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16, 2014

NR # 3348B

Compensation for civilians caught in crossfire
Government must ensure that justice is never negated the helpless civilians caught in the crossfire between rebels and the military. “We can never compensate the real value of the loss of civilian lives during unfortunate clashes between government forces and armed rebels, but for sure government has the responsibility to extend all possible financial and other benefits to victims,” stressed Rep. iosdado !acapagal "rroyo and #ampanga Rep. Gloria !acapagal$"rroyo, authors of %& '()). %& '()) is entitled “"n "ct to provide compensation, reimbursement for hospitali*ation expenses, and other benefits, to civilians caught in the crossfire between rebels and the military, and for other purposes,” or the “+ivilian +ompensation "ct of ',-..” /he proposed "ct shall establish the +ivilian +ompensation 0und to be administered by the +ommission on %uman Rights, hereafter referred to as the +ommission. "midst numerous incidents of 1illings and inevitable displacement of many 0ilipinos due to military counter insurgency$efforts, there is an urgent need to alleviate the sufferings of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire brought about by the continued armed conflict between the military and rebel forces, the "rroyos pointed out. “/he recent encounter between the 2ur !isuari$led$faction of the !oro 2ational 3iberation 0ront in 4amboanga +ity is one grim incident that left thousands of civilians, especially children and women, including the elderly, suffer the grim conse5uences of an armed conflict. !any died during the siege and damage to property, among other ill$ effects of violence, was just unimaginable,” the authors said. 6nder 7ection 8 of %& '()), any civilian, as defined in the measure, who is 1illed or injured in the crossfire between rebels and the military shall be entitled to9 :a; an indemnity in the amount of thirty thousand pesos :#.,,,,,;, in case of death< :b; a reimbursement for the necessary expenses incurred for hospitali*ation, medical treatment, loos of wage, and the li1e, in case of injury. 3i1e in any measure that passes through the legislative mill, the figures on compensation may differ from the final outcome of the measure, depending on the possible amendments which may be collectively decided on in plenary, and the possible 7enate version, in case the %ouse gives the green light to the bill.

/he bill also provides that in case said civilian is compelled by the military to leave his or her residence prior to a military campaign, the +ommission shall provide emergency housing, food and medical benefits to said civilian. #rovided further, in case said civilian incurs material loss, the +ommission shall indemnify the former the necessary amount to cover said loss. 3i1ewise, 7ection = states that “any civilian, his or her family, or any other person dependent upon said civilian for support may file a claim with the +ommission, provided that the claim must be filed within six :(; months after the date of the death, injury, compulsory abandonment of one>s residence, or occurrence of other events that resulted to material loss. %& also provides for an appropriation of #=$million to be sourced from the 2ational /reasury not otherwise appropriated and, thereafter, such amount shall form part of the regular budget of the +ommission. :.,; dpt