MANILA – A group of victims of human-rights abuses during the Marcos regime today denounced what it called as an “arbitrary delisting” of at least 2,000 members in the class-action suit filed against the family and estate of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), the group that represents thousands of the victims in their efforts to hold the Marcoses accountable for their crimes, led a protest march today in front of the offices of Rodrigo Domingo, the Filipino lawyer who has been collaborating with court-appointed lawyer Robert Swift in the class suit.
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Selda questioned the basis for the delisting of the 2,000 victims.
Fr. Dionito Cabillas, Selda secretary-general, said in a statement that the victims and their families approached Selda recently after a US court ordered the distribution of the fund from the settlement agreement with a Marcos crony. Swift has said that 7,526 victims will be given at least $1,000 each.
Cabillas said the number of victims should be 9,539. Swift has said that the other 2,000 had not responded to the court’s notices.
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But Cabillas said “they went through the rigors of filing their claims with the court in the early 1990s, despite their anguish in recounting their experiences of torture and of their family members being victims of summary executions and enforced disappearances during martial law. Selda was among the organizations that assisted the victims in filing their claims, and many of them believe that they were among the 9,539 class members.”
Cabillas explained that many of the delisted victims have transferred residence and thus were unable to receive the second notice from the court.
“The bases of the delisting were among the questions we raised with Atty. Swift and the US court because the victims and their families need clarification and concrete answers,” Cabillas said. “Many of them are now old and sickly, and measures to render justice through indemnification should be ensured.”