Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos skips directly answering questions on President Duterte’s announcement regarding the return of the Marcos wealth to the government.
interviewed before her appearance at a congressional probe on the alleged misuse of tobacco excise tax funds by her provincial government, Marcos was asked if there are negotiations for the return. The Governor said, “ wala pa, wala pa, tiwala kami sa president na sya ang makakapgtapos gn deka-dekadang kaso at yung pamilya naguusap pa pero nasa kamay ng mga abugado”
asked if there an intention to return, the governor said, “pag-usapan na lang ng mga abugado”
asked about claims by different individuals quoting Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos about some 7 thousand tonnes of gold bars being part of the wealth, the governor said, “ hindi ko alam, I think it’s bets that the lawyer respond to all these queries. Thank you.”
The Governor refused to take any more questions, advising media to instead wait for the statements of their legal counsel when one is ready.
On Wednesday, Buhay Party List rep. Lito Atienza for his part recalls a conversation with former First Lady now congresswoman Imelda Marcos. “i hope president duterte suceeds in mediating getting part of the marcos gold and marcos wealth narinig ko na yan directly from congw imelda marcos when i was mayor sabi niya gusto ko ibalik yung gold dito at bigay sa gubyerno…sabi niya humahadlang ang isang superpower di namin maigalaw ang gold. ano ba estimate ? something like 7000 tonnes. kung magsucceed si president duterte…pakinabangan ng bansa itong gintong ito.”that was a personal conversation i had which you can confirm with her. a long time ago. i said it she confided in me im announcing it in light of this development.”
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez tells the Marcoses that if they are return the allegedly stolen wealth, they have to return everything.
Alvarez told reporters after President Duterte revealed the Marcoses may return the money, “magandang development yan pero sana yung wag sana yung kapraso lang sana yung buo na“.
Alvarez however concedes the true value of the alleged ill gotten wealth has not been determined. “yun nga problema ng PCGG hanggang ngayon eh dang dami pa ring kasong walang nangyayari kaya nga merong proposal to abolish PCGG in fact ako in favor ako diyan in fact nagfile rin ako ng bill yung PCGG gawin nang sa ilalim ng office of the solicitor general para may mangyari naman”
Alvarez is open to a congressional probe to ascertain the amount of wealth the Marcoses allegedly stole in their 20 years in power. “tignan natin siguro pagka medyo maluwag na kamis a HoR baka pwedeng pagtuunan natin ng pansin yan”
as regards the wealth, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez hopes the Bangko Sentral can provide clarity on the wealth. “ang allegation is that we have a good number of production of gold in diff mining sites during the marcos years these gold are eitehr sold to the bangko sentral or sold privately nasa karapatan yan ng mining company what ive heard is that bangko sentral can convert the gold into USD there were buyers of those gold bars maaring some of those gold bars were purchased by the late rpesident’s family or himself. allegation of those gold bars was it legally acquired thinking ko naman if those were purchased by the bangko sentral they must have a record on how those gold bars were purchased”
Makabayan chairman and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today called on the Duterte administration to ensure justice and accountability in any talk about the return of ill gotten wealth by the Marcoses. “While we have long demanded the return of ill gotten wealth, its not merely about money.
“It’s also about justice and accountability. If the Marcoses will not acknowledge the human rights violations and kleptocracy that happend during Martial Law that resulted in these ill gotten wealth, parang donasyon na lang ang sinasabing gagawin nilang pagsoli. Parang may utang na loob pa tayo sa kanila.” Colmenares said.
“Madaling sabihin ng Marcoses na mag move on at reconciliation na ang taong bayan sa kanila kasi tayo ang nadehado at nawalan. As long as the Marcoses will not acknowledge the human rights violations and that their wealth is ill gotten they are not sincere in wanting reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation without justice.Dapat bawiin ng mamamayan ang nakaw na yaman ng mga Marcoses,” ended Colmenares.
Separately, Kabayan Party List Rep. Harry Roque is eyeing the creation of a truth commission.
“nais ko sana ng pananagutan kaya lang mahigit 30 anyos nakalipas walang pananagutan nagiisip po ako at nag aaral ngayon maghain ng isang panukalang batas na bumubuo na lang ng truth commission. for historical reasons malaman natin katotohanan. am i for or against the return eh wala naman tayo magagawa dahil after 30 years wala rin naman tayo nahabol sa kanila. di naman po puwedeng makakalimutan na natin.”