Missing Picasso in Imelda home worth P8 billion: ex-PCGG official

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2022 09:56 AM | Updated as of May 13 2022 07:10 PM

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MANILA—A Pablo Picasso painting spotted in former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ home could fetch up to P8 billion if sold, a former Presidential Commission on Good Governance chief said Friday.

Eagle-eyed netizens on Wednesday pointed out that the famed painter’s Femme Couche VI (Reclining Woman VI) was seen in photos of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s visit to his mother.

The Picasso was among the paintings that anti-graft court Sandiganbayan wanted seized from the Marcoses in 2014. 

“Ang pinakamahalagang painting ni Picasso ay naibenta ng $155 million. So more or less mga P8 billion ang isang painting na ito,” former PCGG Commissioner Andy Bautista told TeleRadyo.

(I checked just now, the most important Picasso painting was sold at $155 million. So more or less this painting was P8 billion.)

“Now siyempre hindi natin alam kung anong kalidad ‘no, anong klase ‘no pero talagang ito si Pablo Picasso, isa sa mga talagang Masters and talagang napakahalaga nitong painting na ito,” he added.

(Now of course we don't know the quality of this painting, but Pablo Picasso is a master of painting and this is an important piece.)

Bautista said he was shocked when he saw the painting in photos of the former first lady.

He noted that the Picasso is not the only missing painting from the Marcoses.

“I left PCGG in 2015. Pero nung pag-alis ko dyan, ang naaalala ko, is that meron pang 156 paintings na missing na kailangan pang habulin,” he said. 

(I left PCGG in 2015. But when I left, I remember that there were still 156 paintings we needed to recover.)

Bautista called on the PCGG to continue going after the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

“Sana bigyan ng pansin ng mga namumuno ngayon ng PCGG, ng ating Office of the Solicitor General, kunin na natin ‘tong painting na ‘to habang meron pang panahon.”

(I hope the new PCGG officials can look into this, and the Office of the Solicitor-General, let's get this while there's still time.)

“At maliban dyan Johnson, alam mo yung mga alahas na nakabinbin…napakahalaga nung mga alahas na ‘yan. At yang mga alahas na yan ay again pag-aari ng taumbayan kung kaya’t dapat nating protektahan at siguraduhin na ang mga alahas na ‘yan at kung yan man ay ibebenta ay dapat ibalik ang nakaw na yaman na ‘yan sa ating kabang bayan,” he said.

(And aside from that, the jewelry is also important. These are property of the people so we should protect and secure these, and if sold, the money should be returned to state coffers.)

--TeleRadyo, 13 May 2022

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