Marcos victims challenge Bongbong anew

The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya (SELDA) challenges Bongbong Marcos and his family, especially its Matriarch, Imelda Marcos, to implement the April 5,2010 decision of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals with regard to the Marcos’ 4,000-acres real estate property in Texas.

“We have no hope that the current administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will help the victims get their compensation because for the last 9 years, all it did was to prevent us victims from getting what is rightfully ours. With the recent decision of a US Court, we dare the Marcoses, who want to have a comeback in Philippine politics, to willingly execute the judgment, that is, if they truly want to serve the Filipino people. Show to us that you truly are against corruption by posing no objection to this recent court ruling,” stated Marie Hilao-Enriquez, SELDA Secretary General.

The 4,000-acres real estate property is just one of the other properties and monies of the Marcoses which were identified by the victims’ lawyers to be the source of the indemnification of the victims amounting to US$2B, as of the 1992 US Federal Court of Hawaii decision in the Hilao et al vs Estate of Ferdinand Marcos class action suit. The other sources are the Swiss account of the Marcoses amounting to US$680 million, already transferred to the Philippine National Treasury in 2004; The Arelma account amounting to US$35 million, which the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is persistently claiming in the name of the government together with the account in Singapore–earlier awarded by the Swiss government for indemnification, and which is part of the $680 million Swiss account.

“The Singapore Court decision is not only a victory for the victims, it is also a victory for the Filipino people. It is high time that the victims be compensated, this compensation is not just about money, it is part of getting justice. For the past 24 years, our judicial system has failed to put behind bars perpetrators of human rights violations during the time of Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Erap and now, of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, that is why impunity exists and persists in our society to this day,” added Hilao-Enriquez.

During Martial Law at least 120,000 Filipinos were put behind bars by the Marcos dictatorship. This led 9,939 of the victims and their families to file a class action suit for crimes against humanity against the Marcoses at the US Federal Court System in 1986, when Marcos fled to the US. The victims eventually won the suit in 1992 but not a single cent was received by ANY OF THE VICTIMS UP TO NOW. The governments that replaced Marcos did not do anything to give justice to the victims of martial law; in fact, the GMA government was the beneficiary of the victims’ move to file a suit against the Marcos family. Were it not for the suit filed by the victims, the Swiss Supreme Court would not have ruled and ordered the transfer of the $680 million ill-gotten Swiss deposits to the Philippine government in 1997. The money was eventually transferred to the Philippine National Treasury in 2004 and according to the Senate investigations, part of the amount went to the fertilizer fund scam authored by Jocjoc Bolante for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“SELDA strongly believes that Bong-bong’s desire to win is definitely not to help the Filipino people but for his and his family’s preservation and ensuring at the very least that a compensation Bill for martial law victims will not be passed by Congress. To prove us wrong, Bog-bong has to make a giant leap by, in the name of his family, making a public apology for the crimes committed under his father’s reign and the long overdue execution of the decision of the District Court of Honolulu to indemnify the martial law victims for damages. STOP MARCOS, JUSTICE NOW!!!” ###

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