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Gov’t pursuing justice for victims of Martial Law

The dictator has been driven out of power via a bloodless popular uprising 30 years ago but the pursuit of justice for the Martial Law victims continues.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, the Aquino government affirmed its commitment to fight for those who suffered through the Marcos dictatorship while sustaining the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the ousted leader.

“The Executive branch will continue to work closely with the Judiciary to ensure that justice will be served for all those that suffered under the dictatorial regime,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

Coloma said Human Rights Claims Board has started to process more than 76,000 claims from individuals and surviving families of those who were killed, tortured, or who disappeared during Martial Law.

“Funding for claims is from the proceeds of the recovery of ill gotten wealth that was made possible through the PCGG’s (Presidential Commission on Good Government) efforts,” he said.

Coloma said the Philippines is “probably the only country that has set up this institutionalized recovery and compensation processes through official government bodies.”

President Aquino is expected to lead the country’s celebration of 30 years of democracy during EDSA Day today.

Aquino is scheduled to lead the traditional flag-raising rites at the People Power Monument on EDSA and deliver his remarks.

Despite the skepticism raised by some groups that nothing much has changed since EDSA 1986, Coloma maintained that the country should still celebrate EDSA as a triumph of the people’s courage and solidarity in pursuit of democracy.

“Filipinos celebrate and rekindle the spirit of EDSA as it represents a high water mark in our history: The triumph of democracy and the defeat of dictatorship,” he said.

“Demonstrating the primacy of People Power is the Filipinos’ gift to the world: We paved the way to the peaceful dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the return of democracy in South Korea and Romania,” he added.