PCGG asked to forgo claim over 2 recovery cases
- Mike Frialde () - April 9, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer for the victims of human rights abuses during martial law is urging the government to forgo its claim over two recovery cases worth $68 million still pending in Singapore and New York courts in favor of the rights victims.

Lawyer Rod Domingo said he is now having discussions with the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) regarding a possible arrangement on the recovery litigations. The PCGG, representing the government, and the human rights abuse victims are still in litigation for custody of the Marcos funds.

Domingo said he is hopeful that although the government, through the PCGG, may not be willing to totally surrender its claim on the recovery cases, it may be amenable to an arrangement that would be favorable to the 7,526 human rights abuse compensation claimants.

“Between these cases, we can agree on about $60 million. These will go to the victims minus those for expenses and for attorney’s fees,” Domingo told reporters at a conference in Makati yesterday.

He added that should the government be willing to give up a sizeable chunk of its claim over the two recovery litigation cases, there will be enough funds to compensate the other 2,013 martial law victims excluded from the original 9,539 claimants who filed the class suit for compensation.

“We need fresh money for the claimants who were not included in the class suit. The President should step in and direct the PCGG to conclude the litigation in Singapore,” he said.

Singapore’s High Court had previously denied the Philippine government’s claim on the case involving $23 million originally hidden by former President Ferdinand Marcos in a Swiss bank before being transferred to the city-state.

Domingo is confident that the government and the claimants will be able to forge an agreement that would pave the way for another round of compensation distribution within this year.

“It is possible that each claimant may get at least $5,000. We will be transparent on this. We have invited the PCGG and the Commission on Human Rights to see how we will be distributing the money,” he said.

Meanwhile, Domingo said the initial distribution of compensation checks worth P43,200 ($1,000) to 6,500 claimants that was started last Feb. 28 was completed last Friday. The distribution of the remaining checks will start on the first week of May, he said.

The distribution of $1,000 is part of the human rights victims’ share of the $10-million compromise settlement with the heirs of the late Filipino-Chinese businessman Jose Yao Campos in connection with a claim they filed for lands in Texas and Colorado allegedly bought with Marcos money.

Domingo said the $1,000 compensation checks can be claimed from 16 collection centers nationwide and can be encashed at any RCBC bank branch.

DOMINGO GOOD GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT HIGH COURT HUMAN RIGHTS JOSE YAO CAMPOS LAWYER ROD DOMINGO PRESIDENT FERDINAND MARCOS PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION SINGAPORE AND NEW YORK TEXAS AND COLORADO
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