Money recovered from former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos’ Swiss bank accounts will be used to compensate victims of human rights violations during his iron-fisted rule, the Aquino administration has announced.

The Philippines’ government has recovered US$600m from Marcos’ secret Swiss bank accounts. The government had previously accused Marcos and his relatives of plundering up to US$10bn; so far it has recovered $4bn.

It is now planning to use RM750m to compensate the victims of Marcos’ victims.
The Philippines Inquirer reports:

Ten billion pesos ($244 million) (that’s RM760m) will be distributed to potentially thousands of people who were tortured, raped or detained, as well as relatives of those who were killed, by Marcos’s security forces during his 20-year rule.
Aquino said the law was part of his government’s efforts to “right the wrongs of the past”.

“We may not bring back the time stolen from martial law victims, but we can assure them of the state’s recognition of their sufferings that will help bring them closer to the healing of their wounds,” he said.

Loretta Ann Rosales, an anti-Marcos activist who was tortured by his security forces and now heads the country’s independent rights commission, said the law would finally allow all his victims to feel a sense of justice.

“The law is essential in rectifying the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship and obliges the state to give compensation to all those who suffered gross violations of their rights,” Rosales told AFP.

This is one idea that the new occupants of Putrajaya should seriously consider to compensate the victims of human rights abuses including those who have been driven out of their native customary rights land.

Thanks to D and M for the news alert.