Saturday, February 26, 2011

Justice still eludes Marcos victims -, Philippine News for Filipinos

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Justice still eludes Marcos victims -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Justice still eludes Marcos victims

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:07:00 02/25/2011

Filed Under: Justice & Rights, Crime and Law and Justice, Human Rights, Congress

AS WE commemorate the 25th year of our country’s return to democracy, I only have one wish—for the victims of human rights violations to get justice and be compensated for what the State has done to them during the dark years of martial law.

I was chair of the Committee on Human Rights last Congress when repeated attempts to pass a law providing for mechanisms to compensate the victims and their families came to naught. My heart bled for the aging activists and their families. I pleaded for Congress to fast-track the passage of this measure—for the people who spent most of their productive life fighting the dictatorship. They were incarcerated, tortured and were lucky to have survived to tell their story. More heart-wrenching is the agony suffered through by the surviving families of those who have died, of those who have disappeared, because their loved ones chose to live their lives in the pursuit of justice and freedom.

In the last Congress, we had a Marcos sitting as a representative of a congressional district. This Congress, we have a Marcos sitting as a member of the Senate, and another in the House of Representatives.

The presence of these Marcoses in both chambers of Congress should in no way prevent the State from compensating those who deserve to be compensated. We owe them for the democracy we are blessed with today. I am optimistic that with a Benigno Simeon Aquino III as president, we can take the necessary steps toward granting justice that the victims rightly deserve.

deputy speaker,
House of Representatives

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