LAOAG CITY: NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents along with representatives from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on Friday swooped down in the so called Marcos mansion in Batac City, in search of valuable paintings and masterpieces by renowned artists that were included in the writ of attachment issued by Sandiganbayan against the Marcos estate.
PCGG counsel Procencio Joson said the raiding team thoroughly searched the whole mansion but they came out empty handed after failing to find a single painting that was included in the search warrant.
Among the priceless art works that the government is trying to recover from the Marcoses are Madonna and Child by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Femme Couchee VI (Reclining Woman VI) by Pablo Picasso, Portrait of the Marqueza de Sta. Cruz by De Goya, and Still Life with Idol by Gauguin.
The government agents are also on the look-out for the LaBaignade Au Grand Temps by Pierre Bonnard, Vase of Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, Jardin de Kew, Pres de la Serre 1892 by Camille Pisarro, and L’Aube by Joan Miro.
It was the second time in three days that government operatives conducted operations in the known Marcos residences in their bid to recover valuable and rare paintings that were reportedly purchased using ill-gotten wealth during their years in power from 1965 to 1986.
In the first raid, agents seized 15 paintings from the Marcos ancestral residence in San Juan City, but initial tests indicated that most of the recovered paintings were mere replicas of those listed in the writ of preliminary attchment.
This developed as Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos expressed dismay over the raids, noting that it came at a time while her mother, Imelda, was still recovering from a number of ailments including a recent eye surgery.
Joson however said that they were just complying into a lawful order and noted from the 15 paintings they recovered last Tuesday, three were confirmed replicas of “Madonna and Child”.
Earlier, the agents also proceeded to known Marcos residences at 34 Penthouse Plaza Condominium along Ayala Avenue in Makati and at the penthouse at One McKinley Place on 3rd Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, but they returned empty handed.
Nick Suarez, head of PCGG Public Information Office, said the total acquisition cost of 11 masterpieces believed owned by the Marcoses is around US$7.015 million.