Friday, April 23, 2010

Last One Standing

One has to give it to Atty. Robert Swift who has pursued, for 25 years, the class action suit of the 10,000 incarcerated, tortured, killed, during the Marcos Dictatorship. He and his law office just got the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a Texas federal judge who dismissed a lawsuit for possession of 4,000 acres of land, said to be worth between $100-$150 million and said to be part of the Marcos Estate.

At roughly the same time, he won a $28 million claim in Singapore for the class action suit, which caused the Philippine government to ask for the list of names of the claimants. The court refused, saying the only purpose of this would be “retaliation by military and paramilitary groups who first abused these victims during the Marcos regime."

The case was filed way back in 1986 or nearly a quarter of a century ago. The legal principles established during this case, for which Atty. Swift won a judgment of $4 billion (with interest) has enabled other human rights abuse victims of other countries and other fascist governments to obtain cash judgments.

Unfortunately, not a cent has gone to the original Filipino claimants.

Everyone else seems to have made peace with the Marcos legacy. Me, I’d be happy to live on one acre… or maybe two.

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