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A victim of the Ferdinand Marcos regime cries as he finally receives compensation

About 7,500 victims of human rights abuses during late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos' regime will receive compensation for their suffering, 25 years after a peaceful revolt forced Marcos into exile in Hawaii.

"The distribution is historic and a triumph after 25 years of struggle to achieve justice," said American lead lawyer Robert Swift.

Swift said victims will receive the equivalent of $1,000 each starting in a ceremony on Monday. Swift and his Filipino co-counsels, assisted by the Commission on Human Rights, will distribute checks personally to claimants or their heirs in Manila and 15 other locations in the country.

The payments to the victims will partly fulfill a $2 billion judgment against the Marcos estate in 1995. A federal jury awarded the money after finding Marcos liable for torture, summary executions and disappearances of political opponents during his 20-year rule.

Saguisag said the payments should warn dictators now facing uprisings in the Middle East or elsewhere that "there is no haven for gross human rights violators."

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