PCGG: Imee Marcos probe out in 2 weeks

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The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will come up in two weeks’ time with its preliminary findings on the offshore trust of Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos and her three sons in the British Virgin Islands.

Depending on the findings, the PCGG will assess whether to pursue the discovery in line with its mandate to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his family and cronies.

PCGG Commissioners Ma. Ngina Teresa Chan-Gonzaga and Vicente Gengos Jr. will lead the team that will look into the lead uncovered by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) as part of a 15-month global media investigation of thousands of secret offshore companies or trusts and their beneficiaries.

The global special report on offshore accounts led by ICIJ analyzed records in collaboration with reporters from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, the United States and 31 other media partners around the world.

“Eighty-six journalists from 46 countries used high-tech data crunching and shoe-leather reporting to sift through e-mails, account ledgers and other files covering nearly 30 years,” ICIJ said on its website.

Ejercito, Manny Villar

Other Filipinos with offshore accounts in the British Virgin Islands were San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito and Sen. Manny Villar, according to a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). PCIJ is part of the ICIJ network.

The ICIJ report also mentions other high-profile names from the United States, Russia, France, Azerbaijan, Canada, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia and other countries.

Not in Imee’s SALN

Weeks before the ICIJ news report came out, the PCGG was given copies of documents showing Imee and her sons to be beneficiaries of Sintra Trust that was formed in June 2002 in the BVI.

The PCIJ linked Imee to Sintra Trust and two other offshore companies, all of which were not listed in the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) she filed as a member of the House of Representatives and as governor of Ilocos Norte.

“They (PCGG investigators) were given two weeks to get additional information and to submit preliminary findings,” PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista said in an interview on Monday.

“We’re looking at involving other government agencies,” added the former law dean of the Far Eastern University, mentioning the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Nearly three decades since the agency was created to recover the wealth Marcos illegally amassed during his 20-year regime, the PCGG continues to pursue leads such as that provided in the PCIJ report, of suspected hidden Marcos assets abroad.

No comment

In Ilocos Norte, Imee declined to comment on a story linking her to an alleged secret offshore trust.

She said she would let her lawyer answer the claims.

“Iwanan muna natin kasi may karugtong daw at saka yung abogado na ang sasagot (Let’s just leave that issue because they say there’s more coming. Our lawyer will answer that),” Imee said in a press briefing at the provincial capitol on April 4.

Her brother, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., supported the governor’s position, saying the story was a “legal issue.”

“We do not want to respond because it is essentially a legal issue. [It is the first of two parts], we want to see everything before we respond,” the senator said, referring to the report of the PCIJ.

Meanwhile, former President Joseph Estrada shrugged off the report linking his son, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate Ejercito, to an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands. “It’s part of an operation to discredit UNA candidates,” Estrada said.

PCIJ said that “though they may not be breaking any laws per se, politicians and public officials with ties to secret offshore corporations are regarded rather dimly by advocates of good governance” because these can be used to hide wealth and financial transactions.

“These are just suspicions. There’s nothing illegal. Why did the news come out only now? Because the elections are coming and JV is among the top-ranking candidates. It’s a smear campaign against the UNA,” Estrada said. With reports from Erika Sauler and Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • EdgarEdgar

    When it comes to retaining and managing ill-gotten wealth, what can the Marcoses learn from the Aquino-Cojuangco clan?

    The Marcoses have been hounded by the US and PH governments for their unexplained wealth since 1986. To keep their stash in the family, the Marcoses can learn a thing or two from Hacienda Luisita. More than half a century ago, the Cojuangco owners of Hacienda Luisita became wealthy by enslaving generations of feudal farmers and depriving the peasant farmers of land rightfully theirs. To retain and legitimize their wealth, the Cojuangcos devised a way to delay land reform for many many decades. After the long delay, the social stigma of ill-gotten wealth wore off. Today, most Filipinos believe that Noynoy and his clan worked very hard to become rich and famous. Some even believe that Noynoy at one time sold Nike shoes door to door to earn his keep. Still, others claim to have seen Noynoy selling Ang-Tibay canvas shoes along Avenida and Azcarraga to make ends meet. Only a few people realize how many feudal peasant farmers, who are the true children of the land, had to suffer in order to sustain the luxurious lifestyle of Noynoy and the Cojuangco clan. If the Marcoses can successfully hold on to their stash for a few more generations down the line, there is a good chance that people will forget about the Marcos dictatorship and the Marcos wealth will one day be legitimized. In a way, it’s like money laundering through the natural cleansing process of time. If Noynoy and his Aquino-Cojuangco clan got away with it, nothing is stopping the Marcoses. That’s probably what the old adage meant by time heals everything.

    Yes we can!

    • jiovi

      HAHHA

      HACIENDA AGAIN…

      SAME SONG AGAIN…

      SABAGAY, SAME PAY DIN NAMAN…

      HINGI KA NA NG INCREASE PARA NAMAN MAIBA ANG ISTORYA MO…

      • EdgarEdgar

        Same old, same old. History repeating itself. Customs corruption all over again. Business as usual, if not even worse.

    • Jazzeroo

      I just wish that perhaps with a little bit more imagination, you can write something to substantiate your anecdotal and highly misinformed notion that with time passing all heinous crimes committed will be justifiably forgiven.

      Marcos and his family have done more damage to this country by their example that festers to this day, that one can get away with almost anything including great accumulation of wealth at the expense of the people and the most vulnerable, the poor and the underprivileged by stealing and corruption.

      It is by their standards that all manner of stealing which happens everyday are justified because all of them are still free and even in government, still enjoying their ill-gotten wealth whilst this country wallows in poverty and under development.

      It is by their example that emboldens other politicians and all manner of civil servants to do the same.

      How can you justify and forget that.

      • EdgarEdgar

        Our nationa’s dark history has a long history of repeating itself. Which explains why people like you worship the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and why Emilio managed to make a comeback in our minted coins.

      • Jazzeroo

        How presumptuous and totally baseless!!

        Has it ever occurred to you that it is possible to be critical of all things wrong in this country and its institutions and not be immediately affiliated with or pro any party or politician unlike perhaps yourself, whose true affiliation is far too obvious even to blind Freddy.

        Let us in this forum applaud and encourage debate but please try to leave your prejudices where they belong, in the garbage dump.

    • ApoNiLolo

      When it comes to the Marcoses and Cojuancos, you’re like a broken record – that is recycling your comments now and then. On the positive side – you’re being read by keen-eyed observers. >: D

      • EdgarEdgar

        As one keen-eyed observer observed, recycled news deserve recycled comments. How history repeats itself.

      • Iamtommy

        you’re nonesense

    • johnllander

      A marcos loyalist is always a blind loyalist!!!

      Ibagsak ang mga marcos!!!

      Ibagsak ang mga magnanakaw!!!!

      • EdgarEdgar

        But you voted for Bong-Bong Marcos. You have a hand in the return of the Marcoses.

  • wazgoingon

    Rumors have it that JV was the one of the major owners of the Export-Import Bank. The only reason they were not able to control it was because Erap was ousted from the Palace. Let the BIR check their income tax returns and ask them to explain how they acquired their wealth.

  • pedro Bato

    Naku !! Huling huli na ito ng PCIJ ! Lulusot pa to. . .may pinagmanahan na bulok !

  • Philcruz

    And now the second generation of the Ferdinand-Imelda duo are being unmasked as clones of their Pa and Ma.

  • virgoyap

    It’s quite far from my mind that JV will have his wealth hidden in the British Virgin Island, so it must be ill gotten why put it there if it’s legal as Bongbong claim on Imee’s.

  • $14334231

    aha, saan kumuha ng pera jv ejercito?…di na bale si villar dahil talagang mapera ‘yan….si imee naman, malaki ang namana sa mga magulang n’ya…’yon nga lang, galing din sa kaban ng gobyerno ang perang inilagay sa offshore trust…..abangan natin ang susunod dahil wala ni isa pa sa mga marcos ang nakulong….si jv ba iniimbestigahan din?…..

  • Beguine

    A very very old story and a most hackneyed one often ending up
    with no positive results and nothing doing till the next round.

    Hope the investigators and investigations will be smarter this time
    and outsmart the foxy Marcoses.

    To all voters, just don’t vote for any Marcoses any more. And to the
    Ilocano nation, you should be ashamed but we know and understand
    you are parasites of the Marcoses. But it’s time you show allegiance to the
    whole Filipino nation and spit on and shun the Marcoses for their countless
    and hideous and continuing crimes.

  • farmerpo

    From the Marcoses — part of a legal process, no comment.

    From the Estradas — political harassment ….demolition job lang yan.
    From Villar – no comment.
    The rest —- how to avoid being named???

  • JosengSisiw1

    According to the Marcoses it is a legal issue. Then the question is why do they have this legal issue? If you are clean there should be no legal issues at all. I hope the incumbent officials will once and for all tie the Marcoses on this money issues and work hard to put them, the MARCOS family in prison. Am I dreaming?

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