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‘Imelda Marcos once wanted to return 7,000 tons of gold’

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‘Imelda Marcos once wanted to return 7,000 tons of gold’

/ 04:20 PM August 30, 2017

This photo taken on May 5, 2013 shows Philippine former first lady Imelda Marcos standing next to a bust of her late husband and Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos in Batac town, Ilocos Norte. AFP FILE PHOTO

Remember the so-called Marcos gold?

Longtime Manila mayor and now Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza recounted his rare conversation with the former first lady now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos about the tale of the infamous treasure.

Atienza said the “Iron Butterfly,” known for her extravagant lifestyle and collection of shoes when she was First Lady during the two-decade Marcos regime, once told him she wanted to return as much as 7,000 tons of it.

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When they were both sponsors in a wedding sometime in the 2000s when he was mayor, Atienza said Marcos confided in him that she was willing to return 7,000 tons of gold deposited in different parts of the world so that the country could pay off its foreign debt, which ballooned during the two-decade dictatorship.

Atienza quoted Marcos as saying: “I’ll liberate the nation from foreign debt.”

“Narinig ko (I heard) directly from Congresswoman Imelda Marcos when I was a mayor. Sabi niya, gusto ko ibalik ‘yung gold dito at ibigay sa gobyerno ‘yan. Para mabawi ang utang ng bansa natin (She said that she wants to return the gold to the government here so that the country will be free from its debts),” Atienza said in a press briefing at the House of Representatives.

“Sabi ko (I told her), ‘why don’t you do it?’ Sabi niya, humahadlang ang isang superpower (She said a superpower was interfering),” Atienza added.

He did not name the superpower allegedly blocking the release of the Marcos gold.

Atienza revealed this conversation with the Iron Butterfly following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that the Marcos family is willing to return the Marcos wealth and gold.

READ: Marcoses willing to return part of wealth, says Duterte 

In his speech on Tuesday, Duterte said the Marcos family gave the reason that the wealth appeared to be hidden because the patriarch and dictator was “protecting the economy.”

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“The Marcoses, I will not name the spokesman, sabi nila (they said), ‘we’ll open everything and hopefully return yung mga nakita na talaga (those that had been discovered),’” Duterte said.

“Sabi nila na, malaki ang deficit mo, maybe the (sic) projected spending pero hindi ito malaki baka makatulong, but we are ready to open and bring back, sabi niya, pati yung a few gold bars (They said that, your deficit is high, maybe the projected spending but this is not big, maybe it will help, but we are ready to open and bring back, they said, even a few gold bars),” he added.

READ: Duterte: Marcos family willing to open, return ‘wealth in question’ 

Atienza expressed hope the President would succeed in retrieving the alleged wealth which according to a Supreme Court decision amounted to $10 billion.

READ: ‘Marcos spokesman?’ Duterte just being transparent, says Palace

“I hope President Duterte succeeds in mediating, in getting part of the Marcos gold and wealth,” Atienza said.

The country would definitely benefit from the 7,000 tons of Marcos gold, if Imelda’s story were to be believed, the congressman said.

“I hope mag-succeed ‘yung inaalok ni Mrs. Marcos noon na 7,000 tons, at pakinabangan ng bansa itong gintong ito, kung saan man ito nanggaling,” Atienza said.

(I hope we successfully get Mrs. Marcos’ offer of 7,000 tons of gold and that the country benefits from this wealth, no matter where it came from.)

He said there is no need to go after the Marcoses and prosecute them as long as they return the alleged ill-gotten wealth.

“’Wag na usisain, huwag na magpersecute. Kunin na lang ang ginto at mapakinabangan pa ng Pilipinas (Let’s not investigation and persecute. Let’s just get their gold and hopefully the Philippines benefits from it),” Atienza said.IDL

READ: Alvarez to Marcoses: Return all wealth

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TAGS: Ill-gotten wealth, Imelda Marcos, Lito Atienza, Marcos gold, Treasure, wealth
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