Saturday, March 26, 2011

Martial Law victims claim indemnification

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By Mai Gevera

DAVAO CITY, March 23 (PIA) – Arcadio Vitor, 80, read the newspaper everyday hoping to find a piece of good news about the class suit filed against human rights violations during the Marcos regime.

That was everyday until his sight surrendered, but not his heart. He knew that one day justice will be given to his son who was killed right in front of their house during the Martial Law days.
His eldest son, Larry, was also jailed for 11 months for a reason unknown to them until now.

Upon receiving a letter dated February 14, 2011, notifying him to be eligible claimant of a P43,000 indemnification, the old Vitor couldn’t contain his joy. That was the day he long waited for after so many years of praying for justice for his two sons.

In the Order of US District Judge Manuel Real of Hawaii dated January 13, 2011, it was cited that eligible claimants who filed their claims both in 1993 and 1999 will receive $1,000 or P43,000 each.

On March 22, Larry and Arcadio were among the claimants in Davao Region who trooped to Almendras Gym, this city to claim their checks. They were one of those who believed that human rights violation done during the Martial Law days would find justice someday.

Larry, recalling the bitter days while he was sent to prison for almost a year, was teary-eyed when he received the check.

He said that such money “could not pay the life of my brother and the months I spent in jail, but what I am after is the justice given to us.”

“Marami ang hindi naniwala noong panahong yun. Takot silang magreklamo at masangkot muli sa isang kasong masakit ang idinulot sa kanilang mga buhay (There were victims who chose not to file a case. They were afraid to complain and be dragged again to a case that caused pain in their lives),” said Betty De Vera, a member of Claimants 1081.

In Davao Region, more than 600 victims were sent letters and given schedule for the distribution of their check which would end this Friday (March 25).

Aside from the claimants, several people claiming to be HR victims also went to Almendras Gym to ask why they did not receive the letter. They were informed that only those who filed a case last 1993 and 1999 were eligible to claim.

A total of 7,526 Martial Law human rights victims in the country filed the lawsuit.

The funds distributed came from a $10 million settlement of a case against individuals controlling Texas and Colorado land bought with Marcos money. (PIA-11/Mai Gevera)

Related articles:
Martial law victims get $1,000 checks -

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