Following President Duterte’s declare that the Marcos household offered to return a few of their wealth to the nation, a senior politician has claimed Imelda Marcos as soon as offered to hand again 7,000 tons of gold.
Former Manila mayor and now Buhay Representative Lito Atienza recalled a dialog with the previous first woman wherein she raised the problem of the gold. The hoard can be worth nearly $300 billion.
Speaking right this moment (Wednesday, August 30), the politician mentioned the provide was made once they have been at a marriage “in the 2000s”. He claims Mrs Marcos mentioned: “I’ll liberate the nation from foreign debt”.
“I heard directly from Congresswoman Imelda Marcos when I was a mayor,” he mentioned. “She mentioned that she needs to return the gold to the federal government so the nation will likely be free from debt.
“I told her, ‘why don’t you do it?’ But she said a superpower was interfering”. He didn’t title the superpower that’s allegedly blocking the discharge of the gold.
Government estimates have pegged the ill-gotten good points of the Marcos household at about $10 billion. However, on numerous events Mrs Marcos has hinted that the household could have situated a part of the legendary Yamashita Treasure. This huge fortune, looted from throughout Southeast Asia, was allegedly buried all through the Philippines by the retreating Japanese.
Mr Atienza’s declare follows the president’s speech yesterday (Tuesday) wherein he mentioned the Marcos household claimed it had hidden the gold to “protect the economy”.
“The Marcoses, I will not name the spokesman. They said, ‘we’ll open everything and hopefully return those that had been discovered’,” the president mentioned.
“They said that, your deficit is high, maybe the projected spending but this is not big, maybe it will help, but we are ready to open and bring back, they said, even a few gold bars,” he added.
‘Turning in her grave’
Following his announcement, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) criticised the president for negotiating with the Marcoses.
“Not only has Duterte sponsored the official rehabilitation of the dictator, he now also facilitates the exemption of the Marcos heirs from accountability and punishment,” the group mentioned.
“Now it can be told: President Duterte has become the spokesman and the negotiator for the Marcoses.” The group’s assertion added that his mom “would be turning in her grave right now”.
Duterte’s mom, Soledad, was among the many distinguished anti-Marcos figures in Davao City.
In response to this criticism, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella mentioned: “The remarks of CARMMA that president Duterte has turn out to be the spokesman and negotiator for the Marcoses totally miss the purpose.
“The president disclosed about the issue of the Marcos wealth in his speech in the spirit of transparency.”
The president, he added, “has the best interests of the Filipinos in mind. Which is, how our people would benefit from the recovery of the Marcos wealth.”
Senators have right this moment demanded that the Marcos household returns every little thing that they stole from the nation.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III mentioned it wasn’t sufficient to solely return solely a part of their ill-gotten wealth.
“That’s the lookout of the lawyers of the Marcos family,” he mentioned. “But I believe when it comes to settlement, the Republic of the Philippines just isn’t too low cost.
“Everything that was stolen should be returned. It’s not like we’ll be satisfied with just crumbs.”
Minority Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV questioned the motives of the Marcos clan. He mentioned: “It’s excellent that they return their wealth to us as a result of that’s the cash of the Filipino folks.
“It should be returned, but the question is, how much of the money they stole will be returned to us? It should be the entire amount.”
He additionally questioned the household’s obvious declare that they have been holding the wealth in belief for the nation. “Yes, they stored the wealth, however they stored it for many years.
“If they really held on to it for the benefit of the country, then they should’ve returned it long ago. It’s obvious and the whole world knows that their money is ill-gotten. They really should return it.”
‘Gold was never theirs’
Senator Risa Hontiveros mentioned the household’s wealth by no means belonged to them within the first place.
“Saying that they’re keen to return parts of the ill-gotten wealth signifies that they’ve it. And the wealth by no means belonged to them to start with. Generations of Filipinos who suffered deserve greater than crumbs from the desk.
“Without justice and accountability, with out acknowledgement by the Marcoses of their colossal abuses towards the folks, any try to return mere parts of the ill-gotten wealth they amassed throughout Martial Law is an try to purchase false credibility and additional stain our historical past.
“The government must not exchange the people’s pursuit of justice for all the victims of Martial Law for a few gold bars. It’s like 30 pieces of silver,” she mentioned.
The household – together with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr – has by no means apologised for the a long time of martial regulation abuses.