OPINION: Dear Armed Forces, you just honored a 'soldier' who used his guerrilla name to hide loot in Swiss banks

Raissa Robles (Exclusive)

Posted at Nov 19 2016 12:01 AM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and its Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Duterte have just honored the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a hero’s burial.

The Marcoses probably think that by burying what’s left of the dictator’s cadaver in the Heroes’ Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani), they can alter reality and manufacture a hero.

What the Marcoses forget is that there is a long, long trail of verifiable documents showing otherwise.

My book "Marcos Martial Law: Never Again," uncovers part of this trail. But 268 pages is not enough to show everything.

And so, I promise the Filipino people that I will share what else I found.

For starters, I have verified – using documents that came from Ferdinand Marcos himself – that Marcos used his guerrilla code name during World War II in order to open secret Swiss bank accounts in the late 1960s.

Let me narrate how I stumbled on this truth. Not the Marcos truth. But the real, verifiable truth.

In 1986, after the Marcoses fled, I decided to leave Business Day because I wanted to cover the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). My colleague, Mon Isberto, was covering it for Business Day and since he was a more senior reporter, there was no chance in hell I would get the beat.

And so I went to the Manila Chronicle to cover that beat. I wanted that beat because earlier I had seen for myself how the Marcoses lived in Malacañang. I was able to get inside Malacañang the very next day that they fled.

I was very curious to know all about the efforts of the new government of Corazon Aquino to recover all their loot.

The first pieces of evidence of the Marcoses’ Swiss loot came from Malacañang Palace itself. The Marcoses had simply forgotten – in their panic to flee – several boxes of documents which were turned over to the newly-created Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

Among the papers Ferdinand Marcos happened to leave were the ones below, opening a secret account in Credit Suisse (the Swiss Credit Bank). Please note that I have placed my blog watermark in order to indicate that these documents came from me and I can vouch for their authenticity since I gathered them myself as a reporter:

Below is portion of another document:

The Philippine government verified the genuineness of these documents:

- When Marcos was in Hawaii and he demanded them back;

- When the Philippine government submitted the papers to the Swiss Federal Court, and after many many years Credit Suisse reluctantly told the Court they were authentic;

- These documents formed part of the evidence that made the Swiss Federal Court conclude that the money hidden in Swiss accounts by the Marcoses were “of criminal origin“.

You can read for yourself the press release on the matter issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police by clicking here

And in case you are interested, I personally asked Senator Bongbong Marcos about those secret Swiss bank accounts during a 2011 press forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

You can read his replies in my story (I took his photo myself) –

Senator Bongbong Marcos confirmed he had a direct hand in trying to withdraw US$213M from a Swiss bank in 1986 >

Senator Bongbong has never denied what I had written. Deadma lang (he just ignored them).

When I first wrote about Marcos’ Swiss bank accounts I did not know why he had chosen the alias “William Saunders”.

It was only a year ago when I stumbled on an online post by Charlie Avila, saying that William Saunders was the name Marcos had used as an intelligence officer during World War II. Beyond that, I could not verify what Charlie Avila had written.

This summer when I was doing research for my book, I finally stumbled on the evidence to verify what Charlie Avila had written.


On page 289 of his authorized official biography by Hartzell Spence, is the phrase in the first full paragraph saying –

“Marcos, then operating under the nom de guerre Major Saunders, happened to enter the headquarters and, with apologies, released the victims.”

The Marcos children, Bongbong and Imee, have always feigned ignorance about those secret Swiss bank accounts opened by their parents.

In the next post, I will show that they have not been honest with the Filipino people over the Swiss accounts – which the Swiss Federal Court has long ruled – were “of criminal origin”.

Today, the Armed Forces of the Philippines under its Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte, has chosen to honor a thief.

What message does that send to Filipinos?


UPDATE: I wish to inform everyone that Facebook has barred me from posting any link to this website or any other site from my Facebook community page – https://www.facebook.com/raissawriter/.

By the way, my Facebook Community page is “verified” by Facebook.

But you can all share the link. 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.