Duterte OKs extension of fund releases for human rights victims during Marcos regime
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a joint resolution extending the fund releases for victims of human rights during the dictator of Ferdinand Marcos until the end of this year.
Duterte signed on February 22 a joint Senate and House Resolution No. 04 extending the maintenance, availability, and release of the funds intended for victims of human rights violations until December 31, 2019.
The joint resolution authorizes the Bureau of Treasury and the Land Bank of the Philippines to release the funds and ensure the payment of claims, and the Commission on Human Rights to administer the effective distribution of the funds to qualified victims or their heirs or representatives as provided under Republic ASct No 10368, or the "Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, as amended by R.A. No. 10766.
The resolution explained that the Human Rights Victims Claims Board still has to distribute huge amount of money to the claimants, thus, the need to extend the deadline.
The resolution noted that as of May 11, 2018, the board had been able to approve and duly recognize a total of 11,103 legitimate claimants out of more than 75,000 applicants and was able to completely resolve 6,737 appeals on May 6, 2018. The checks issued by the board for the human rights victims were valid only up to three months from issuance.
As of June 28, 2018, the board's account with the Land Bank reported a balance of P792,628 million, which can only be maintained as such until August 11, 2018, after which the balance will revert to the Bureau of Treasury.
While there is a transition team assisting the claimants, the resolution cited reports from several approved claimants' relatives they were not able to encash the checks even with a special power of attorney.
There were also some "problematic" checks to the victims. Celerina Monte/DMS