'Human Rights Claims Board has only 2 years to do its job'

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

MALACANANG said on Sunday it respects the views of former Senator Joker Arroyo in calling on President Benigno Aquino III to reexamine his appointment of police Gen. Lina Sarmiento to the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board.

But Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also noted the claims board will have only two years to do its job and must get working soonest.

"We respect the views of former Senator Joker arroyo, who is an ardent freedom fighter and human rights advocate in the Martial Law period. Nagkakaiba ang pananaw niya sa pananaw ng Pangulo sa paghirang kay General Lina Sarmiento. Sa batas na nagtatag ng Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, may sunset clause kung saan binibigyan ang Board ng dalawang taon para magampanan ang tungkulin nito," he said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

"Maikling panahon lang, kinakailangan kumilos nang husto ang board na ito," he added.

Coloma also said the President himself is aware of the issue of human rights as he and his family had suffered human rights violations under Martial Law.

"Ito ang sinaalang-alang niya sa pagpili ng kasapi ng claims board," he said.

Arroyo had written an open letter to Aquino, appealing to have the President's senior staff reexamine the basis for the appointment of Sarmiento.

Arroyo argued Sarmiento "cannot have any track record of involvement in or understanding or knowledge of the human rights situation during the martial law period." (SDR/Sunnex)

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