Martial law victims’ human rights cases to be pursued under Marcos presidency

Published May 29, 2022, 3:12 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Human rights cases filed by Martial Law victims against the Marcos family will continue during the impending presidency of the dictator’s son, President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a human rights lawyer and law professor said on Sunday, May 29.

Human rights lawyer and law professor Theodore Te speaks during the “BISErbisyong Leni” radio show on Sunday, May 29. (Screenshot from dzXL via Facebook)

Lawyer Theodore Te, former spokesman of the Supreme Court (SC), stressed the important role of the Filipinos in pursuing these cases, which will be “more challenging” because of Marcos Jr.’s ascendancy to power.

“Ngayon, ang magiging siguro mas challenging lamang po eh kung ang nakaupo ay siya mismo ang anak nung pinapanagutan (Now, what’s more challenging is when the president is the son of the defendant),” he said, adding that it is the government that must run after the dictator’s family.

“Kung kaya’t nasa taong bayan po iyon na i-remind ang gobyerno dapat ipagpatuloy ang prosesong iyon (That will depend on the people to remind the government to continue that process),” Te, who was the legal counsel of a group of Martial Law victims that sought to cancel Marcos Jr.’s Certificate of Candidacy (COC), added.

He maintained that these cases cannot be set aside, citing the success attained in similar cases and the compensation law passed for Martial Law victims.

Pursuing these cases and ensuring that the Marcos family will pay will be a priority.

“Hindi dapat kalimutan na lamang (We should not just forget it),” the lawyer-professor said.

However, Te added that the process takes time despite admitting that compensating human rights victims is a long and arduous procedure.

Marcos Jr. will assume the presidency at noon of June 30, 2022.

His administration will oversee the prosecution of pending graft cases against his mother, Imelda, and his family’s P203-billion estate tax debt.