VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic – The Philippines and Switzerland have agreed to work closely together to fast-track the immediate release of compensation funds for Martial Law victims.
Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. of the Presidential Communication and Operations Office said the agreement was reached during a bilateral meeting between Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and Swiss Confederation President Eveline Widmer-Sclumpf at the sidelines of the 9th Asia-Business Meeting being held here from November 5 to 6.
Coloma said President Aquino “promised to do what is needed to complete the process of getting compensation paid out eventually to the intended beneficiaries.”
“So this means clearing whatever administrative or procedural hurdles that still need to be handled or resolved,” he said.
“So that was taken up and both parties agree to work toward an early completion of this compensation process,” he added.
A Hawaii court ordered the Marcos family to pay $776-million in damages to Martial law victims in September 1992 following a class action suit filed against the former dictator by 9,539 victims.
Although a total of P35 billion ($833 million) have already been recovered from the Marcos family by past administrations, the victims have not yet been compensated due to many factors; one of which is the need to pass legislation to appropriate part of the sequestered funds from the Marcoses for the victims of martial law because the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law provides that all sequestered assets from the Marcos family would be utilized for the implementation of land reform.