27-year after the so-called ‘People Power’ revolution that ended the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’ reign, the human rights victims will finally be compensated with money amounting to ten billion pesos (P10 Billon).
Aquino said as he spoke in Manila marking the 27th anniversary of the People Power Revolution (PPR) that the law was part of his government’s effort to “right the wrongs of the past”.
The president said that we can’t bring back the time stolen from the martial law victims but we can assure them of the state’s recognition of their sufferings that will help bring them closer to the healing of their wounds.
The compensation money will be given to claimants who were tortured, raped or detained, as well as kins of those killed, by the late strongman’s security forces during his 20-year rule.
Head of the Philippines’ Human Right Commission and herself a vocal activist and torture victim Loretta Ann Rosales, said:
“The law is essential in rectifying the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship and obliges the state to give compensation to all those who suffered gross violations of their rights,” Rosales told AFP.
Marie Hilao-Enriquez welcomed the law, but bewailed the fact that the money is too little to have a meaningful impact.
Enriquez is chair of SELDA, a group of some 10,000 documented Marcos human rights victims. She added many more may come forward now for official documentation, such as the Muslims from Mindanao,
Commissioner Rosales bared that by mandate of the law a compensation board will be operationalized to accept and evaluate applications for reparations for the next 6 months
The compensation money comes from the $600 million the government has recovered from Swiss bank accounts that Marcos had stashed while in power.
Marcos and relatives were accused by the government of plundering up to $10 billion. So far about $4 billion was recovered.
EDSA People Power bloodless coup happened on February 22-25, 1986 and involved over two million Filipino civilians as well as several political, military, including religious groups, who took to the streets and force US-government backed Marcos from power.
Marcos while in exile in Hawaii died in 1989.
Unbearable torture pushed my brother to drown himself