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Reinstate 2,013 Martial Law victims in list — SELDA

Manila, Philippines – A human rights group demanded the reinstatement of 2,013 victims of martial law whose names were delisted from among those to receive benefits included in the settlement agreement in the class suit resolved by a Hawaii court.

Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) chairman Marie-Hilao Enriquez said the Hawaii court should not remove the victims’ names in the class suit based merely on their failure to reply to the court’s letters to confirm their identities.

The 2,013 delisted names were among 9,539 victims recognized by the Hawaii court who filed a class suit against former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Federal Court of Honolulu in Hawaii in 1986.

“Delisting the victims who were part of those who went after the Marcoses is a grave injustice. They were arbitrarily dropped from the list without notice and without due process, denying them of their right to reparation.  We reiterate our demand to Judge Real to revert to the old list of Martial Law victims,” Enriquez said.

In October last year, SELDA filed an opposition on the delisting of members at the Hawaii court, stating that there has been an executory judgment by the U.S. Court of Appeals dated December 17, 1996 that the number of victims who were qualified for reparation remain at 9,539.

“This only means that the victims shouldn’t be given more burden to write to the Hawaii courts, or confirm their identities because they have already been recognized as legitimate class suit members and victims,” said Enriquez.

The filed opposition also said that delisted victims come from different parts of the archipelago many of whom are ordinary farmers and workers who may not have the financial means and resources to immediately respond to the reply required by the court.