Aquino should correct history of ML rights victims, pass indemnification bill now
“Bongbong’s declaration of his presidential ambition and his statement that he considers himself part of the administration by virtue of the LP-NP alliance are both repulsive signs that the vestiges of the impunity persists from Martial Law up to the present Aquino administration. The Marcoses, up to now, are not held accountable for their crimes during the martial law and thus, they sashayed back to positions of power. This impunity is among the results of the continued denial of the Aquino government to render justice to the martial law victims, even its barest form—the passage of the Indemnification bill which, has already gathered dust in Congress,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Palabay added that, “if this will be part of history which will be recorded by the Martial Law Historical Advisory Committee that was recently created by Pres. Aquino, he should act now, pass the Marcos Victims Compensation bill and correct part of the history of the martial law victims.”
The rights group also expressed concern on how the said ML Historical committee will conduct its task of documenting and publishing the testimonies of people during martial law. “They should bear in mind that the whole range of resistance that people undertook from the early days of martial to Marcos’ final years should be chronicled,” said Palabay.
Karapatan observed that in recalling the dark days of martial law, “only the Aquino family, Cardinal Sin, the coup-plotters-turned Edsa heroes and other anti-Marcos politicians are highlighted by institutions of administrations after Marcos. A people’s war against the US-Marcos regime was raging even before Ninoy Aquino’s murder.”
“There could be voluminous materials out of still nameless individuals who gave up their lives, those who went underground, or to the mountains to take up arms against the repressive dictator even before August 1983. But so far, these stories remain marginalized,” said Palabay.
Moreover, Karapatan said it wants to see people in the Commission who will represent the broad range of people from various sectors and classes, whose stories should be told.