Credit to Author: Alexander Magno| Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 15:25:02 +0000
MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, chair of the Bayan Muna party-list group, slammed on Wednesday night President Rodrigo Duterte for saying there was no proof that Ferdinand Marcos amassed ill-gotten wealth during his two-decade reign as president.
In a message to reporters, Colmenares detailed instances when the Marcoses were ordered to return funds that supposedly belonged to the Philippine government.
“Pres. Duterte is wrong because: 1. Swiss banks returned what later amounted to $600 million or thereabouts; 2.) There is a Supreme Court decision in Marcos vs Sandiganbayan which forfeited their ill-gotten wealth,” the former party-list representative said.
“The SC even said that the Marcoses’ declared income up to 1986 is only about $400K so how can they have hundreds of millions of dollars in Swiss Banks,” he reasoned out.
Earlier, the President said during his speech before the League of Municipalities of the Philippines that it had yet to be proven that Marcos indeed seized government money, claiming that people could not be sure if it even belonged to Marcos at all.
“Until now, you have not proven anything except to sequester and sell. Hindi mo nga sigurado kung talagang kay Marcos ba ‘yan,” he said.
According to Colmenares, however, money from the Marcoses’ Swiss bank accounts was used by the government for its projects — which implies that these were public funds.
“The Marcos compensation law that I authored gave an equivalent of 10 billion pesos from their Swiss ill-gotten wealth; Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also supposedly spent nearly P20 billion of the ill-gotten wealth for agrarian reform,” he explained.
“Furthermore, the Hawaii court just wrote me yesterday about $31 million worth of paintings from the Imelda collection to be distributed to their human rights victims. So the facts are clear and President Duterte is wrong,” he added.
Last November 2018, Marcos’s wife, now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos, was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for seven counts of graft for transferring funds to fake Swiss foundations while sitting as Minister of Human Settlements, member of the Batasang Pambansa, and as Metro Manila governor.
She was convicted in three other cases involving local foundations, as it was she who personally facilitated the transfer of funds. However, the anti-graft court decision did not tackle whether these were ill-gotten wealth or not. /atm