Priest slams fake claimants of martial law reparation

Priest slams fake claimants of martial law reparation

MANILA— A Catholic priest has criticized the bogus claimants of compensation intended for the thousands of victims of martial law abuses.

Redemptorist Fr. Amado Picardal, also a martial law victim, said he was outraged by the incident and disrespect for those who suffered during the dictatorship.

“It’s a shame and disrespect for us who are the genuine victims and survivors of human rights violations under martial law,” Picardal said.

The Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) has sought the help of police authorities to look into a possible scam involving fake claimants who got hold of checks intended for martial law victims.

Picardal was in the initial list of 4,000 martial law victims eligible to receive compensation as released by the HRVCB.

The government has set aside some P10 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth for the more than 75,000 who applied for compensation.

The priest said he was not surprised that some people would take advantage of the situation since there’s money involved.

“There will always be people who will take advantage of this,” he said. “I just hope that the fake claimants will be found out and the appropriate sanctions be imposed.”

Picardal, also known as the “biking priest” for his previous “bike for life and peace” trips around the country, said that he already received his compensation recently.

He emphasized, however, that it’s not just the monetary compensation he is after.

According to him, he was a victim of warrantless arrest and torture for distributing leaflets that denounced the dictatorship and was imprisoned for seven months

“It’s not about the money. It’s a recognition and as a victim, while I received it already, it’s sad that there’s another martial law going on,” Picardal said. CBCPNews