Only an estimated 6,500 members of the Hawaii class suit will receive $1,500 each or P78,000 in the new round of distribution of compensation as the United States Federal Court in New York directed the transfer of $13.75 million in settlement proceeds to the human rights victims last month.
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‘Over 3,000 delisted rights victims need reconsideration’
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - May 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The more than 3,000 martial law victims excluded from the list of those who should receive compensation following the third settlement agreement on the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth should be reconsidered, rights group Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) insisted yesterday.

Only an estimated 6,500 members of the Hawaii class suit will receive $1,500 each or P78,000 in the new round of distribution of compensation as the United States Federal Court in New York directed the transfer of $13.75 million in settlement proceeds to the human rights victims last month.

There were originally 9,539 members who filed and won the case against the Marcoses in Hawaii but some of them were delisted for failing to register.

SELDA has raised the delisting since the first round of compensation from settlement agreements way back in 2011, noting that the number of claimants expected to receive compensation are decreasing every tranche.

Danilo dela Fuente, SELDA vice chairman, said “the class suit against the Marcoses was filed and won, a proof that they (Marcoses) have a record of massive human rights violations, plunder and corruption, all crimes against the people.”

“Eligibility should not be a question anymore. What should be addressed is how all victims will be reached out to be able to receive compensation,” Dela Fuente said.

He added there are even victims who are publicly known as martial law survivors and have repeatedly shared their stories and testimonies, but have not received a single compensation from the three settlement agreements.

To date, SELDA has documented around 130 individuals who were delisted as original members of the Hawaii class suit. The group continues to re-establish connections and communications with those who were delisted.

Robert Swift, the lawyer handling the class suit in the US since the 1990s, said there are victims who will not receive compensation due to non-submission of documents required by the court.

“While lists and matrices that proliferate now include almost everybody, the class suit list goes the other way around as legitimate victims were stricken out one by one. The number of victims who will receive compensation is always more important than the amount to be received individually, because the number of victims stands testament to the horrors of martial law,” Dela Fuente explained.

The group also hit senatorial candidate Imee Marcos a few days before the midterm elections on Monday.

“This is the one who should be removed from the list of candidates to vote for. For the whole duration of the campaign, this Marcos has flooded us with campaign materials and TV ads, along with all her lies,” Dela Fuente said.

“We should not vote for another Marcos who continues to thrive on their family’s ill-gotten wealth. They should return what they stole,” he added.

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