Palace to reject any Marcos move to block jewelry auction

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2019 04:20 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2019 02:00 AM

MANILA- Malacañang said Monday it would block any possible move of the Marcos family to prevent the auction of P704.8 million in jewelry seized from former first lady Imelda Marcos.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week gave the go signal to auction off the jewels, which were seized from the former first lady when the regime of her husband, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, collapsed in 1986. 

"If they do, then we will oppose it," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in response to a question on how the Palace planned to address a possible appeal by the Marcos family.

"Because that’s the right thing to do. We feel that as the President says, the proceeds have to go to the Filipino people who are in urgent need of government aid," he said.

The 3 jewelry collections of the former first lady set to be auctioned were valued at P1 billion at a re-appraisal by auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's in February 2017. 

"Well, as far as we are concerned, these properties have been declared to be ill-gotten, that’s why precisely it is to be sold. If that was the court decision then we have to abide by it," Panelo said.

President Duterte is known to have close ties with the Marcos family, as his late father Vicente served in the late strongman's pre-martial law cabinet. 

In November 2016, Duterte allowed Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite protests.

He also endorsed the late dictator's daughter, Imee for a Senate seat in the May 13 polls, which she won despite questions on her educational background.

In November last year, the former first lady Marcos was convicted of graft for funneling public funds to overseas bank accounts during her husband's regime. She is out on a P150,000 bail while appealing the ruling.