Human rights chair gets own Martial Law compensation

Angela Casauay

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CHR Chair Loretta Ann Rosales receives a check worth P50,000 as a member of a private class suit vs Marcos in Hawaii over HR violations

CLOSURE. Commission on Human Rights chair Loretta Ann Rosales gets her P50,000 compensation from winning a class suit against former president Ferdinand Marcos in Hawaii over human rights violations. Photo by Commission on Human Rights

MANILA, Philippines – The government official tasked to uphold human rights is a victim of human rights violations herself, and on Tuesday, March 18 – nearly 3 decades after the Marcos regime ended – she finally received a compensation for her ordeal. 

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Loretta Ann Rosales personally received a check worth P50,000 as one of the 9,539 human rights victims during the Martial Law who won a private class suit against former President Ferdinand Marcos in Hawaii. 

Rosales – an activist and a human rights advocate – was raped and tortured by the military during the Marcos regime, according to a report from the South China Morning Post – a portion of which was republished by its author Raissa Robles in her website.

The compensation recognizes the sacrifices of the Martial Law heroes and martyrs who had given their lives to attain democracy and freedom, Martial Law Files Project of the Commission on Human Rights (MLFP-CHR) Manager Myrna Jimenez said in a statement. 

Aside from Rosales, claimants all over the country have been receiving checks worth P50,000 since January 21, 2014. 

On February 7, at least 170 human rights victims received their compensation in Cagayan de Oro City. (READ: Martial Law victims in Northern Mindanao receive compensation)

The amount awarded to each claimant was sourced from the proceeds of the sale of an 1899 painting by French artist Claude Monet previously owned by Imelda Marcos. The painting was sold for $10,000.

Checks to be issued until March 21 

Claimants included in the master list of the class suit may claim their checks at the CHR office at the SAAC Building, University of the Philippines-Diliman complex, along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City until Friday, March 21. 

Human rights victims during the Marcos regime who were not included in the private class suit still have a chance to seek for compensation. 

In February, President Benigno Aquino III named the members of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board – a year after the signing of the Martial Law compensation bill into law. 

The 9-member body is presently crafting its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). They will start receiving applications once the IRR is finalized. 

The amount of P10 billion has been allocated for the project. It comes from the $680 million (roughly P30.8 billion) of ill-gotten wealth returned to the Philippine treasury from Marcos’ Swiss deposits.

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