Duterte: ‘Marcoses willing to return ill-gotten wealth’

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The family of former President Ferdinand Marcos has expressed willingness to return their alleged ill-gotten wealth back to government, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, August 29.

Citing an unnamed spokesman, Duterte claimed that the family is willing to “open everything” and return the wealth—including a few gold bars—which were accumulated during the two-decade rule of the late dictator.

“I won’t name the spokesman… the family said they will open everything and hopefully return those found [by the PCGG that should be returned to the Philippine government],” Duterte said during the oathtaking of new appointees at Malacañang.

He added, “They said, we are [willing] to open [the books] and bring it [ill-gotten wealth] back, including a few gold bars. Just a few [gold bars], but they will return it.”

Duterte said he would create a team to negotiate and facilitate the turnover of the wealth. He pointed out that he will accept any explanations from the Marcoses “whether or not it is true.”

He also revealed that back channel talks between the government and the political family are ongoing. The president, however, could not say how much would be returned to the government.

As of last year, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was able to recover $4 billion of ill-gotten wealth acquired by Marcos and his cronies.

The agency was created in 1986 to go after an estimated $10 billion-worth of cash and assets reportedly plundered by the Marcoses.

The president said he initially wanted to abolish the PCGG but decided not to do so, saying he would possibly create a new office to deal with graft and corruption in the government.

“[The] PCGG is focused on the Marcos wealth. I wanted to abolish it but people might say I abolished it as it was on the verge of discovering something,” the president remarked.

He went on to say, “I [will] just name it good government but there is already an existing one. Maybe an anti-graft [agency] and I am looking for somebody to handle.”



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