Marcos family trusts Duterte, says Imee
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Thursday is mum about a story that her mother the former First Lady now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos is willing to return as many as 7,000 tons of gold.
Marcos begged off questions and referred to lawyers questions about the family’s plan to return the ill-gotten wealth and gold accumulated during the two-decade rule of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
She was interviewed on the sidelines of the House of Representatives’ probe into the alleged anomalous use of the Ilocos Norte provincial government’s share in the tobacco excise fund.
She said President Rodrigo Duterte, who announced that the family is open to returning the wealth and gold, has the full trust of the family to end the forfeiture proceedings and criminal cases filed against the family.
Asked about negotiations, Marcos said: “Wala pa, wala pa. Tiwala kami sa President na sya ang makakapagtapos ng deka-dekadang kaso.”
“Yung pamilya nag-uusap pa. Pero nasa kamay ng mga abogado,” she added.
Asked about the supposed 7,000 tons of gold her mother wanted to return to the government according to Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, Marcos said she had no knowledge of the fabled Marcos gold.
“Hindi ko alam, I think it’s best that the lawyer respond to all these queries. Thank you,” Marcos said.
In a press briefing Wednesday Atienza said Imelda, 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 gold.
When they were both sponsors in a wedding sometimes 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 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,” Atienza said in a press briefing at the House of Representatives.
“Sabi ko, why don’t you do it? Sabi niya, humahadlang ang isang super power,” Atienza added.
He did not name the super power allegedly blocking the release of the Marcos gold.
Atienza revealed this conversation with the Iron Butterfly following President Duterte’s statement that the Marcos family is willing to return the Marcos wealth and gold.
In his speech on Tuesday, Duterte said that according to the Marcos family the wealth appeared to be hidden because their father was “protecting the economy.”
“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.
Atienza expressed hope that the President would succeed in retrieving the alleged wealth which according to a Supreme Court decision amounted to $10 billion.
“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, adding that the family may be spared from prosecution if they return the family wealth. CBB
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