Compensation for martial law victims

2013-02-25 08:13

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Manila - Thousands of victims of human rights violations during the administration of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos are to receive compensation under a law signed on Monday by President Benigno Aquino III.

The signing came during celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of the 1986 "people power" revolution, which ousted Marcos and was led by Aquino's mother, Corazon Aquino. Congress approved the bill last month.

Marcos imposed martial law for nine years from September 1972, during which thousands of people, most of them accused of being enemies of the state, were arrested, tortured, killed and disappeared.

"The signing into law of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 is not only our way of recognizing their sacrifices but of reminding ourselves of the tyranny that made their struggle justified, a tyranny that must not be repeated," Vice President Jejomar Binay said.

Benigno Aquino's father, the late senator Benigno Aquino Junior, was detained for years for his opposition to Marcos and was later assassinated in Manila.

"Former president Corazon C Aquino has stated in the past that the family is not after compensation but official recognition of the tragedy that was martial law," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

The compensation is to come from 246 million dollars that the government recovered from Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, which was deposited in Swiss bank accounts.

The law also requires schools to teach young people about the abuses committed by the Marcos regime and the heroism of those who opposed it.

Read more on:    benigno aquino  |  philippines  |  human rights
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