Akbayan Rep. Gutierrez pushes for extension of deadline for filing of claims for Martial Law victims

Joint Resolution No. 16 filed by Akbayan Reps. Barry Gutierrez and Walden Bello extending the deadline of application for claims of human rights violations victims during Martial Law.

Joint Resolution No. 16 filed by Akbayan Reps. Barry Gutierrez and Walden Bello extending the deadline for application of claims for victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law.

“The lack of time should not pose as a hindrance to the recognition and reparation of the human rights victims for the sufferings and sacrifices they endured during Martial Law,” Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said.

His statement came Sunday on the 42nd year commemoration of the imposition of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, saying that “recognizing the struggles of the victims is important more than ever, as most survivors enter their final years.”

Gutierrez, with fellow Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, filed Joint House Resolution No. 16 extending the deadline for filing of claims for victims of human rights during the Marcos regime to cope with the large number of persons seeking for reparation and recognition under Republic Act 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

From November 10, 2014, the proposed measure seeks to move the deadline application to May 2015.

“The six-month extension was sought to allow the legitimate claimants, especially those living in far-flung areas of the country, full opportunity to file their claims with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) and gain redress for injustices they suffered four decades ago,” Gutierrez said.

Emphasizing the urgency of the resolution, Gutierrez urged Congress for the immediate approval of the proposed measure, saying this is important in “making certain that the struggles of the people who have fought the Marcos dictatorship are given due recognition and the full opportunity to secure their rightful place in our history.”

“[And] we need to ensure that all those who suffered in the defense of freedom and democracy are rendered full justice,” he added.

“We urge both Houses of Congress to swiftly and immediately approve this measure that ensure the full realization of the goals and objectives of RA 10368 to recognize and provide reparation to the victims and their families who suffered deaths and unspeakable losses during one of the darkest periods in our history,” Gutierrez concluded.###