WATCH | No negotiations yet on return of Marcos wealth – Imee

August 31, 2017 - 10:06 AM
Imee Marcos
In this photo: Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos (image from video by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon)

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said on Thursday that there are no negotiations yet for the return of the family’s wealth.

Wala pa, wala pa (There are none yet),” Marcos told reporters at the House of Representatives, where she attended a hearing of the continuing inquiry into the alleged misuse of the province’s share of tobacco taxes.

At the same time, she said her family believes President Rodrigo Duterte “ang makakapgtapos ng dekadekadang kaso (will bring an end to decades of cases)” against them.

On Tuesday, Duterte claimed the Marcoses had agreed to return part of their wealth, including “a few gold bars,” supposedly to help ease the government’s deficit spending.

WATCH | NEGOTIATIONS AFOOT? DU30 says Marcoses might be ‘returning’ some wealth to the Treasury

He also quoted the children of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who placed the country under martial law in 1972 and presided over a 14-year dictatorship marked by widespread human rights abuses and plunder until his ouster by the 1986 People Power uprising, as claiming their father was “protecting the economy” when he spirited out a fortune.

Duterte also said he would accept that explanation “whether or not it’s true.”

Various courts, including in the United States, have ruled that the Marcoses’ fortune was plundered from country’s coffers and ordered them to return the stolen wealth.

In all, the dictator and his family are estimated to have stolen up to $10 billion.

While denying they were negotiating with the government for the return of the wealth, the Ilocos Norte governor, the dictator’s eldest child, said their family was in discussions.

But asked if they intended to return anything to the government, she replied: “Pagusapan na lang ng mga abugado (Lawyers will be discussing this).”

At a news conference on Wednesday, August 30, Buhay party-list Representative Lito Atienza said that in early 2000, he was told by the Marcos matriarch about the gold bars supposedly in the family’s possession.