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The Philippines, a role model for China   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-2-25 21:12:49 |Display all floors

Or how a democracy deals with its past.

Philippines to compensate Marcos rights victims

Philippine President Benigno Aquino signed a landmark law on Monday compensating human rights victims of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, 27 years after a bloodless “People Power” revolution ended his reign.

Ten billion pesos (US$244 million) will be distributed to potentially thousands of people who were tortured, raped or detained, as well as relatives of those who were killed, by Marcos’s security forces during his 20-year rule.

Speaking at a ceremony in Manila to mark the anniversary, Aquino said the law was part of his government’s efforts to “right the wrongs of the past”.

“We may not bring back the time stolen from martial law victims, but we can assure them of the state’s recognition of their sufferings that will help bring them closer to the healing of their wounds,” Aquino said.Loretta Ann Rosales, an anti-Marcos activist who was tortured by his security forces and now heads the country’s independent rights commission, said the law would finally allow all his victims to feel a sense of justice.“The law is essential in rectifying the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship and obliges the state to give compensation to all those who suffered gross violations of their rights,” Rosales told reporters.Marie Hilao-Enriquez, the chairwoman of Selda, a group which represents Marcos rights victims, also welcomed the symbolic intent behind the law but said the money was too little to have a meaningful impact.“There are so many victims that when you divide it to everyone it will not result to much,” Hilao-Enriquez said.Hilao-Enriquez’s group represents about 10,000 documented victims but she said there were many more who had not been officially registered and may now come forward, such as Muslim communities in the remote south of the country.Under the law, a “compensation board” will accept and evaluate applications for reparations over the next six months, according to Rosales.The compensation money will come from about US$600 million the government has recovered from Swiss bank accounts that Marcos secretly maintained while he was in power.The government has accused Marcos and his relatives of plundering up to US$10 billion and has so far recovered about US$4 billion.Aquino’s mother Corazon led the “People Power” revolution that saw millions of people take to the streets and force US-government backed Marcos from power. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.From: South China Morning Post - Asia . Monday, 25 February




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Post time 2013-2-25 21:14:41 |Display all floors

Philippine President Benigno Aquino (centre) signs the Martial Law Compensation bill during the 27th anniversary of the People Power revolution at the People Power monument in Manila on Monday. Photo: AFP
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Yellow confetti rains on hundreds of people visiting the People Power Monument to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the People Power revolution on Monday. Photo: AP
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Post time 2013-2-25 21:25:54 |Display all floors
The Philippine government

deals with its past!

It does not avoid the past !
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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Post time 2013-2-25 21:27:22 |Display all floors
President Aquino deserves to be nominated for the Peace Nobel Prize.
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Post time 2013-2-25 22:13:14 |Display all floors
25 February 2013 Last updated at 08:05 GMT Share this pageEmailPrint
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Philippines law gives compensation to Marcos victims

The Philippine president has signed a law to give compensation to victims of the country's former leader, Ferdinand Marcos.

The government has set aside at least 10bn pesos ($224m: £148m) to compensate thousands of people who suffered rights abuses in the Marcos era.

The money was recovered from Swiss bank accounts secretly maintained by Marcos during his 20 years in power.

President Benigno Aquino said the move would "right the wrongs of the past".

"We may not bring back the time stolen from martial law victims, but we can assure them of the state's recognition of their sufferings that will help bring them closer to the healing of their wounds," he said at a ceremony in Manila.

Marcos introduced martial law, under which thousands of people were detained, tortured or "disappeared" by the security forces.

The law marks 27 years since Marcos was ousted in the country's "People Power" revolution, which was headed by Mr Aquino's mother, Corazon Aquino.

It calls for the establishment of a human rights board, which will assess each claim and award compensation accordingly.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Francis Escudero, said it would also offer non-monetary compensation where needed, including social and psychological assistance, the Philippines Star reports.

Loretta Ann Rosales, head of the Philippines rights commission who was herself tortured under Marcos, said the law was "essential in rectifying the abuses" of the era and would allow victims a sense of justice, AFP reports.

However another rights campaigner, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, told AFP there were "so many victims that when you divide it to everyone it will not result to much".

Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.
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Post time 2013-2-25 22:17:03 |Display all floors
Filipinos seek justice, missing millions from Marcos regime

Bonifacio Ilagan’s darkest memories of the Philippines’ military regime are not the beatings he endured during two years in prison, including the night in 1974 that his guards threatened to destroy his genitals.

More traumatic, he says, was the disappearance of his younger sister Rizalina, who was abducted by intelligence officers with nine other activists in 1977 and has not been seen since.

“I felt guilty because I influenced her to join the activist movement,” he said. Three of the group were later found dead.

“There was no trace of the seven others, including Rizalina. My father and mother died waiting for her to return.”

The 61-year-old playwright and former student leader said he has accepted that his sister is dead. But like many others of his generation, he is still looking for closure from the atrocities suffered under dictator Ferdinand Marcos and martial law during 1972-81.

Congress last month ratified a bill granting recognition and compensation to thousands of abuse victims, but Ilagan said only prosecutions would bring satisfaction.

“We have to move towards identifying and pressing charges against those who violated us,” he said. “That’s the only way we can have a full implementation of justice.”

But the likelihood of such prosecutions seems to be fading, as a commission created 27 years ago to hunt for billions allegedly embezzled by the dictator and his family recently suggested its own disbanding.

The government is studying the proposal, at a time when members of the Marcos family have returned to the political stage.

“The creation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sent the message, ‘here is your new government getting into action’,” Ilagan said. “To abolish it now is to send a wrong signal.”

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, head of the Organisation of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest, in its Philippine acronym, agreed.

“The Marcoses are really trying to clean their name,” she said. “If the PCGG winds down, the signal you send is that it’s okay to plunder wealth because after 27 years, people will forget about it.”

During 1965-86, the dictator and his wife allegedly diverted 800,000 troy ounces (24.9 tonnes) of gold from central bank reserves and $27mn from the Philippine National Bank for their personal use, and tapped economic aid from the US and Japanese war reparations.

The couple and their cronies are said to have enjoyed lavish parties and worldwide shopping and dining sprees while millions of Filipinos sank deeper into poverty.

The allegations are laid out in a lawsuit filed by the Philippine government with a US district court to recover $50bn from the Marcoses, who fled to Hawaii after the 1986 uprising that ousted them. The dictator died in exile three years later.

His wife Imelda, who later returned to the Philippines with her children, was acquitted of racketeering and fraud in New York. She has always maintained her husband never committed any human rights abuses or stole any money.

The Philippine government has so far recovered 164bn pesos ($4bn) in money, jewellery, art, real estate and stocks. But the task is becoming harder, PCGG chairman Andres Bautista said, with recent efforts yielding only “bits and pieces.”

“I want to level expectations,” he said. “After 26-plus years, what can we do?

“Evidence is missing, or witnesses have died, or else people are not cooperative anymore because many of the people we are running after are back in power.”

Imelda Marcos is a member of Congress, her son Ferdinand Jr is a senator and daughter Imee is a provincial governor. Many of their political allies are also congressmen or local officials.

In mid-2011, the PCGG proposed its own dismissal, in order to give Filipinos what Bautista called “a much-needed sense of closure.”

Persistent allegations of corruption also made the job difficult, he said.

“For any anti-corruption agency to be successful, it must be beyond reproach,” he said. “It has been very difficult to re-establish that credibility.

“But we are not saying that we should stop the fight against the Marcoses or the hunt for the ill-gotten wealth,” Bautista said.

Investigation and prosecution should be transferred to the Department of Justice, he said, while the duty of overseeing recovered assets should be referred to the Department of Finance.

But for Ilagan, Enriquez and other human rights victims, closure will only come from prosecutions and justice.

“There will be no closure as long as no one is punished,” Ilagan said.
It is indeed very practical that the party is  judge, legislator, head of the army, executor  and  publisher  all in one in China.

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