Lawmaker refuses to submit claim for rights violation

By , on September 22, 2014

(Malacanang stock photo)
(Malacanang stock photo)

MANILA — Lawmaker and Pampanga representative Oscar Rodriguez, who was detained and arrested for his involvement in the underground movement during the martial rule, won’t file claim for rights violation.

There was “no price for fighting the dictatorship and its repression of civil liberties,” said Rodriguez referring to the late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos who declared martial law on September 21, 1972.

Also known as “Ka Jasmin” and “Nelson Fabros,” Rodriguez said that he is contented knowing that his name will be included in the roll of human rights violations victims (HRVVs) under the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act or RA No. 10368 which President Aquino signed in February 2013.

In December 1973, military men arrested Rodriguez in his residence and brought in to the Philippine Constabulary headquarters where he was detained for almost a year. During his stay in prison, he wrote the petitions of his fellow inmates.

He was released with the help of classmate and former Deputy Director General Ramsey Ocampo of the Philippine National Police and lawyer Zoilo Andin.

For former detainee Isagani Serrano, the RA 10368 is a “landmark legislation” because it recognizes the use of force, violence, torture, intimidation, threat, warrantless arrests, forced disappearances, and other forms of preventing freedom during the martial rule.

The said law provides monetary and nonmonetary assistance to the HRVVs and their families. It covers the period of September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986.

“The State hereby acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize and/or provide reparation to said victims and/or their families for the deaths, injuries, sufferings, deprivations and damages they suffered under the Marcos regime,” the law states.

It added, “Similarly, it is the obligation of the State to acknowledge the sufferings and damage inflicted upon persons whose properties or businesses were forcibly taken over, sequestered or used, or those whose professions were damaged and/or impaired, or those whose freedom of movement was restricted and/or such other victims of the violations of the Bill of Rights.”