(CN) – Ten thousand victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime in The Philippines asked the Denver Federal Court to transfer title of a 520-acre property he owned in Colorado to partially satisfy $1.9 billion in damages they’ve been awarded by other courts.
In the earlier litigation, class members said they were subjected to torture, murder, rape and imprisonment for opposing Ferdinand Marcos when he ruled The Philippines, from 1965 until February 1986, when he escaped to Hawaii. He died in exile on Sept. 29, 1989.
The class obtained a $1.9 billion judgment against the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Northern District of Illinois in 1997, a judgment revived and re-entered in March 2009.
The current action focuses on a property in El Paso County, Colo., which Ferdinand De Leon and the other class members say Marcos owned through Denman Investment Corp., a tax haven set up by Jose Yao Campos, his longtime financial advisor and confidante.
The class seeks judgment in Colorado based on the prior foreign judgment, and transfer of ownership of the land from Imelda Marcos and the estate of her late husband. Not resolving the matter would create a risk of inconsistent or varying adjudications, establishing incompatible standards of conduct for the defendants, the complaint states.
During his presidency, Marcos invested in properties while secreting and concealing his ownership through corporations Campos established in several tax havens.
Campos bribed Philippine officials to avoid prosecution there, the dissidents said, but was sued in the District of Texas in a racketeering action. The case was dismissed before discovery, when Campos returned more than 200 corporations and pieces of real estate to the Philippines, along with $12 million in cash, the complaint states.
Campos died in 2006.
Defendant Denman Investment Corp. is now owned by a Panamanian corporation which in turn is owned by a trust administered in Hong Kong for the benefit of Campos family members.
The Class is represented by Richard Sander of Sander, Ingebretsen & Wake in Denver.