MANILA - Former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) commissioner Ruben Carranza accused presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. of being responsible for hiding wealth his family unlawfully acquired during the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
Speaking to University of the Philippines' campus radio on Thursday, Carranza questioned claims that Marcos Jr. was not at fault for any crimes committed by his father during Marcos Sr.'s time in office.
The former PCGG commissioner said Bongbong Marcos and his mother Imelda became the administrators of the Marcos estate following Marcos Sr.'s death in 1989.
"Ibig sabihin si Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ang susi ng kayamanang hanggang ngayon tinatago pa nila," Carranza said.
(It means until now Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the key to the wealth they have been hiding until now.)
Citing a 2003 Supreme Court decision, Carranza said Bongbong Marcos not only knew what kind of assets his family held, but also that the wealth was acquired unlawfully.
"Alam niya na nakaw na yaman iyan dahil alam niya na meron nang 2003 decision ang Supreme Court. Hindi na niya pwedeng ipagkaila ito. Hindi pwedeng mag-pretend na 'Ah wala pa namang desisyon ang Supreme Court na nakaw na yaman yan,'" Carranza said. "Meron nang desisyon ang Supreme Court na nakaw na yaman yan."
(He knows this is stolen wealth because there was a 2003 decision by the Supreme Court. He can't deny this. He can't pretend that 'Ah, the Supreme Court hasn't decided that there is ill-gotten wealth'. There is already a Supreme Court decision saying that is ill-gotten wealth.)
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that, in the face of "undeniable circumstances" and an "avalanche" of documentary evidence against them, the Marcoses failed to prove they lawfully acquired $658 million plus interest deposited in Swiss bank accounts. The money was awarded and returned to the Philippine government.
The SC decision was based on the grounds that:
1. The offender was a public officer or employee;
2. He must have acquired a considerable amount of money during his incumbency; and
3. Said amount is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property.
The high court said that the total value of the $356 million first deposited in the accounts was disproportionate to the estimated $304,372.43 both Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos would have made between 1966 and 1986 as President and Metro Manila Governor respectively.
ABS-CBN News sought the Marcos camp's statement on Carranza's remarks, though they have yet to respond.
Other cases against the Marcoses are still in the courts, such as the Sandiganbayan finding Imelda Marcos guilty for 7 counts of graft for using her cabinet position to maintain Swiss bank accounts during the Marcos administration.
Though she was sentenced to 42 years imprisonment, Imelda Marcos has appealed the ruling and posted bail.
According to the PCGG, the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth is estimated between $5 to $10 billion. The government has so far recovered a total of P170 billion or more than $3 billion dollars in the past 30 years.