Deposed Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos has been subpoenaed in connection with a lawsuit alleging that his government violated the civil rights of two Filipino Americans murdered in Seattle in 1981, according to a sister of one of the slain men.
Cynthia Domingo said the subpoena, which asks Marcos to give a deposition in Honolulu April 15, was served Wednesday at his new residence in Hawaii. Stanton D. Anderson, an attorney for Marcos, said the former president has not decided whether he will comply.
Lawyers representing the families of the slain men, Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, want to question Marcos about the activities of Philippine intelligence agents in this country while he was in power, according to one of the attorneys, Michael Withey of Seattle. He said a subpoena also has been issued for Gen. Fabian Ver, armed forces chief of staff under Marcos.
The suit, filed in 1982, alleged that agents of Marcos' government conspired to violate the civil rights of Domingo and Viernes, an action that led to their deaths.
The men, both 29, were officials of a mainly Filipino cannery workers' union in Seattle and worked in the Marcos opposition. They were shot in the union office in June 1981.
Three Filipino Americans were convicted in the slayings, which prosecutors linked to gambling and unhappiness over union reforms.
But the slain men's families and friends remained unconvinced, and filed the federal civil rights suit.
In pretrial proceedings, court papers show, it was learned that another union member, whose gun was used in the slayings, met with Philippine agents shortly beforehand. According to the complaint, the man, Constantine Tony Baruso, allegedly made three calls to the State Department shortly after the murders.
The Justice Department sought to prevent Baruso from being questioned by lawyers for the men's families, but was rebuffed by a federal judge.
Members of the Philippine opposition here often complained of harassment by Marcos agents and alleged that U.S. officials were aware of the agents' illegal activities. In 1979 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was given a classified report that U.S. intelligence authorities knew Philippine agents were spying on dissidents here. And a leaked 1982 Defense Intelligence Agency memo said members of the Philippine Embassy staff monitored and "would possibly operate against" opponents here.