Sherry Broder


Marcos' Estate to Pay $770 Million

10,000 in Philippines tortured under leader's rule will get payments

January 19, 1995

HONOLULU, HAWAII A jury Wednesday ordered the estate of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos to pay about $770 million in compensatory damages to 10,000 dissidents who suffered torture and other atrocities under his rule.

The U.S. District Court panel had ordered the estate to pay $1.2 billion in punitive damages last February.

The jury of six men and three women took 3 1/2 hours to reach a decision.

The damages are in line with those recommended by a special court judiciary officer, retired federal magistrate Judge Sol Schreiber, who said that the victims and their families should receive $767 million.

Schreiber arrived at his figure by researching 137 victims, among them Bartolome Alcantara, a tenant farmer and father of six who was shot and killed by Marcos forces in 1981 in front of his pregnant wife.

The atrocities are alleged to have taken place between 1972 and 1986, when Marcos was overthrown in a popular revolt.

Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for 20 years, fled to Hawaii where he died three years later.

The civil suit marked the first time a case was tried in a U.S. court claiming human rights violations in another country. U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, who presided over the case, allowed the trial to be held under U.S. jurisdiction because Marcos was a U.S. resident at the time of his death.

Honolulu attorney Sherry Broder, who appeared for the plaintiffs, said she hopes the decision "sends a message to other dictators who abuse their victims."

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