Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, July 27, 1999 Published at 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Marcos' millions blocked

"The Marcoses are still substantially endowed" said the court

Plans to recompense 10,000 victims of human rights abuses in the Philippines during the rule of President Marcos have run into legal difficulties.

A court in Manila has blocked an agreement which was reached in February between the heirs of former President Ferdinand Marcos, and the victims or their relatives.

The proposal was to share $150m among them from assets now worth more than $500m allegedly stolen by President Marcos while he was in power and kept in secret Swiss bank accounts.

But a special anti-corruption court says ownership of the assets is still being legally disputed by the Philippines Government and the Marcos family, and so cannot be used for compensation.

The court said that payment to the victims should come from the Marcoses' own pockets, and not from the Swiss bank accounts, held in escrow by a Manila bank.

A court statement said: " It is obvious today that none of the Marcoses are living in any demonstrable degree of poverty. Rather, recent political and social events have shown that the Marcoses are still substantially endowed."

The court argued further that compensating the victims with the money would mean renouncing "forever" all further civil claims against the Marcoses.

Back to square one

The BBC's John McLean in Manila says that the February settlement was hailed as a breakthrough at the time.

Thirteen years of trying to recover the vast fortune that Mr Marcos allegedly embezzled had until then produced few results.

The Marcos family were even more satisfied because a court in the United States had originally awarded the alleged victims $2bn in damages.

Victims reacted angrily to the latest setback and said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

The government also has said it will appeal against the court's decision. In the meantime, the search for the Marcos fortune is back to square one.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

26 Feb 99 | Asia-Pacific
$150m deal for Marcos victims

21 Dec 98 | Asia-Pacific
Imelda silent at Philippines inquiry

Internet Links

Philippines Department of Justice

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques