Speaker to Marcoses: If you're going to return hidden wealth, return all

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 05:55 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday said the Marcos family should return all and not just a portion of their supposed hidden wealth.

"Magandang development yan pero...huwag sana yung kap[i]raso lang, sana yung buo na," he told reporters.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that the Marcos family had expressed willingness to return gold bars and part of their supposed hidden wealth.

Alvarez however conceded that the true value of the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth was yet to be determined.

He added that he is open to the idea of a congressional probe to ascertain the total amount of wealth acquired by the Marcoses during their 2-decade rule.

"Tingnan natin, siguro pagka-medyo maluwag na kami sa [House of Representatives] baka pwedeng pagtuunan natin ng pansin yan," he said.

ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY

Several lawmakers meanwhile called on the Duterte administration to ensure accountability in talks regarding the return of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

"It's also about justice and accountability. If the Marcoses will not acknowledge the human rights violations and kleptocracy that happened 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," Makabayan Chairman Neri Colmenares said.

Buhay Party-List Rep. Lito Atienza meanwhile recalled a conversation he had with Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos on the supposed gold bars. 

Atienza said the former first lady hinted having around 7,000 tons of gold which she wants to return to the government.

"I hope President Duterte succeeds in mediating [in] getting part of the Marcos gold and Marcos wealth," he said.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez expressed hopes that the Bangko Sentral can provide clarity on the supposed hidden wealth of the Marcos family.

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque meanwhile said he is eyeing the creation of a truth commission to study the accountability of the Marcos family.

"Nag-iisip po ako at nag-aaral ngayon maghain ng isang panukalang batas na bumubuo na lang ng truth commission for historical reasons malaman natin katotohanan," he said.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) for 30 years was able to recover P170.7 billion or $3.7 billion, accounting for almost half of the 5 to 10 billion US dollars of alleged ill-gotten wealth. 

A total of 248 cases against the Marcoses and their alleged cronies are still being pursued in various courts, with some appeals pending before the Supreme Court.