CA junks plea of martial law victims to get $2-B claims

Marcos victim

Manila, Philippines – Human-rights victims would still not receive the $2-billion claims awarded by a United States-based court as the Court of Appeals (CA) decided to junk their motion for reconsideration.

The CA’s Former Twelfth Division denied the petition filed by a group of human-rights victims under the Marcos regime who sought the $2 billion claim to be awarded to them.

Members of the group include former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Loretta Ann Rosales, film director Joel Lamangan, Priscilla Mijares, Hilda Narciso, and Mariani Dimaranan against the Estate of former President Marcos.

The group filed the petition on behalf of the 10,000 human-rights victims during the late dictator’s regime. The victims were class plaintiff in the US case Class Action No. MDL 840.

In a three-page petition dated January 3, the CA said that it was unable to find new or substantial information that would reverse its July 7, 2017 decision that denied them of their claims.

The CA said the Hawaii Court did not give any opportunity to the unnamed claimants the full litigation needed by law and no chance was given to the Marcos Estate to confront each and every claimant.

The appellate court’s July decision said the Hawaii court violated the right to due process of all unnamed claimants as well as the Marcos estate, making the US court’s decision not binding.

The CA explained that the parties who filed the case both for themselves and those they seek to represent share a common legal interest.

It pointed out that the purported claimants were classified into three subclasses according to the basis of their claims namely, torture, summary execution and disappearance victims.

The classification of claimants was an obvious recognition that “no common question of law and fact exists between/among the claimants,” the CA said.

“In other words, each claimant in MDL 840 had a right, if any, only to the damage that such individual may have suffered, and not one of them had any right to or can claim any interest in the damage or injury which another suffered,” it said.

“Hence, MDL 840 was not and should not have been brought as a class suit.”

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