How can the heirs of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos deny the justice of alleged victims of Martial Law abuses – when their assets are already forcibly taken by the PCGG to allegedly pay the human rights victims? However, the government is into the new challenge to really prove that it’s Marcos who is responsible for the abuses – or else, the compensation won’t be released.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: The Court of Appeals has rejected the Marcos family’s attempt to delay trial at a Makati court of a civil case filed by victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime necessary to validate a foreign decision.
$2 Billion Dispute
In 1992, the US District Court for the District of Hawaii finds Marcos personally liable for the human rights abuses committed under his leadership. The court awards the victims $2 billion in damages, sourced from funds that are allegedly ill-gotten. They are under the possession of PCGG which are more than enough to pay the said compensation.
On appeal, it takes 8 years for the Supreme Court of the Philippines to consider the issue. It eventually delivers its opinion. The court offers no explanation for its delay. In 2007, the Human Rights Committee of the UN (HRC) publishes a communication in which it concludes that the Philippines government violates the victim’s rights under the ICCPR due to the unreasonable amount of time it had taken to consider “a matter of minor complexity.” The HRC requests that the government compensate the victims promptly to resolve the case.
Aquino’s Delayed Action
Former President Benigno Aquino III signs the Human Rights Victims (Reparation and Recognition) Act into law on February 25, 2013. It addresses the human rights abuses allegedly takes place under former President Ferdinand Marcos’ government from 1972 to 1986.
Condition on Foreign Decision
Rules 38 Section 48 of the Philippine Rules of Court, the country recognizes and enforces a foreign decision only through a case filed before the Philippine court. Therefore, the complainants file a suit at the Makati RTC in 1997. Initially, the regional court dismisses the suit, stating that the victims are required to pay a filing fee of $8.4 million, based on the $2 billion in dispute. The irony now is, what if after thorough questioning, the courts finds out that Marcos should not be held responsible but the Philippine Constabulary’s chief? Will they also charge the culprit the same as the Marcoses?