Call for transparency in the selection of HRV Claims Board members

Karapatan called on the Aquino government for a transparent and credible process in the selection of the members of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board. The Claims Board is mandated by RA 10368 (Human Rights Violation Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013) to formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the said law; and to process the claims of victims of human rights violations during martial law. 

“The process should be acceptable to the victims,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. The rights group, she said, is apprehensive because as vital information on the nomination process and schedules were not publicized. “We hope that this is not a foreshadowing of the possible exclusion of the nominees of Selda and Tanggol Bayi from the Human Rights Claims Board,” added Palabay. 

Karapatan echoes the call of the martial law victims that the Human Rights Victims Claims Board should be composed of people “with integrity, competence and probity and, who understand the plight of the victims. They should be people who have consistently defended human rights through the years. Their records as staunch human rights advocates are publicly known and acknowledged.” 

Palabay said that, “Selda, at the very least, should be informed of the procedure and deadline for submission of nominations.”  Selda is one of the organizations mentioned in the Law which may nominate membership to the Claims Board. 

Karapatan endorsed the nominees for the Human Rights Victims Claims Board submitted by Selda (Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) and women rights defenders organization, Tanggol Bayi to the Office of the President on March 12. 

“We stand by the nominees of Selda and Tanggol Bayi as our own. We believe that the pursuit of justice for the victims of martial law shall be, mainly, in the hands of those who will compose the Claims Board,” Palabay concluded.