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Martial Law Victims Have 7 Weeks Left to File Claims

There are only seven weeks left for Martial Law victims to file reparations claims before the Human Rights Victims Claims Board.

However, the board admits it does not have enough manpower to attend to all the claimants. At present claims board’s offices around the country are swamped with applications.

The board reminded claimants that processing all the documents and other requirements needed to make a valid claim is tedious. Claimants are advised to ready valid identification cards, birth certificate and a sworn statement.

Besides these, claimants are also required to submit any or a combination of the following documents as proof: death certificate; warrant of arrest, medical or legal records; detention papers and other evidence of the abuse they endured.

The board also cautioned claimants against providing untruthful or misleading information. The claims process goes through strict validation and evaluation so false information could lead to denial or disapproval of their applications, and in worst case scenario, violators run the risk of being charged for perjury.

To date, only 8,000 out of the estimated 20,000 human rights victims have submitted formal claims for government benefits. According to the claims board’s website, the government’s six-month campaign to process claims by victims of various forms of abuse during the Martial Law regime ends on Nov. 10, 2014.

Failure of victims to file claims within the prescribed period, as provided by RA 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation & Recognition Act of 2013 will be considered a waiver.

RA 10368 recognized as conclusively presumed human rights violations victims the class suit and direct action plaintiffs of cases filed in Honolulu and other US courts against former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

As stipulated in RA 10368, Martial Law victims will receive reparations payments from Marcos assets worth P10 billion recovered by the government.