Cebu City—They survived Martial Law, but not the long wait for justice.
Three Cebuano survivors of Martial Law passed away due to various illnesses while waiting since 2014 for their damage claims to be processed under Republic Act 10368 (otherwise known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act).
The Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples’ Rights (KARAPATAN)-Cebu identified the Martial Law survivors as Alfeo Basalo, Rodolfo Dejan and Boy Parba. All were members of the now-defunct peasant group Panaghugpong sa Mag-uuma sa Sugbo (PAMASU), predecessor of the provincial chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. All survived the strafing and burning of their houses in upland barangays of Cebu City in 1984 and 1985 by Philippine Constabulary and para-military groups.
This was revealed by the premier human rights alliance in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that allowed the deposed dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The group has earlier criticized the high court’s decision for obscuring historical facts leading to Marcos’ ouster and ignoring call of Martial Law survivors for justice.
“It’s a mockery of our people’s suffering and resistance during the dictatorship. It is like salt to a gaping wound for thousands of victims of torture, arrests and detention, who are still waiting for restitution–some at their deathbeds,” said Dennis Abarientos, coordinator of KARAPATAN-Cebu.
He said Basalo died of tetanus on March 30, 2016. Dejan died of cancer on September 1, 2015, while Parba of stroke in the same year, he added.
He lambasted the high court’s ruling as a rehabilitation of the dictator even as he lamented the continued denial of justice for almost 80,000 Martial Law claimants.