Source: GMA News

Victims of human rights violations during the martial law period will receive their compensation under the present administration, President Benigno Aquino III said on Wednesday.

In an ambush interview, Aquino said there had been a proposed bill to amend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Law to include human rights victims in the list of beneficiaries, but this measure did not get the nod of lawmakers.

Aquino told reporters that he and incumbent Commission on Human Rights (CHR) head Loretta Ann Rosales both supported the bill when they were still members of the House of Representatives.

Sa panahon ko po, sisiguraduhin na natin ganoon ang mangyayari. Siguro una muna diyan, ika-klaro natin iyung lahat nga ng mga victim,” he said.

(I’ll make sure that that will happen under my administration. But first, we have to clarify who really are the victims.)

Aquino is the son of the late President Corazon Aquino, who, 1986, ended the rule of the man who declared the martial law, Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino said the law states that all ill-gotten wealth that would be recovered from the Marcos family would go to the CARP program.

“When both Etta Rosales and I were Congress people, we were in support of their advocacies to have their (victims’) compensation up to and including amending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law that states basically that all the proceeds go them. I will be supporting that,” he said.

Lawyer Robert Swift, who represented the close to 10,000 human rights victims in a class suit, said there had been no Philippine president who had been “interested in justice for the victims.”

Swift said he sent a letter to Aquino but has yet to receive a response from him.