For a widow like Flaviana Gulferica, 59, who raised her children by her own, the Mobile Civil Registration Project (MCRP) seems to be the answer to her three-decade prayer.
Flaviana, who has been a widow since 1985, has been badly yearning for the compensation of her husband Dionesio, one of the 10,000 human rights victims during the Martial Law years.
Suspected as one of the members of the New People’s Army (NPA), armies camped in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar allegedlly tortured Flaviana’s husband to death.
“He was brutally tortured and stabbed on the chest leading to his last breath,” Flaviana tearfully recalled.
A group of men already buried her husband’s corpse before she learned of his death. She still has to dig her husband out from the ground to have a last glimpse of him and subject the body to an autopsy.
“It was very hard for me to accept the loss of my beloved husband, fuelled with the fact that I would now be alone raising my children and that he was killed despite of his innocence,” the widow said.
So when informed about the MCRP, Flaviana really took the chance of availing the free service. According to her, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services’ (IDEALS) program was an answer to her prayer.
The death certificate paved the way for the availment of a small chunk of the Php P10 billion fund from the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family to compensate human rights victims.
“At this moment, I am so thankful that I can now process my birth certificate and my husband’s death certificate which is a requirement for us to claim the said compensation for his death,” she said.
MCRP aims to give free assistance to the victims of typhoon Yolanda who lost their legal identity documents such as birth, death, and marriage certificates.
Flaviana, who still has her documents with her, is very much thankful for the opportunity given to her to avail the said program.
“The documents are now already in Manila, in the hands of my eldest child Glenda. She is now the one processing in claiming the compensation,” she said. “If not for this program, until today I am still in grief. So thank you IDEALS!”
Flaviana has been working as a daycare teacher in their village, earning measly Php P1,350 a month.
To support her mother, Flaviana’s youngest child has been fishing and farming for their living. Recently, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources provided a fishing boat to the family as part of the government’s Ahon initiative.
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) also helped them rebuild their home. -Lovely Hazel Valde, LNU Intern