By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Thursday, April 7, is the 30th anniversary of the class suit filed in the United States by almost 10,000 victims of the martial law regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In behalf of the 10,000 victims and surviving families, leaders of the group are appealing before the Filipino electorate not to vote for Bongbong Marcos, a vice-presidential aspirant, a statement was sent Friday to online news BicolToday.com.
Families and survivors of military torture, unjust imprisonment, enforced disappearances, killings, and other forms of human rights violations remember the sufferings under the Marcos martial regime, and they are appealing before the Filipino voting public not to vote for the dictator’s son.
Samahang ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), the group of Marcos 10,000 victims and survivors, made public its statement:
“For SELDA, the charges filed against Marcos sought to demand justice for the victims of human rights violations OR AS THE Court described them – crimes against humanity – like summary execution or “salvaging” (a martial law euphemism), disappearances, and torture. SELDA wanted to let the nation and the world know of the human rights violations experienced by Filipinos during martial law.”
Marcos “crime against humanity” – US Federal Court
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., in his campaign, has been denying about the Marcos dictatorship, and also denies knowledge about his father’s ruthless human rights records, as described later by a US court as Marcos “crime against humanity.”
Rewinding back into history, in 1992, the Federal District Court of Honolulu in Hawaii decided in favor of the victims by declaring that Marcos was guilty of gross human rights violations and that the estate of Marcos was liable to pay damages to the victims.
A document released by the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) cites:
“7 April 1986/ Invoking the Alien Tort Act of the US, Selda filed the class action suit against Marcos in the Federal District Court of Pennsylvania as (Atty Robert) Swift’s firm was located there. The US Federal Court remanded the case to the Federal Court of (where Marcos and family were brought by the Reagan administration), in the sala of Judge Harry Fong… The 10 named plaintiffs, all Selda members, were: Celsa Hilao, Danilo de la Fuente, Renato Pineda, Adora Faye de Vera, Domiciano Amparo, Rodlofo Benosa, Jose Duran, Josefina Forcadilla, Arturo Revilla, and Gerry de Guzman. “
No to Bongbong Marcos
On this historic anniversary day, the martial law victims remind the son of the dictator (Bongbong) about a truth that he denies having knowing as he wages his deceitful bid for the vice-presidency,” says Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacaῇang (Carmma).
“In fact,” Ilagan adds, “his father, Marcos, violated not only the rights of 10,000 Filipinos, but an entire nation upon which he imposed his despotic one-man rule. It ended when Marcos and his family, including Bongbong, who now dreams of becoming president at a future time, was kicked out of the palace and on to Hawaii in 1986.”
“These are historical facts which Marcos Jr denies in his immoral campaign for the vice-presidency. But facts are facts and history is history. And the machinations of the namesake son of the dictator may win him a day, but not the final verdict of history,” Ilagan further said.
In a related move, Amaryllis “Marie” Hilao-Enriquez also issued a statement, as the sister of Liliosa Hilao, on the 30th year of the filing of the historic class action suit against ousted President Marcos and his estate, or the human rights litigation mdl – 840 (US Federal Court of Honolulu, Hawaii).
“Now, the son of the dictator is running for the second highest position in the land. We hope that on this 30th year of the filing of the historic class action suit by the victims themselves, Filipinos, especially the young voters called, “millennials”, or those who did not experience martial law, will always remember the shining hour that the youths before them had faced; that they rose to the occasion and struggled hard to allow the coming generations, including them, to achieve the basic rights they now enjoy.”
Hilao-Enriquez commends the group which is now resurrecting the plunder charges against Bongbong Marcos in relation to the pork barrel scam.
“We, too, commend the group that is now bent on reliving the plunder charges against Bongbong Marcos in relation to the pork barrel scam. May they win their case and we fervently hope that Bongbong Marcos will not win in this election,” declared Hilao-Enriquez. [BicolToday.com]