Martial law victims awarded $10M as part of ruling against Marcoses

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 7, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Filipinos who were victims of human rights abuses from the time of martial law to the EDSA revolution have received $10 million in settlement from the sale of a valuable painting once owned by Imelda Marcos.

In 2010 the New York district attorney indicted former Marcos aide Vilma Bautista for the illegal sale of valuable paintings owned by the former first lady. Attorneys Robert Swift and Rod Domingo, legal counsels for the thousands of Filipino victims under Marcos’ dictatorship, then filed a suit to recover the paintings and the proceeds.

In June last year, the current owner, who is said to have purchased the Monet painting in good faith, settled the lawsuit for $10 million.

Last month, Bautista was sentenced to two to six years in a New York state prison for conspiring to sell valuable artworks belonging to the former Philippine first lady. She’s out on bail while she files an appeal.

In 1986, a class lawsuit was filed against the former dictator on behalf of 9,539 victims, or their families, who were abused, tortured, executed or disappeared during the Marcos regime from September 1972 to February 1986.

On Feb. 3, 1995, a Hawaii federal court entered a judgment in favor of the Marcos victims in the amount of $1.96 billion.

“With this settlement, the class is just starting to recover on its judgment,” Swift said.

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