Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1999 21:28:49 -0600 (CST)
From: Robert B. Sands <>
Subject: PHILLIPINES: Communist leader rejects Marcos deal
Organization: Center for Justice and Equality—SA
Article: 56544
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

Communist leader rejects Marcos deal

AFP, 3 March 1999

MANILA, March 3 (AFP)—A Philippines communist guerrilla leader on Wednesday rejected a 150 million-dollar settlement reached between the estate of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos and human rights victims.

The accord, announced last week, violated an agreement which provided for indemnities to guerrillas who were tortured or killed while fighting the Marcos dictatorship, chief rebel negotiator Luis Jalandoni said.

The government has ignored and violated this provision its 1998 agreement by entering into a rotten 'settlement' agreement with the Marcoses and the American lawyer Robert Swift behind the backs of the human rights claimants, Jalandoni said in a statement.

Philippines President Joseph Estrada last month cancelled peace talks with the communists after they kidnapped an army general and two other officers.

The government move put in limbo the March 1998 agreement with the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF), which among called for the release of jailed guerrillas and provided an outline for the compensation of human rights victims.

The settlement deal signed in Los Angeles last week was between lawyers for the Marcos estate and attorneys representing 9,539 torture victims of the Marcos regime.

The money will be paid out of funds recovered by Manila from secret Marcos accounts in three Swiss banks. The deposits now total 590 million dollars and are being held in escrow at a state-controlled bank.

The settlement was reached after the victims failed to collect from the estate any of the 1.9-billion-dollar damages awarded to them by a US court in 1994.

Some, but not all, of the plaintiffs were former communist guerrillas or sympathizers.

Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after a bloodless popular revolt ended his 20-year rule.

Mr. Estrada is swindling the human rights claimants, NDF leader Jalandoni alleged in the statement.

He warned that the accord would lead to the Marcos family members being exculpated from liabilities for human rights violations by the victims of human rights violations themselves.

The communist New People's Army launched a guerrilla campaign four years into the Marcos rule but were shut out of the 1986 transition after they chose to boycott a February 1986 snap presidential election whose disputed result led to a civilian uprising.