ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, hold them accountable - Karapatan
September 1, 2017
QUEZON CITY – “The
Marcoses have become legends among thieves and they used public
funds for their political and personal gains. All their ill-gotten
wealth should be returned to the people. We should be vigilant
against any compromise agreement of the Duterte administration with
the Marcoses that enables their getting a free pass for all their
crimes and their continuing political rehabilitation. This will only
perpetuate the injustices they committed against the Filipino
people,” said Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, on
statements of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Secretary Vitaliano
Aguirre that the Marcoses will return some of their ill-gotten
wealth and that a compromise agreement is being arranged.
The Basel Institute of
Governance/International Center for Asset Recovery (ICAR) estimated
that around $5-$10 billion of Marcos ill-gotten wealth needs to be
recovered from Switzerland and the US. As of 2009, only $658 million
have been recovered.
agreements have been initiated by previous administrations. In 1993,
the Ramos government through then Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG) Chair Magtanggol Gunigundo, entered into a 75%-25%
sharing agreement with the Marcoses. The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees
Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), a group of Marcos’ martial law
victims that led the filing of the class action suit against the
Marcoses in Hawaii, rejected the said arrangement as anomalous.
On September 13, 1995,
while Imelda Marcos was appealing and contesting the US Federal
Court decision before the US Court of Appeals in the class suit of
human rights victims, Atty. Robert Swift, the court-appointed
counsel of victims, and Gunigundo hatched a compromise agreement
accepting a $150 million monetary settlement, in exchange for the
dropping of the entire class suit. According to SELDA, Swift made
this unilateral move, without adequate, thorough and genuine
consultation with the victims. The martial law victims protested and
Pres. Ramos was then forced not to sign the agreement.
On December 9, 1998, under
the Estrada administration, the Philippine Supreme Court declared
the December 28, 1993 agreement invalid, under which the PCGG had
agreed with the Marcoses on a 75%-25% (75% for the PH government,
25% for the HR victims) split in the $150 million settlement. In
February 1999, after SELDA’s opposition before the US Hawaii Court
Judge Manuel Real on the said settlement, Real finally nullified the
$150 million compromise settlement agreement.
Under the Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo administration, in 2004, P544 million were used by Arroyo and
the Department of Agriculture, in the DA’s fertilizer program, which
was exposed as a scam, and serious allegations were made on the
Arroyo’s diversion of said funds to her presidential campaign.
administrations have worked in cahoots with the Marcoses to absolve
them of their grave crimes against the people, and to line up their
pockets with a few millions. With Duterte’s facilitation of the
political rehabilitation of the Marcoses, through the hero’s burial
of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and political horsetrading with the
Marcos family, it is very important that the Filipino people,
especially the martial law victims and their families, keep a close
watch on what transpires between the Duterte administration and the
Marcoses,” Clamor concluded.