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New board to manage fund from auction of Marcos gems urged

MELDY’S PRECIOUS This diamond necklace with diamondstudded pearls and earrings shown to the media onNov. 27, 2015, is
part of the jewelry collection of the Marcos family that may be auctioned off by the Presidential Commission on Good Government
after President Duterte approved the sale. —INQUIRERFILE PHOTO

The government should create a new body to manage the proceeds of the auction of the P704.8 million worth of jewelry for the benefit of survivors of the Marcos dictatorship, in order to prevent the funds from ending up in the hands of “interested parties,” militant party list group Bayan Muna said on Friday.

“As it is the proceeds from their sale, it should be used to compensate the numerous human rights victims during the Marcos regime, many (of whom) were not able to get any compensation from the past compensation board,” Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares said.

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Auction go signal

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Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Thursday that the President had given the go signal to auction the Marcos jewelry, which were declared illegally acquired during the 21-year rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government has been seeking the President’s nod to auction off the Marcos jewelry collections.

Colmenares was among the principal sponsors of Republic Act No. 10368, which created in 2014 the Human Rights Victims Claims Board that was tasked to compensate all human rights victims during martial law.

“Another compensation board should also be formed for those who were not given the opportunity to avail of the previous law we authored,” Colmenares said.

Proof of ill-gotten wealth

He warned newly elected Sen. Imee Marcos not to use her position as a platform to block the auction of the jewelry, which, he said, are material proof of the dictator’s ill-gotten wealth.

“The sale of the P700-million Marcos jewels is proof of plunder during the Marcos dictatorship,” opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan said in a statement on Friday.

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson also saw no reason why the government should hold on to the jewelry.

“I think it’s just right to auction it off since the proceeds would add to the government’s revenue and it is in accordance with the law,” Lacson said.

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TAGS: Marcos, P704.8 million worth of jewelry
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