Some senators doubt sincerity of Marcoses’ offer to return wealth
Some senators were skeptical about the intention of the Marcos family after they expressed willingness to return their wealth, including gold bars, which were questioned as ill-gotten.
Despite the offer, minority Senator Francis Pangilinan believes the government should not trust the Marcoses.
“Walang dahilan na maniwala tayo sa sinseridad ng mga pamilyang Marcos. Isauli nila ang nakaw na yaman at humingi ng kapatawaran sa mga kasalanan ng diktadura at doon lang natin paniniwalaan ang kanilang sinseridad,” Pangilinan said in a text message.
Senator Bam Aquino said the Marcoses, if they were really concerned about the country, should have returned the wealth long ago.
“Kung totoo pong para sa kapakanan ng bayan dapat matagal na pong binalik ‘yon. Obvious naman po at tanggap na po ng buong mundo na ninakaw po ang perang ‘yan. Dapat lang ibalik talaga ‘yan,” Aquino said.
“I am not against na ibalik ‘yung pera in fact tama lang, dapat lang; pera po ‘yan ng bayan pero ang magandang tanong, magkano po doon sa kinuha nila ang ibabalik sa atin, dapat po ‘yung kabuuan ang ibabalik sa atin,” he said.
The Marcoses returning their alleged ill-gotten wealth would not be enough to give justice for the victims of martial law abuses, said Senator Risa Hontiveros.
“Recovering the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth is just one aspect of the campaign to hold them accountable for the atrocities that were committed during Martial Law,” Hontiveros said in a statement
“Saying that they are willing to return portions of the ill-gotten wealth means that they have it. And the wealth never belonged to them to begin with. Generations of Filipinos who suffered deserve more than crumbs from the table,” she said.
Hontiveros also called on President Duterte to make public the full details of the proposal presented by the emissary of the Marcoses.
“The government must not exchange the people’s pursuit of justice for all the victims of Martial Law for a few gold bars, like 30 pieces of silver,” she said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, welcomed the offer as the returned assets would be added to the government’s treasury.
“If there’s such an offer, that’s good. Because whatever wealth that can be turned over to the government, dagdag sa national treasury,” Lacson said in an ambush interview.
But he said the Marcos family might not return actual gold bars to the government, but trade certificates.
Lacson, a former policeman, recalled that ex-first lady now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, along with “some friends,” showed them several gold certificates “a long time ago.”
“Mga xerox ang nakita namin so I could not actually make a conclusion at the time kung talagang authentic ‘yan. But she showed us that,” Lacson said.
They were also told that the Marcos patriarch had been trading gold even before he was elected president.
“Hindi pa presidente, wala pa sa gobyerno, nagte-trade na ng gold si dating President Marcos. So baka ito ang nire-refer. Kung usapan gold bars, I don’t believe it’s gold bars kasi by this time kung may gold bars matagal nang nakuha ng PCGG ‘yan,” he said.
Senator Francis Escudero, for his part, said the offer was “a step forward.”
“However, the offer might not be enough for some sectors as the meat of the issue for them has always been about three things: admission, accountability and complete reparation,” Escudero said. JE
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