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ALS student-volunteers at the Human Rights Victims Claims Board office take the testimonies of martial law victims. Photo by Armand Dulay

ALS and HRVCB sign MOA on legal assistance for R.A. 10368

The Ateneo Law School (ALS), through the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) and Ateneo Legal Services Center (ALSC), signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) for the provision of paralegal assistance in accordance with Republic Act No. 10368 (RA10368), or the “Human Rights Victims Reparations and Recognition Act of 2013”. The MOA signing was held last 15 August 2014 at the Veritas Hall. Atty. Amparita Sta. Maria and Atty. Nina Patricia Sison-Arroyo represented the AHRC and the ALSC respectively, while Chairwoman Lina Sarmiento represented the HRVCB.

The HRVCB, in addition, conducted an orientation seminar headed by Atty. Glenda Litong and Mr. Reuel Realin. They both explained that the ALS is now considered as a designated intake office where a human rights violation victim (HRVV) or claimant may acquire a copy of an application form duly issued by the HRVCB, to be later filed at the HRVCB main office at the University of the Philippines Institute for Small Scale Industries.

Also, per the MOA, the ALS committed itself to render paralegal aide, primarily thru the Clinical Legal Education (CLED) students and volunteers, to the HRVCB by means of assisting victim-claimants in filling out claim application forms, explaining to the latter the essential portions of said forms, and checking the necessary documents needed for their claims to be considered.

Through RA 10368, the State recognizes the heroism and sacrifices of human rights violations victims during the regime of former President Marcos covering the period from 21 September 1972 to 25 February 1986, or the Martial Law period. The State also recognizes its moral and legal obligation to recognize and provide reparation to said victims.

The individuals qualified to apply are (1) persons who are HRVVs, as defined by the law; (2) claimants who are conclusively presumed to be HRVVs under the law; and (3) legal heir/s, or authorized representative of HRVVs who are deceased, incapacitated, or involuntarily disappeared. Furthermore, according to the law, failure to file a claim on or before 10 November 2014 is deemed a waiver of such claim. P

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