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Marcos wealth crops up over ‘deal’ with Duterte
By Manolo B. Jara January 04, 2018
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MANILA: Controversy over the issue of the unexplained wealth of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos estimated at $10 billion, cropped up anew following reports that the Duterte administration has reached a “compromise agreement” with his heirs.

The furore started when a supposed agreement circulated online, drawing denunciations from critics that President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, who admitted being close to the Marcoses, was allegedly trying to rewrite history particularly on their illegal wealth as well as rampant human rights violations like killings and other abuses during the dictatorship.

But Salvador Panelo, the chief presidential legal counsel, clarified that his office received a document prepared by lawyer Salvador Panelo, tagged as a “Marcos loyalist,” that proposed, among others, granting immunity to the dictator’s heirs in exchange for the return to the government of part of the unexplained wealth.

Panelo admitted he received the document from Panelo a month after Duterte disclosed that the Marcos family told him they were ready to return part of their wealth for the country’s economic development.

Panelo acknowledged receiving the document from Lozano as a “matter of courtesy and policy” but stressed the government has not acted favourably on the issue.

Harry Roque, the presidential spokesman, also pointed out any compromise agreement between the government and the Marcoses would require approval from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“It is clear to the president that the decision does not rest on him alone. It is also a decision to be made by Congress because we have a law that punishes those who are guilty of plunder,” Roque said as he reiterated no such deal has been reached.

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the dictator’s only son and namesake, likewise weighed in on the issue as he practically “disowned” Lozano from representing their family.

Bongbong admitted that his family has agreed to return a portion of their alleged ill-gotten wealth as part of a proposed compromise agreement with the government.

But he pointed out that Lozano “does not represent any member of the Marcos family or the estate of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.”

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