President Rodrigo Duterte has denied compromising justice because of his close ties with the Marcos family.
Speaking during the 6th Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Accredited National Convention of Public Attorneys, the President said his friendship with the Marcoses started decades ago when his father, Vicente Duterte, helped Ferdinand E. Marcos get elected as President in 1965.
“Marcos won and he got my father into his Cabinet. Those are things that cannot really be…you can’t make it an issue [against me]because those are relationships cemented many years ago, When I ran for the presidency, the lone governor who supported me was Imee,” Duterte said, referring to Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
“But if you will say that I bargained away the ends of justice for utang na loob (debt of gratitude), it’s not that. Marcos was supported by my father, he won. So Marcos got him into the Cabinet, it’s natural; that’s politics, [it’s like that] even everywhere,” he added.
“That’s the way it is. The Marcoses helped me [in my presidential bid]because they know me. It’s not our fault that our families has had political relations because my father was a Nacionalista,” Duterte said.
The President pushed for the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The former leader was buried there in November after the Supreme Court ruled that there was no legal hindrance to the giving of a hero’s burial to Marcos.
In August, the President disclosed that the Marcos family offered to return part of their ill-gotten wealth, including some gold bars. This was neither confirmed nor denied by the Marcoses.
The Palace had urged Congress to determine the parameters of the negotiation with the Marcoses as the President pushed for the abolition of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which is mandated to go after the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.
The PCGG has recovered $4 billion out of the suspected $10 billion ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
Members of the Marcos family are facing more than 100 ill-gotten wealth cases before the Supreme Court and the Sandiganbayan.