HONOLULU — A federal judge on Thursday approved the distribution of $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by thousands of victims of torture, execution and abduction under the regime of the late former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
The distribution provides victims their first opportunity to collect something since they sued in 1986.
Each of 7,526 eligible members of the class-action lawsuit will receive $1,000 under the plan approved by US District Judge Manuel Real. Distribution is expected to begin in mid-February and take about a month.
Robert Swift, the lead attorney in the case, said the payments were an important milestone for victims who have been fighting for years. Most of the victims or their surviving family members live in the Philippines.
"We know they are anxious for distribution. Most of our members are poor, very poor, and live in a Third World country that hasn't compensated them for any injuries they suffered, or loss of loved ones," Swift said during a hearing at federal court in Honolulu.