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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 1, 2016
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300 victims of martial law
want pay, slam Bongbong

More than 300 Negrense members of the Mothers and Relatives against Tyranny (MARTYR) gathered to call for a faster processing of claims from the recovered ill-gotten wealth of former president of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and family, at the Sugar Workers Development Center in Bacolod City yesterday.

They also slammed the bid for vice president of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his family who are all doing well until today after the EDSA Revolution.

“They should not return to power, instead they must undergo what other dictators went through in other countries,” said MARTYR Neg. Occ. Chairman Edgar Cadagat, “They caused despair to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos when Martial Law was declared.”

He said many youth today do not understand the ordeals experienced during the Marcos Era. “Some even call the Martial Law ‘The Golden Age of the Philippines' when in truth, it brought fear and injustice.”

Cadagat said there still are about 75,730 who filed claims in the Philippines and have not yet been given reparation from the P10 billion share of the $683 million, or roughly P30 billion recovered from Switzerland, as mandated by R.A. No. 10368.

MARTYR has about 600 members in Negros Occidental who were part of various sectors during the Marcos era, still more Negrenses are victims of the Martial Law who are non-members of the group, he said.

Cadagat said that, previously, 10,000 individuals were receiving compensation from the case they won in the New York , USA, but those who filed back in the country might have to wait for another two years before the release.

However, a House Bill filed in 2015 authored by Representatives Ibarra Gutierrez, Jose Christopher Belmonte and Angelina Katoh, amending R.A. No. 10368 is pending approval by the House Committee on Human Rights.

The amendment proposes to give the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board additional time beyond the end of its work period on May 12, 2016 for up to two years, Cadagat said, and additional resources and staff, to finish its task of deciding on the claims.

The Claims Board announced that it will need more time, personnel and resources before releasing compensation to victims of Martial Law abuses.

“The distribution of the compensation has to be fast-tracked; death is looming for some of the Martial Law victims who have been waiting for a settlement for 40 years,” Cadagat said.

He claimed that the congressmen behind the extension of the processing are allied with President Benigno Aquino III.*KBL



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