First woman 2-star general heads newly-formed human-rights panel

MANILA, Philippines–The former first woman two-star general in the history of the Philippine National Police is now the head of the newly-formed human-rights claims panel.
The ex-PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) director Lina Castillo Sarmiento was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chief executive of the nine-member Human Rights Victims’ Claims board.
Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said Thursday in a press briefing in Malacañang that Aquino has already signed the appointments of the board that is tasked to process, evaluate and approve application for claims of reparation and recognition of human-rights victims.
Sarmiento left the DPCR office seven months earlier than her mandatory retirement on January 31. Her promotion as a two-star general was upon recommendation of the late Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The President also appointed Wilfred D. Asis, Galuasch G. Ballaho, Byron D. Bocar, Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon, Glenda T. Litong, Jacqueline B. Veloria Mejia, Aurora Corazon A. Parong and Erlinda N. Senturias as members of the Board.
Aquino signed the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 creating the panel into law on February 25, in time for the 27th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution I that led to the ouster of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In a previous Philippine Daily Inquirer report, it said the compensation measure was intended to “recognize the struggles of the people who fought the dictatorship and provide them remunerations for their sufferings.”
The budget would come from a P10-billion fund recovered from the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos.
The President said the new law recognizes the heroism and sacrifices of Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human-rights violations committed during Marcos dictatorial regime, starting from the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972 to his ouster on February 25, 1986.