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Marcos Baguio mansions up for auction again

/ 04:49 AM January 29, 2012

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The sequestered Baguio houses, which were reputedly owned by the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, are again being offered for public bidding in March after previous government auctions failed to draw buyers, officials of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) said on Wednesday.

In a forum on public governance at Saint Louis University, PCGG Commissioners Maita Chan-Gonzaga and Nelson Acebo said the government would give priority to the sale of the compound on Outlook Drive here registered under the name of the late newspaper publisher Hans Menzi.

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It was part of the assets surrendered by businessman Jose Yao Campos in 1986, which include the JY Campos property that spans 17,516.20 square meters.

Also sequestered were the 2,677-sq. m lot within the Banaue Inn Compound and the Wigwam Compound on Outlook Drive here, which involves a 1,146-sq. m property.

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The 3,875.57-sq. m Menzi property is valued at P27.246 million, PCGG officials said.

In November 2008, the PCGG put out an auction notice for the so-called Marcos houses here. The notice priced the Menzi property that year at P37,245,850. The JY Campos was also put up for sale for P129,341,300.

In 2008, the city government explored the possibility of acquiring these Marcos assets to make up for uncollected real estate taxes for these properties, said former Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr.

The government had discussed this option with the PCGG in 2007.

But the exploratory talks were not fruitful, Bautista said.

Late last year, negotiations began between the government and Baguio Mining Museum Foundation Inc., which wanted to use one of the sequestered assets on Outlook Drive for the proposed interactive Baguio Mining Museum, according to former Ambassador to Germany Delia Albert, one of the foundation’s officials.

The proposal was not discussed here by the PCGG officials. Instead, they were asked by participating SLU students where the proceeds from the sale would be used.

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The PCGG commissioners said Republic Act No. 6657 (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act) requires government to allocate all revenues generated from sequestered assets for the agrarian reform program.

When asked, Gonzaga said: “We at PCGG have no control as to how the money will be spent, but we hope na magagamit sa tama kasi pinaghirapan namin na ma-recover ito (it would be used properly because it was difficult to recover these properties).”

“We just hope that the plundered [assets] we have recovered will not be plundered again,” she said. Lara Cerys Valenzuela, with a report from Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: government auctions, Hanz Menzi, Jose Yao Campos, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Nelson Acebo, PCGG Commissioners Maita Chan-Gonzaga, Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), Saint Louis University, Sequestered Baguio houses
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