A WEEK after the beginning of check distributionof checks for martial law victims, the Samahan ng ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) reiterates his call to include the more than 3,000 delisted members of the class suit who will not receive compensation in the the third settlement agreement on Marcos’s ill-gotten wealth.
Having about one-third of victims who will not receive compensation is a huge difference to the original number of claimants deserving and eligible of compensation.
Only an estimated 6,500 members of the Hawaii class suit will receive $1,500 each, or P78,000 in the new round of distribution, when there were originally 9,539 class suit members who filed and won the case against the Marcoses in Hawaii.
Selda has raised the delisting issue since the first round of compensation from settlement agreements way back in 2011, noting that the number of claimants expected to receive compensation are going down on each tranche.
The class suit against the Marcoses was filed and won, a proof that they have a record of massive human rights violations, plunder and corruption, all crimes against the people. Eligibility should not be a question anymore. What should be addressed is how all victims will be reached to be able to receive compensation.
There are even victims who are publicly known as martial law survivors, and have repeatedly shared their stories and testimonies, but have not received a single compensation from the three settlement agreements.
An example of which is Bonifacio Ilagan, who was jailed and tortured during martial law. His sister, Rizalina, was abducted and has been a desaparecido since. Also delisted in the Hawaii case were former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, former DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) chairperson Carol Araullo.
They are known individuals who suffered rights abuses under the Marcos dictatorship, and yet they were denied compensation. They have never received a single compensation from the three settlement agreements. What more those who are unknown, live in far-flung areas and who do not have the means to assert their rights as victims?
Selda has documented around 130 persons who were delisted as original members of the Hawaii class suit. The group continues to re-establish connections and communications with those who were delisted from the class suit.
This is a far from the 3,000 delisted class suit members, and yet they prove that members who remain victims should be granted compensation. This runs contrary to the claims that the delisted members were nowhere to be found.
While lists and matrices that proliferate now include almost everybody, the class suit list goes the other way around as legitimate victims were stricken out one by one. The number of victims who will receive compensation is always more important than the amount to be received individually, because the number of victims. (By Danilo dela Fuente, vice chairperson, Selda)