Rosales: Marcoses ‘willing’ to cooperate in compensating human rights victims
MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Etta Rosales said Tuesday that the Marcoses had expressed desire to help in compensating relatives of human rights victims during the Martial law era but with one condition.
“They would like to ask our help to help them identify where their properties are,” Rosales said in a forum on legal victories of human rights victims against the family of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“And I said, you want me to help you identify to you where your properties are?” she said, drawing laughter from the audience. “You should be knowing where your properties are.”
Rosales said these statements from the Marcoses stemmed from their claim that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has already sequestered their properties.
“But what they said was ‘we don’t know, we don’t have any property, the PCGG has taken it […] but if we have more properties we would be more than willing to help,” she noted.
Members of the Marcos family have issued similar conditional apologies in the past. In 2018, then Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said her family has repeatedly apologized to people ‘inadvertently’ hurt by her father’s rule.
According to Rosales, who is herself a victim of human rights violation, these were actual conversations between her and the Marcoses during a court hearing in the Hawaii district court.
American lawyer Robert Swift had moved to cite the family’s representatives — former First Lady Imelda Marcos and former Senator Bongbong Marcos — in contempt for moving their assets.
Last April 11, the Hawaii court ruled in favor of the martial law victims when it decided that shares from the sale of the former first lady’s paintings should be given as reparation. The proceeds of the sale amounted to $13.75 million. However, $4.125 million would be paid to Swift for legal fees.
The latest release of funds for martial law victims ($1,500 each) was the third tranche facilitated by Swift’s legal action, which started after the ouster of Marcos in 1986.
This was initially blocked by the Office of the Solicitor General, which argued that the government stands to lose from the deal and that Swift was only fighting the Marcoses in court for profit and not because of a noble cause.
However, the distribution of settlements for Martial Law victims will push through starting Tuesday at the CHR main office in Quezon City. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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