A COMPROMISE agreement between the government and the family of the late Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will be illegal at this point, a Palace official said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque 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” and as such, President Rodrigo Duterte should issue an executive order lifting the freeze so that the government would have a share although the lawyer did not say by how much.
“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],” Roque added.
Lozano’s proposal has not been signed by any of the surviving members of the Marcos family namely: former First Lady and Rep. Imelda Marcos of Ilocos Norte, Gov. Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte, Irene Marcos-Araneta and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Duterte first floated the possible return of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth in August 29, 2017, saying that the Marcos family is even willing to return a few gold bars, and wants Congress to enact a law to facilitate the process.
Marcos died in 1989 in Hawaii where he and his family were exiled after they were ousted in a popular revolt in 1986 led by Corazon Aquino, widow of martyred senator Benigno Aquino Jr.
Then a housewife, Aquino became the Philippines’ first woman president.
After she took over the reins, Aquino first issued Executive Order 1 creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to recover the Marcoses ill-gotten wealth.
From 1987 to 2016, the PCGG has recovered $4 billion out of the $10 billion Marcos loot.