By WALTER VILLEGAS
QUEZON CITY — Victims of Marcos’ martial law and their relatives from Cagayan Valley trooped to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, November 14, to register their calls for the reopening of application for the recognition and indemnification of martial law victims.
More than 60 individuals led by the regional chapter of Hustisya held an audience with the Makabayan bloc representatives. They also submitted a petition with more than 6000 signatures and 4 municipal resolutions supporting their clamor.
The victims and their families are appealing for the enactment of a new law that will establish a body that will continue the process of recognizing victims of martial law and provide indemnification.
Makabayan representatives said the body to be created must be more considerate in the application process. The solons noted that most who applied in the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board were denied due to technicalities. Officials demanded the submission of documents like release papers, medical certificates, and death certificates that were almost non-existent during martial law especially in the rural areas. In May 2018, the board closed with only 11,103 or 14% applications for indemnification approved.
The activity happened a few days after the conviction of Imelda Marcos, wife of deceased Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Hustisya-Cagayan Valley regional coordinator Charles Valencia called for her immediate arrest.
He pointed that poor individuals are swiftly arrested even if claims against them are still accusations while the rich, like Imelda, are allowed to circumvent the law.
“Pag mahirap, huli o patay agad. Pero ‘pag nasa posisyon, meron pang mga konsiderasyon?” he said.
The group also conducted forums, discussions, and mobilizations Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines-Diliman. They provided first-hand testimonies to the students and urged them to always stand for what is right. The students from the two universities also signed petitions in support for the martial law victims’ campaign for their recognition and indemnification.
Last October 29, the first batch of martial law victims from Cagayan Valley went to Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City to witness the unveiling of the monument dedicated to them. They also talked in University of the Philippines-Manila about their quest for justice and to gather support.
The activity was in coordination with the regional chapters of Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. It was the offshoot of consultations and forums with martial law victims’ in Isabela and Cagayan.# nordis.net