In 1992, the victims of Martial Law won a class action suit against the ousted and exiled president Ferdinand E. Marcos estate in Hawaii. It was filed by many of whom were organized under the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA).
Several other cases were filed against identified perpetrators of the many atrocities and human rights abuses during martial law but according to SELDA there has been no convictions of these perpetrators. Nor did any president or regimes after the dictatorship seriously go after Marcos and his henchmen for the atrocities committed under their martial rule.
Only this class suit filed by the courageous and organized political prisoners who fought hard against all kinds of attempts to quell the suit or the spirit behind it – blackpropaganda, rumour mongering and intrigues, misrepresentation, splitting their ranks and even trying to take on the case against legitimate or deserving victims. When in 1992, the victims won a class action suit against the Marcos estate in Hawaii there were also all kinds of attempts to take credit away from them. So the struggle for this claims still goes on today as a sector of psuedos expressed their fear that all that compensation from the case filed might go to the “left”.
Every one in his right mind, if they still do not know, will eventually realize the truth and condemn not only the lie but the liars too. Between the “leftists” and the “rightists”, only the “leftist” will ever conceive and be courageous enough to purse a plan like filing this class suit against the strongman, who has proven even after he has been ousted and exiled and dead that his maintained ‘stronghold’ still matters to enemies of the people.
So that it even took Pnoy three years into his presidency to get the Human Rights Violation Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 promulgated and finally bear his presidential approval this February 25, the 27th anniversary of the People Power revolution puportedly led by his late mother and some 30 years after his father’s assasination.
This law finally puts official recognition that there was a great number of the population that suffered through all those years under martial law and the responsibility of human rights abuses committed then squarely on the Marcos regime, and that the victims of Martial law deserve justice and reparations, for this victory was mainly due to their persistence – the martial law victims themselves.
Considering that a number of sectors in Philippine society continue to suffer similar atrocities or human rights abuses today as evident in the many cases of enforced disappearances, massacre, extra judicial killings, illegal detentions, political vilifications and the characteristic display of impunity by state authorities; the victory of the plaintiffs in that class suit is but a beginning.
May this bill emblazzon a notice that should make all Filipinos realize “that never again should we allow the atrocities of the Marcos regime happen in this country.” # nordis.net