A COMPROMISE agreement between the government and the family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos will be illegal at this point, a Palace official said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. was referring to the proposal made by lawyer Oliver Lozano, a Marcos loyalist, that seeks to unfreeze the assets of the Marcoses and transfer a portion to government coffers.
Lozano said his proposal was based on the April 9, 1973 notes of then President Marcos “bequeathing his earthly goods to the Marcos foundation for the benefit of the people.”
President Rodrigo Duterte could thus issue an executive order lifting the freeze order so that the government would have a share, Lozano said, without specifying the amounts.
“The President’s (Rodrigo Duterte’s) statement is that he is for it (compromise deal) with the Marcoses, but he needs a law to authorize him to enter into one. It appears that his hands are tied unless there is a law for him to enter into such compromise agreement. There is no legal basis for the government to enter into a compromise agreement with the Marcoses because we have laws penalizing plunder,” Roque, a former human rights lawyer, said.
“It would be contrary to law to enter into a compromise agreement, except under exceptions by the Supreme Court. As far as the President is concerned, he needs a law [to make the compromise deal with the Marcoses happen],” he added.
Lozano’s proposal has not been signed by any of the surviving members of the Marcos family namely: former first lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, Gov. Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte, Irene Marcos-Araneta and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Duterte first floated the return of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth on August 29, 2017, saying the Marcos family was even willing to return a few gold bars, and that Congress should enact a law to facilitate the process.