Sunday, February 06, 2005

NR0207:Questioning Etta's motives

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release February 7, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Is the Marcos compensation bill being watered down to make it more palatable
to Malacanang? -Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative and former political detainee under the Marcos
dictatorship Crispin Beltran today said that it was actually Human Rights
committee chair Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales who was delaying the passage,
approval and implementation of the human rights compensation bill now pending
in Congress. This he said in relation to reports that since the US Courts have
ruled that they cannot overturn a Philippine Supreme Court ruling forfeiting
$683 million of the Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, and thus the ball to get the
compensation funds released is now in the hands of Congress.

"Rep. Rosales projects herself as a champion of the victims of the Marcos
dictatorship and human rights, but her handling of the Marcos
victims-compensation bill exposes her to be otherwise. She continuous to ignore
the stand and position of human rights organizations and the claimants groups
regarding the bill her committee is pushing for second reading, insisting on
what in her own, narrow-minded view is just and moral," he said.

Beltran said that human rights organizations are already cementing a united
position against Rosales'
House Bill 3315.
"The various organizations of human rights victims of the Marcos dictatorships
have appalled and disillusioned by Rosales, and rightly so," he said.

Beltran accused Rosales of watering down the compensation bill and machinating
to make the provisions of the bill more palatable to Malacanang, regardless of
the how much it comprises the interest of the victims themselves and their plea
for justice and indemnification.

"In the bill, Rep. Roasles is giving President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the
important power and authority to appoint representatives to the human rights
compensation commission that will oversee the release of the compensation
funds. The bill can and should specifically provide for human rights
organizations and keep Malacanang out of it. Rather than give the executive
more power to interfere in the matter, Rosales should echo the stand of the
human rights victims and oppose Malacanang's interference and intervention. "

Beltran said that HB 3315's lines 13-14 of Section 8 states that "No person who
is a claimant or a member of any organization claiming compensation under the
Act shall be appointed to or become a member of the Board. "This provision
practically obliterates all chances that the victims will be compensated, or
that a compensation board will ever be established. This provision disqualifies
any member of SELDA, Task Force Detainees (TFD), FIND, PAHRA, Karapatan or any
other genuine human rights group to be a member of the board. If the decision
of who the members of the board will be will be left to Malacanang, Pres.
Arroyo would most likely appoint a businessman or a representative from some
pseudo- HR group that her minions would put up," he said.

Beltran said that there was already a spreading suspicion among human rights
groups that Rosales is deliberately weakening the victims' voice in the bill in
favor of Malacanang because of some secret deal being forged between herself and
Malacanang. "What this deal is, we can only guess; but it would be safe to say
that it must be related to the apportioning of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.
The Macapagal-Arroyo administration is so eager and even desperate for funds to
prop up its floundering operations, and the Marcos-ill gotten wealth that should
have long ago been used as indemnification for the victims is clearly being eyed
for this purpose."#


Post a Comment

<< Home