TACLOBAN CITY-About 54 human rights victims during the Martial Law received their compensation from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional office based this city.
The 54 claimants were the last victims of human rights abuses from the region during the Marcos dictatorship to receive their compensation from the government through the Human Rights Victims Claims Board(HRVCB)
In all, there were 1,024 victims of human rights abuses from the region who recieved compensation from the government.
Lawyer Byron Bocar of the HRVCB, said that while the sufferings experienced by the victims could not really be compensated monetarily, at least, it could help them somehow.
“As they say in Filipino, walang kapalit ang kanilang naranasan noon. But at least, the compensation that they received will somehow help them,” Bocar said.
Bocar was in the city to personally distribute the checks to the human rights victims on Wednesday and Thursday at the CHR regional office.
The amount received by the victims depended on the gravity of what they experienced. If, for example, one has suffered physical injuries in the hands of state agents, they were entitled to receive more than P170,000.
The families of those who were killed or declared as missing, could receive as much as P1 million.
The money used in giving compensation to human rights victims were from an ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses recovered by the Philippine government.
About P10 billion was set aside by the government to provide compensation to more than 11,000 victims of human rights abuses in the country.
One of those who received the compensation was Timoteo Alabad,72, from Barangay Binolho, Javier town in Leyte.
Alabad was 40 years old when he was detained first at the Javier municipal station and later to the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa as he was charged for multiple murder by the military.
“Of course, it was not true. They claimed that I was a member of the New People’s Army and participated in a fake ambush incident,” Alabad, who was released from the national penitentiary in 1987, or a year after the Marcos dictatorship was ousted during the People Power I.
Alabad said that while he welcome the compensation he received from the government, he could not help but be reminded of what happened to him in the past.
“No amount of money could compensate of what I went through. I was tortured and imprisoned due to trumped up charges,” he said.