The Manila court refused to enforce the 18-year-old judgment of a U.S. District Court in Hawaii because the plaintiffs, who claim human rights violations, had not exhausted their legal remedies in the Philippines at the time, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Monday.
The staff of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., released a copy of the June 25 ruling.
Priscilla Mijares, the lead plaintiff, filed the suit in Hawaii in 1991, five years after Marcos was ousted from office and two years after his death, the court said in dismissing Mijares' petition to enforce the judgment.
The court said Mijares had filed the suit outside the Philippines because of fear, but because Marcos was dead, those fears were "obviously imaginary."
The plaintiffs failed to make use of all their possible legal remedies in the Philippines, "where justice and democracy are working," before seeking relief in a foreign court, the Makati Regional Trial Court ruled.
The Makati court was critical of the Hawaiian court's use of statistical sampling in setting the award amount, saying, "a specific amount of damage could only be determined by requiring the individual presentation of evidence by each party wronged."