US court OKs distribution of $10 million among martial law victims

Victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime stage a picket in front of the Martial Law Victims Claims board on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. ABS-CBN News

MANILA – An American judge approved the awarding of some $10 million to some human rights victims during the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In an order dated March 28, Judge Manuel Real approved the third distribution of funds worth US$1,500 for each of the 6,500 registered victims of martial law atrocities during Marcos’ time.

American human rights lawyer Robert Swift and his Filipino counterpart Rod Domingo will start the distribution of checks to human rights victims on May 1 in six cities in Mindanao and will continue in July in other cities.

The money to be distributed will be sourced from the proceeds in the sale of four paintings – one by French impressionist movement leader Claude Monet and three others sold in auction last November for over $3 million.

The Philippine government will also get around $4 million as provided for by the New York court ruling on the sale of the paintings sometime in May.

Swift was the one who initiated the litigation in New York that spanned for six years after the famous “Water Lily” painting by Imelda’s aide Vilma Bautista was sold before for $32 million.

Real’s approval came after he previously granted a $13.75-million settlement charged in the proceeds of the sale of seized art pieces once owned by Marcos’ widow, Ilocos Norte representative Imelda Marcos./PN


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