Monday, June 04, 2007

Marcos compensation bill an antidote to culture of impunity


It would be a great disservice to the thousands of human rights victims under the Marcos regime if the Marcos compensation bill were not to be passed after coming this close to enactment.

This was the sentiment expressed by Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today after reiterating her call for the House leadership to exert all efforts to have the Marcos compensation bill enacted during this week's session.

"The measure has been approved by the bicameral conference committee, and ratified by the Senate, it is now only the House which has to act on the measure and ratify the bicam report," said Rosales.

"At a time when so many activists have fallen prey to extra-judicial kilings, this proposed law would be a nod against the culture of impunity permeating the air," added the lady solon. "This bill isn't only about the money. It is fundamentally a question of addressing and protecting the human dignity, no matter what his political views are, and we are in effect saying that it is wrong for anybody to be tortured, executed, forcefully disappeared for their political views."

"It is my sincerest hope that the House leadership will seize upon this historic opportunity and contribute to the hastening of a culture of human rights in the country," said Rosales. "The House is now presented with a chance to exert firm resolve and deliver justice to the Marcos victims, whose suffering has evaded government recognition for years."

"We can only hope that the Marcos compensation bill goes down as a positive beacon of hope against an otherwise tumultuous 13th Congress. Let this be one measure where the House can come together for a common purpose."

"This measure will also prove to the world that the country is making some headway in keeping with its obligations under international law, as various conventions prescribe just reparations to victims of torture, involuntary disappearances and the like," explained Rosales. "Especially when you take into consideration that the country has just been reelected as a member to the UN Human Rights Council."

The bill sets aside P10 billion of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth from Swiss accounts as the primary source of funding for the compensation. It seeks to set aside this amount in the National Treasury under a separate account in trust for the human rights violations victims.

The proposed Board under the bill will come up with the implementing rules for the law and a points system will be employed to determine the amount of compensation to be awarded to Marcos victims. Non-monetary compensation may also be given to Marcos victims and their next-of-kin, such as psychotherapy, counseling, medical care, social amelioration and honorific recognition.

The bill also mandates the documentation of the atrocities committed in the period of martial rule by gathering the individual profile of the victims and claimants with the help and cooperation of the University of the Philippines, the National Historical Institute, and non-governmental organizations whose assistance may be engaged.

Rep. Etta Rosales
Monday, 04 June 2007

Maliban sa sagad-sagaring anti-kumunistang pamunuan ng AFP at Kongreso, dalawa lang ang pangunahing sagka sa ratification ng Marcos Compensation Bill, si Ate Gloa at si Norberto "saging" Gonzales. Sa buluk na pananaw ng mga ito, mapupunta lang daw sa rebelyon, insureksyon at kudeta ang nasabing pondong nagkakahalaga ng $10.0 bilyon.

Kung hindi maibibigay ang nasabing compensation, sa kabila ng mahigit isang dekada ng naipanalo ito sa US at pagkakapasa nito sa Senado, lalabas na sagka ang gubyerno ni Ate Glo sa panawagang reconcilliation at sila ay maaaring maituring bahagi sa ilang dekadang bahagi diktadurang Marcos na nagpasasa at nagmalupit sa mamamayang Pilipino.

Kung mangyayari ito, lalabas na kahiya-hiya ito sa mata ng MUNDO, sa global community at sa mamamayang Pilipino na patuloy na nakikibaka para sa katarungan at demokrasya. Lalo pa't nagpapatuloy ang political killings sa ilalim ng gubyerno ni Ate Glo na sinimulan pa ni Marcos may ilang dekada rin ang nakalipas.

Ang malungkot,
kung hindi maibibigay ang compensation sa mga biktima ng kalupitan ng diktadurang Marcos lalong titindi ang extra-constitutional na pamamaraan ng pakikibaka, lalong hindi maisasara ang kaguluhang ng bayan, mananatiling banta ang extra-constitutional na pamamaraan; ang rebelyon, insureksyon at kudeta .

Doy Cinco / IPD

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