Rights group SELDA welcomed on Tuesday Malacañang’s pronouncement to issue an executive order extending the availability of funds intended for reparation for martial law victims.
”We will await the executive order that will be issued by the President. We hope to see the order before Friday. The government has three days to do this,” said SELDA chairperson Trinidad Herrera-Repuno.
More than a hundred martial law victims, both from those who have received compensation and those who still await to receive their claims, including legitimate victims who were denied, held a picket at the House of the Representatives in time for the Committee on Justice hearing on Joint Resolution No. 24, seeking to extend the availability and validity of funds for reparation for martial law victims until December 2019.
Yesterday, Sen. Chiz Escudero has filed a similar resolution, known as Joint Resolution no. 13 in support of the extension of the availability and validity of funds.
From the HOR, SELDA will proceed to the Senate to hold a similar action outside.
”With this development, we hope that concerned agencies, including the Land Bank of the Philippines, will maintain the funds until the date of the extension, and make sure that no more further issues will be faced by the victims. This has been too long enough. As we have said, any further delays is further injustice to the victims,” said Herrera-Repuno.
A total of P792,628,000 worth of funds remain undistributed, as many approved claimants were unable to encash their checks. The fund, which is currently with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board’s account with Land Bank of the Philippines, will only be maintained until August 11, after which it will be reverted to the Bureau of Treasury.
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The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period. SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities. SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners. It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families. It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny.