CEBU CITY: President Aquino on Tuesday rejected demands that he withdraw the appointment of Lina Sarmiento, insisting that the former police director was the right person to “fend off” a supposed effort to “sabotage” the compensation of victims of human rights violations during martial law.

The President was referring to the Human Rights Victims’ Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, which recognizes human rights violations under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and provides a mechanism for the compensation of victims.

The President vouched for Sarmiento’s capability to lead the claims board, pointing to her experience in “tackling human rights issues, which I think, is the essential skill necessary.”

“So, she has the skill, she has the physical energy, she has the drive, she has the right direction to be able to accomplish the job in two years or less,” he said.

The board is composed of Sarmiento as chair, and Wilfred Asis, Galausch Ballaho, Byron D. Bocar, Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Glenda Litong, Jacqueline Veloria Mejia, Aurora Corazon Alvareda Parong and Erlinda Nable Senturias as members.