MANILA- Malacañang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte is studying how to legally proceed with the proposal to return a portion of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family to the government.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said certain parties have informed the President that there may be an opportunity for government assets to be returned to the national coffers.
"The President is studying how best to proceed in a manner that will advance the nation's interest and comply with the law," Abella said in a statement.
"As this matter becomes clearer, we will advise what further action will be taken to finally obtain justice," he added.
Earlier this week, Duterte said the Marcos family was willing to return gold bars and a part of their alleged hidden wealth, citing an emissary who said the riches were taken only to secure the Philippine economy at the time.
However, former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chief Ruben Carranza argued that accepting the Marcos family's offer to return a portion of their wealth can only proceed in an "unlawful" manner due to a court ruling that declared assets of the Marcoses beyond $304,000 as ill-gotten.
For 30 years, the PCGG has already recovered $3.4 billion in ill-gotten wealth as well as jewelry, art, and other assets from the Marcoses.
Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Wednesday revealed that former first lady Imelda Marcos told him in a previous conversation that she was willing to return around 7,000 tons of gold to the government.
But Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos has kept mum on the issue, saying there are no formal negotiations yet on the matter.
The government is still pursuing 248 cases against the Marcoses and their alleged cronies in various courts, with some appeals pending before the Supreme Court.