SELDA hits BS Aquino’s claims board "Never again will we become victims"

SELDA criticized the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) for continuously refusing to state categorically that it recognizes as victims the 9,539 members of the class suit against former Pres. Marcos in 1986. Aside from the 9,539 class suit members, there are also 24 direct action plaintiffs who have been recognized and verified by the US Federal Court in Hawaii.
 
“The HRVCB itself is violating the law. Conclusive presumption becomes disputable presumption in their denial to recognize the victims who have time and again proved they suffered abuses and rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship,” said SELDA chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.
 
“The framework of the HRVCB in its process of accepting applications is not aimed at recognizing the most number of martial law victims. The actual conduct of the claims board on the ground is also not encouraging either for them to file. They are treated like persons who are only after money, of a very small amount that can never make up for their sacrifices and sufferings as victims. They are after justice and reparation,” Enriquez said.
 
“Survivors of martial law are being victimized again, this time by a body formed by Pres. Aquino led by a former state agent with lack of sense of history and complete knowledge of martial law. Their actions and pronouncements lead to disenfranchisement of victims,” Enriquez added.
 
The group said Pres. Aquino is the one to blame that he appointed a former PNP general as head of the HRVCB.
 
Martial law victims previously condemned the appointment of Sarmiento, saying it is an insult to victims that a former member of the Philippine Constabulary, forerunner of the PNP which led and implemented the worst form of rights abuses under martial rule.
 
“We were victims of martial law under the Marcos dictatorship. Never again do we become victims, this time of BS Aquino!”###