Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Philippines Martial Law Victims to Receive Reparations

The Marcos family continues to deny any human rights violations took place under Ferdinand Marcos’s rule.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez is chairperson of SELDA, a victims’ advocacy group that lobbied hard for the law. She was an activist during the martial law years and was thrown in jail where she gave birth to her first child. She escaped, but her sister was later detained and killed.

Hilao-Enriquez says the group is happy to finally be recognized by the government. But she says the fight is not over.

“This is a small portion of justice," she said, "the reparations and recognition because to us complete justice means the perpetrators should acknowledge the sins they have committed. They should issue an apology. They should be prosecuted for their sins.”

Money for the fund comes from part of the Marcos estate which allegedly came from ill-gotten wealth that was frozen by the Swiss government and returned to Philippine authorities.

President Aquino signed the Human Rights Victims Recognition and Reparation Act into law on the 27th anniversary of the bloodless revolution that catapulted his mother to the presidency and restored democracy. Aquino’s father, a vocal opponent of Marcos, was killed by unknown assassins during those years.

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