PRESIDENT Duterte on Tuesday night raised doubts about the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, despite several court decisions affirming the former strongman’s ill-gotten wealth.
“Until now you have not proven anything except to sequester and sell. You are not even sure if it really belonged to Marcos,” Duterte said during a gathering of local government officials of different municipalities in the country at the Manila Hotel.
Duterte made the remark after talking about his preference to be cremated when he dies, and be buried alongside his parents’ grave instead of the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He also talked about the continued efforts of some “yellows” to question his decision to allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which had been affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2016 as legal.
Marcos, who started his term as president in 1965, was ousted though the Edsa People Power revolution in 1986.
The Cory Aquino government then created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to go after the alleged ill-gotten wealth amassed by Marcos and his allies while in office and supposedly stashed through in local and offshore accounts or under dummy foundations.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, a senatorial candidate of the opposition Otso Diretso, scored Duterte for attempting to revise history.
“Don’t revise history,” Diokno said. “The President seems to have forgotten about the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision that that money is ill-gotten wealth. It’s not Marcos’ money, it’s the people’s money.”
Diokno spoke before the People Management Association of the Philippines senatorial forum at Fairmont, Makati Wednesday.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision is a final judgment, he said the truth behind the Marcos wealth “is already set in stone.”
“It’s worrisome because they are trying to change history,” he said, noting that the High Court, itself, had pegged the amount of ill-gotten wealth at more than $600 million.
Samira Gutoc, another opposition senatorial bet, said since he was elected president, Duterte “has shown nothing but favor to the Marcos family.”
“We haven’t even reached three years under President Duterte’s leadership and he is not only changing the map of Philippine territory, he’s also changing Philippine history,” she said.
“Mr. President, you do not have business tinkering with history, especially the part on how the Marcoses amassed money through ill-gotten means, or the atrocities that occurred during their time,” she added.
(J Montemayor with Wendell Vigilia, Malaya)