Despite court rulings, Marcos says fake news involved in ill-gotten wealth issues

Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2022 08:33 PM

MANILA - Presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Wednesday that issues regarding his family's ill-gotten wealth and alleged estate tax liabilities involved "a lot of fake news", despite courts and relevant government agencies confirming already those.

"Let's leave it to the lawyers to discuss it," Marcos said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum. "Because yung mga so-called facts that they quote are not facts at all. They are just presumptions, they are not familiar with the cases, or they choose not to be familiar with the cases."

The Sandiganbayan in September last year ordered a bank to pay the government around P96 million and $5.4 million, which it said are the value of bank certificates recovered from the Marcoses when they landed in Hawaii in 1986.

The Marcoses amassed an estimated $5 to $10 billion, or more than P500 billion, in ill-gotten wealth, based on the World Bank-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Stolen Asset Recovery report.

Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy Alvarado said in October 2020 while defending the budget of the Presidential Commission on Good Government that the agency has yet to recover some P99.6 billion worth of the Marcos family's alleged ill-gotten wealth.

The Marcos family has also faced court decisions regarding its ill-gotten wealth over decades, including one from the Supreme Court in 2003 to have $658 million in Marcos Swiss bank accounts given back to the Philippine government, and Imelda Marcos' graft conviction at the Sandiganbayan in 2018. 

The camp of one of Marcos' rivals in the May elections recently brought up also an alleged P203 billion in estate tax liabilities of the Marcoses.

Aksyon Demokratiko, which is fielding Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso in the May presidential race, said Wednesday that the government is still asking the Marcos family to pay the said liability, citing a letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. 

So far, the PCGG has recovered more than P170 billion or more than $3 billion from the Marcoses since the agency's creation in 1986, according to Ruben Carranza, one of its former commissioners.

"It's in the courts. In my case, whatever the courts order me to do, I will do," Marcos said of the issues at the Kapihan forum. 

He did not specify which issue regarding his family's ill-gotten wealth was fake.

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