanang earlier said although President Aquino’s family endured hardships during the martial law period, they will not be seeking reparation under the new law.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. earlier said the signing of Human Rights Reparation Act demonstrates the government’s determination to render justice for martial law oppression victims.
"This is part of building institutional memory on our people’s desire to strengthen democratic structures and processes," he said. (PNA/Sunnex)