Martial Law victims get compensation, but for many, true closure remains elusive 1


By  Joseph Tristan Roxas

Source: GMA News


Almost 400 Martial Law victims on Monday were given the first tranche of their compensation for the suffering they endured during the regime of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

A report by GMA News’ Marisol Abdurahman on 24 Oras showed the claimants, most of whom are already senior citizens, queuing up for their compensation at the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) in UP Diliman.

Despite their age however, many of them said money cannot make them forget the ordeal they went through during the Martial Law years.

Among them is 68-year-old James Umadhay, who was imprisoned for 22 years.

“Nilublob ako sa inidoro, binugbog, at ang pinakamasakit yung 110 volts pinasok sa ari ko,” Umadhay said.

91-year-old Angelina Arevalo, for her part, said she lost a child and her husband during the Marcos regime.

“Two years bago namin nalaman na nakakulong na pala siya. They keep on denying na wala siya dun,” Arevalo said.

Political analyst and Martial Law victim Mon Casiple said they only received partial closure with the compensation since the Marcos family has yet to recognize the atrocities committed by the late dictator.

“Isang partial closure doon sa mga nangyari nung panahon ni Marcos. Partial kasi yung Marcos family ay hindi kumikilala ng mga kasalanan at responsibilidad ni Ferdinand E. Marcos mismo,” Casiple said.

HRVCB chairperson Lina Sarmiento said the initial batch of more than 4,000 claimants approved by law received a minimum compensation of P12,500.

“Ang pinakamababa ay P12,500 kasi yun yung kalahati ng value ng one point. Very challenging itong aming pinagdaanan kasi lumobo nga ng sobra,” Sarmiento said.

Not everyone who went to HRVCB on Monday received their compensation, including 85-year-old Nertrudes Catotocan.

Asked if she was informed that she will receive her claim, Catotocan replied: “Hindi naman sinabi.”

The HRVCB targets to finish processing the claims of all Martial Law victims by 2018.