Martial Law Victims In Exile Have Until Nov. 10 To File Claim

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) – Victims of human rights violations during martial law, who were forced into exile, can now file reparation and recognition claims even without returning home to the Philippines.

They have barely more than one month to file their claims from now or on or before Nov. 10, 2014.

According to the website of the Human Rights Violations Claims Board, http://www.hrvclaimsboard.gov.ph/, “In our efforts to reach every victim of gross human rights violations during the Marcos regime, HRVCB now accepts applications from HRVV living and/or working abroad.

“Claimants can start filing even without travelling back in the Philippines. Properly filled out application form, sworn statement/affidavits, and other supporting documents must be scanned in jpeg or pdf format and sent through our email- overseas@hrvclaimsboard.gov.ph for pre-evaluation.

“Our paralegals will immediately check these documents for completeness and will advise claimants accordingly via email.”

The website said that the applicants cannot file directly in any Philippine Embassy/Consulate but “sworn statements/affidavits and Special Power of Attorney that has not been notarized can be scanned and emailed to HRVCB for pre-evaluation.”

Human rights violations application claims to be accepted by the HRVCB were those which happened from Sept. 21, 1972 up to Feb. 25, 1986. Violations will be assigned “points” in the evaluation.

It added that “documents for notarization and certification/attestation as true copies of the original must be brought at the nearest embassy or consulate in bulk to minimize the processing fee at $US$25, or the equivalent value in other currencies.”

Killing of persons exercising their civil and political rights and involuntary disappearance (still missing) also known as “Anti-Enforced or Involuntary disappearance Act of 2012” filed by the next of kin will get the top rating 10 points.

Victims of torture under R. A. 9745 or “Anti-Torture Act of 2009” and/or rape or sexual abuse will get from six to nine points; Detention “without a valid warrant of arrest issued by a civilian court of law,” warrantless arrest, detention or deprivation of liberty on the basis of an “Arrest, Search and Seizure Order” (ASSO), or “Presidential Commitment Order” (PCO) or a “Preventive Detention Action” (PDA) and such other similar executive issuances get from three to five points.

Forced or intimidation causing involuntary exile from the Philippines, one to two points; force, intimidation or deceit causing unjust or illegal takeover of business confiscation of property, detention of owners/ and/or their families, deprivation of livelihood of a person by agents of State, including President Marcos, his spouse Imelda R. Marcos, their immediate relatives by consanguinity or affinity, their immediate and close relatives, associates, cronies and subordinates, one to two points.

Kidnapping or otherwise exploiting children or persons suspected of committing acts against the Marcos regime; sexual offenses committed against human rights victims, who are detained and/or in the course of conducting military and/or police operations; and other similar or analogous violations are also evaluated.

Claimants who are conclusively presumed to be HRVVs are 1) the class suit and direct action plaintiffs in the Human Rights Litigation Against the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos in the US Federal District Court of Honolulu, Hawaii who won a favorable judgment, and 2) those based on the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013” or RA 10368. RA 10368  recognizes the heroism and sacrifices of human rights violations victims (HRVVs) during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos covering the period from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986; and b) acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize and provide reparation to the victims.

The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), a quasi-judicial body, was created to receive, evaluate and process all claims, award reparation, and recognize the victims by enshrining their names in the Roll of Human Rights Violations Victims on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes) Foundation.

The HRVCB, chaired by Gen. Lina C. Sarmiento, is accepting applications thru its Secretariat at E. Virata Hall E. Jacinto St., U.P. Diliman Campus Diliman, Quezon City1101 Philippines. It can be reached thru Tel. No. 373.4847 or thru email address at E-mail: hrvictimsclaimsboard@gmail.com.

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