Gov't says no claim to $7M Marcos jewels

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2009 06:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2009 02:14 AM

The Philippine government has no claim to two Marcos jewelry collections with a combined value of up to $7 million, according to the Office of the Solicitor General.

In a 20-page motion dated June 24, 2009, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, Assistant Solicitor General John Emmanuel F. Madamba, State Solicitor Magnolia C. Velez and Associate solicitor Moses V. Florendo acknowledged that the so-called Roumeliotes and Hawaii Collections were both "not covered" by Civil Case No. 0141. Only the set known as the Malacañang Collection worth an estimated $110,055 to $153,089 was mentioned in the ill-gotten wealth case.
 
The pleading, sent by post, reached the Sandiganbayan First Division on Monday.

In the June 24 motion, government lawyers sought partial summary judgment only over the Malacañang collection as they noted that the Sandiganbayan has in fact declared that the two more valuable Marcos jewelry collections were not covered by the government case.
 
The Office of the Solicitor General, however, asked the Sandiganbayan to consider "the aggregate value of all the jewelry, among other ill-gotten assets already forfeited" in favor of the government particularly since Mrs. Marcos has claimed ownership of the Malacañang and Hawaii collections and has demanded for their return.
 
The OSG also invoked the pronouncement of the Supreme Court that the lawful income of the Marcoses during their stay in government only amounted to $304,372.43 that "demonstrates manifest and gross disparity" with the value of the jewelry collections alone.
 
Based on the 1991 valuation of auction house Christie, Manson and Woods International, Inc., the Roumeliotes, Malacañang and Hawaii Collections were worth between $5,313,575 (low estimate) to $7,112,879 (high estimate).
 
The Hawaii Collection was seized from the Marcoses by the United States Customs Service when they landed in Honolulu, Hawaii after fleeing the Philippines at the height of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt.
 
Items in the Malacañang collection were found on February 25, 1986 abandoned by the Marcos family and were turned over to the Central Bank on March 1, 1986.
 
The Roumeliotes collection, the biggest and most expensive of the three, was seized from Greek national Demetriou Roumeliotes at the Manila International Airport on March 1, 1986 and is still kept at the BoC vaults. Roumeliotes was identified as a friend of the Marcos family.