Appendix 2.2: Republic Act 10368, “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013”

Kasarinlan Philippine Journal of Third World Studies

Abstract


Could this have been enacted had the president been anyone other than Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III? The sponsors of the House bill that eventually became this act (House Bill 5990) can be classified into three groups: a) Lorenzo R. Tañada III, Edcel C. Lagman, Rene L. Relampagos, and Jose Emilio A. Abaya, members of the Liberal Party, which was the party of both Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and his son Noynoy; b) Walden F. Bello and Kaka J. Bag-ao, members of the Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party, or the “rejectionist” left, which had formed an alliance with the Liberal Party during the 2010 elections; and c) Teddy A. Casiño, Neri J. Colmenares, Rafael V. Mariano, Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Antonio L. Tinio, Emerenciana “Emmi” A. de Jesus, and Raymond V. Palatino, members of the Makabayan bloc of partylist representives, or the “reaffirmist” left. The Senate counterpart bill (Senate Bill No. 3334) was co-authored by three Liberal Party senators—Sergio Osmenña III, Teofisto Guingona III, and Franklin M. Drilon—and Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, who was an independent since late 2009 and supported Noynoy Aquino during the 2010 elections. The law makes it official state policy to “recognize the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos” who suffered particular human rights violations from 21 September 1972 to 25 February 1986, but also entitles victims of violations committed a month before and a month after that defined timeframe to reparations under certain conditions. RA 10368 also states that those recognized as human rights violation victims or HRVVs (within the previously mentioned timeframe) by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation—a private entity whose founding chairman was Liberal Party stalwart Jovito R. Salonga—are to be given “conclusive presumption” that they are HRVVs as defined by the act. The specification of the timeframe is a feature found in both the House and Senate versions, while highlighting Bantayog is a Senate insertion, though in the Senate bill, Bantayog is not given an exclusive role among nongovernmental organizations.

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