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JAN 31, 2016

NR # 4096B

Life of Claims Board for Martial law human rights victims to be extended
The House of Representatives is expected to approve on final reading the measure
extending the life of the Claims Board by two years until May 12, 2018 to give all legitimate
martial law human rights victims access to recognition and reparation.
HB 6412 was approved on second reading January 27 to provide full access to these
victims for reparation and recognition of the sufferings and sacrifices that they endured during
martial law, authors of the bill stressed.
The bill, authored by Reps. Ibarra M. Gutierrez III, Angelina L. Katoh and Jose
Christopher Y. Belmonte, is entitled An Act extending the life of the Human Rights Victims
Claims Board, amending for this purpose Section 29 of Republic Act No. 10368, entitled, An
Act providing for Reparation and Recognition of Victims of Human Rights violations during the
Marcos regime, documentation of said violations, appropriating funds therefor and for other
purposes.
HB 6412 was earlier approved, endorsed and sponsored in plenary by the House
Committee on Human rights chaired by Rep. Guillermo A. Romarate, Jr. in substitution of the
original measure numbered HB 6024.
Since the enactment of R.A. 10368 on February 25, 2013, challenges have emerged in the
implementation, owing to developments that were not foreseen at the time. One of these is the
big number of claimants that have applied for recognition and reparation with the Human rights
Victims' claims Board or HRVCB, the authors pointed out.
Other co-authors of the measure are: Reps. Rene Relampagos; Rufus Rodriguez; Henedina
Abad; Juan Johnny R. Revilla, Sherwin N. Tugna and Emmeline Y. Aglipay-Villar.
They explained that the Claims Board, one of the implementing bodies created by law
and constituted in February 2014, has received 75,537 applications for reparation and/or
recognition, as of the deadline of filing of applications on May 30, 2015.
Previously, Congress has passed Joint Resolution No. 03, signed by President Benigno
Aquino III on February 17, 2015, extending the period of application to accommodate the big
number of applicants, they noted.
Under the law, the authors said, HRCVBs work period ends on May 12, 2016, and with
its present compliment of personnel and available resources, it is almost impossible for it to
finish adjudicating all the claims in time.
Each of the claims needs to be thoroughly deliberated upon in order to judiciously
resolve the legitimate claims and to investigate and dispose of the fraudulent ones. Only then
will the HRVCB be able to discharge its mandate, and give a measure of justice to all deserving
claimants, the authors stressed. (30) dpt