Marcos offer to return gold bars, wealth needs further study: Aguirre

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 05:16 PM

MANILA - The offer of the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to return a portion of their alleged ill-gotten wealth to government will have "repercussions" on pending cases, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II warned Wednesday.

The justice chief made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that 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. 

"Masyadong maraming repercussions 'yan eh, so 'yung legal [repercussions] na 'yan 'di mo basta maiisip in one sitting yan. I'm sure dapat pag-isipan ng husto 'yan, ano ba kakailanganin?" he said. 

Duterte earlier said he wants to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked to recover the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth, and replace it with a new anti-graft body.

The PCGG was set up to recover the estimated $10 billion looted by the dictator and his allies during his 20 years in power, marked by alleged massive corruption and human rights abuses.

The agency has recovered P170 billion or about $3.4 billion in ill-gotten wealth, as well as jewelry, art and other assets.

Several cases remain pending against the Marcos family in connection with alleged abuses during the dictator's regime more than three decades since it was toppled by a peaceful revolt in 1986.

"If we are going to take into consideration the plan of the President to form an anti-graft body, may repercussions talaga, though we support the President in the creation of that body," he said.

If an agreement with the Marcoses will be made, Aguirre said there should be an enabling law to go along with it, or even an order issued by Duterte himself.

Aguirre, meanwhile, clarified that the reported offer made through a Marcos family emissary was still “very general” at this point.