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Marcos wealth

by Erik Espina

EFFORTS for the return of the Marcos wealth must be welcomed under the Duterte watch, particularly since the gesture is one that is voluntary on the part of said family. This is a positive development regardless of the stringent and militant shrill which like a bull sees red and charges forward every time the Marcos name is subject of national discussion. Such voices are morally bankrupt having accepted monetary consideration (damages) in exchange for alleged principles they suffered during the regime. An amicable settlement is never a dirty word to retrieve some modicum of justice and reparation in the legal world.

This must not be another wasted opening to what was a corrupted system of recovering the lost fortunes of the nation and under previous administrations with various PCGGs (Presidential Commission on Good Government) that cannot come to court with clean hands. The country, in particular the Filipino people lost a great opportunity to find closure since 1986.

Recall a week into the new Cory Administration, my father (former Senator Rene Espina) Secretary-General of Unido, sounded the alarm with headlines on the loss of the Imelda jewelries by “yellow ladies” in Malacañang. The changing of the guards did not however reform the rapacity despite Edsa. Callous negotiations by palace relatives flying to Hawaii were persistent on disallowing Ferdinand Marcos to return 90 percent of his affluence to the country under conditions e.g. return to the Philippines, dropping of cases, etc. insisting terms which would allow “jaundiced relatives” to partake of percentages in the lost assets. To this date, official efforts at discovering more hidden wealth abroad have barely scratched the total bulk concealed under corporate layers and accounts. The incompetence and malfeasance of previous governments, is staring us in the face.

President Duterte is in the best position to pursue the break in the unmoving financial sphynx. The saying goes, “Better fifty per cent of something, than 100 per cent of nothing.” Such redeemed monies and amounts can be put on time deposit abroad by the National Treasury for future generations, and so, it will not be politically dissipated.