The Philippines: Marcos regime victims to get P50,000

MANILA, Philippines – Some 10,000 victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime will get compensation of P50,000 each on Jan. 27, 2014, their lawyer said yesterday.

Robert Swift said the compensation is from a $10-million settlement over an 1899 painting by French artist Claude Monet previously owned by Imelda Marcos.

Last month, a US court found Imelda’s former secretary Vilma Bautista guilty of conspiring to sell a Monet painting in the Water Lily series, which vanished after the 1986 revolution.

Swift said the Federal Court in Hawaii approved his request to distribute P50,000 or about $1,175 to each victim on Nov. 6.

“In order to assure that each class member actually receives his or her entitlement, the distribution will be in person, not by mail,” he said in a statement.

He said the distribution of the compensation will be held at various locations nationwide.

Philippine co-counsel Rod Domingo Jr. welcomed the compensation, saying most of the victims are now old and poor.

He said Marcos human rights victims first received a $1,000-compensation in 2011.

25 years

Meanwhile, Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Andres Bautista said Imelda’s former secretary (no relation) could be sentenced to 25 years in jail.

The verdict is expected on Jan. 6.

Bautista said the PCGG is also trying to recover the Monet painting, part of the 146 missing artworks from the Marcos collection, which included Picassos, Rembrandts and a Raphael.

He said they would recover the painting from its current owner, Alan Howard, who is based in Switzerland, along with three other paintings seized by the Manhattan district attorney from Bautista.

“These paintings are ill-gotten wealth and not Marcos’ properties. What is proper is to remit it back to the government and compensate the victims, which is what it did,” he said.