Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) belied the claim of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr that the government was at fault for not releasing compensation to martial law victims.
Marcos said during the Commission on Elections-organized vice presidential debate on April 10 that the government was the one hindering the release of compensation for human rights victims during the time of his father, the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos.
However, according to the records released by the PCGG to the media this week, it was Marcos Jr “who took the lead to prevent the early award of the Arelma funds to the Filipino people.”
“Arelma is a Panamanian registered account created at the same time when [President] Marcos declared martial law [on] September 21, 1972,” the PCGG said. (READ: Imee Marcos tied to secret offshore trust)
The Supreme Court, in 2012, declared Arelma as part of the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth. The account is estimated to be worth $40 million (P1.9 billion).
“[This] is enough to cover 300,000 families in one year for the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer [program],” the commission noted. (READ: What Bongbong Marcos knew of Swiss deposits)
Active in litigation
The PCGG also said that, based on its records, the Marcos family is “actively litigating and are represented by their lawyers” in Sandiganbayan and Supreme Court cases involving ill-gotten wealth, contrary to Marcos Jr’s claim.
The commission identified these cases to be Civil Cases No. 0002, 0004, 0005, 0006, 0008, 0009, 0010, 0011, 0013, 0017, 0029, 0039, 0034, 0035 and 0141.
“In fact, in the 2007 hearing of the case filed by PCGG against Marcos and Lucio Tan, Senator Marcos testified as a witness before the Sandiganbayan,” it also noted.
Marcos said during the trial that the corporation involved in the case is his father’s and not Tan’s. But the corporation that was subject of the case was not part of the late president’s declared assets.
For 30 years since it was created by then President Corazon Aquino, the PCGG has worked on recovering the illegally amassed wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.
The commission still has $1 billion worth of wealth to recover, which includes the precious art pieces by masters such as Michaelangelo, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso. It has also put up a website to expedite the search and recovery process of these paintings. (READ: At 30: PCGG by the numbers)
In an earlier statement, Marcos accused the PCGG of politicking for being more active in its investigation now that he is running for the second highest post in the country. – Patty Pasion/Rappler.com