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Philippines recovers $29M from Marcos accounts

By Oliver Teves

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:46 p.m. HST, Feb 12, 2014

MANILA » The Philippine government has recovered more than $29 million from the Swiss accounts of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and is still searching for more of his hidden wealth 28 years after he was toppled, an official said Wednesday.

The money, recovered over the last week, is part of the more than $712 million from Marcos' secret Swiss accounts now in government hands, said Andres Bautista, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the agency in charge of recovering Marcos' allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

The government won ownership of the funds after several years of litigation in Singapore courts over claims by victims of human rights violations under Marcos' rule and private foundations representing the Marcoses, Bautista said at a news conference.

Authorities have already recovered more than $4 billion from an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion amassed by the Marcoses during the dictator's 20-year rule, he said.

Bautista said last month that the government was targeting at least $1.1 billion more.

"There is still a lot of work that can be done in respect to pursuing ill-gotten wealth," he said Wednesday. "We should not allow ill-gotten wealth, the taking of ill-gotten wealth, to go unpunished."

The Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the Marcoses wealth in excess of their total legal income of around $304,000 from 1965 to 1986 was presumed to be ill-gotten.

Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 without admitting any wrongdoing during his presidency.

Bautista said the government had filed more than 200 civil cases for recovery and forfeiture of ill-gotten assets, including real estate, amounting to about 30-40 billion pesos ($667-$890 million) from the Marcos family, their cronies and associates.

It is also seeking more than 150 paintings of "prominent masters and artists" collected by the Marcos family that went missing after the Marcoses were forced to flee from the presidential palace during the February 1986 "people power" uprising.

Bautista declined to comment when asked whether he believes Marcos' widow, Imelda, and their three children are still living off their hidden wealth.

Imelda Marcos is a member of the House of Representatives. Her eldest child, daughter Imee, is governor of their northern home province of Ilocos Norte, while her son, Ferdinand Jr., is a senator. Her other daughter, Irene, has kept away from politics.

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2NDC wrote:
That can buy a lot of shoes! :-O
on February 12,2014 | 08:34PM
krusha wrote:
Greed and corruption when you have absolute power is like a tumor that has spread to all parts of your body. 5 billion dollars is a tremendous amount of money, so trying to conceal that probably was very difficult, and even more difficult to try and reclaim it.
on February 13,2014 | 05:51AM
islandsun wrote:
Taking from one corrupt leader and going right back to another
on February 13,2014 | 06:48AM
GoldenRule wrote:
Exactly right. Corrupt government officials, cops, military, churches and Vatican officials, and so on. Don't contribute to disaster fund raisers for anybody. The drugs, foodstuff, rice, clothes, money never get to where it's supposed to go. They will go "missing". Filipinos are way too corrupt. Go in China. Invade, conquer, and re-educate them.
on February 13,2014 | 07:11AM
Anonymous wrote:
Holy cow that's a whole lot of racism you got in you, huh? Apparently, you don't know that China has a centuries-long trading/immigration/emigration history. Never heard of Chinoys? They're Filipinos of Chinese descent and make up 1.5 million of the Philippine population. Chinese helped build the Intramuros, which is the original part of Manila that the Spanish conquerors built. If you're going to insist that Filipinos way too are corrupt, then I say that the Filipinos learned corruption long ago from the Chinese.
on February 13,2014 | 12:23PM
Anonymous wrote:
Actually, because of federal litigation in Hawaii, some of the monies will be distributed to victims who had been tortured and killed by the Marcos regime. Just this month, about 9500 Marcos victims each received $1100 as part of their share in a settlement from the buyer of a Monet that the Marcoses owned. That $1100 was the second payment since 2011 to Marcos victims or their heirs.
on February 13,2014 | 12:33PM
DAGR81 wrote:
and the people in the Philippines keep reelecting the corrupt Marcos family to political offices.
on February 13,2014 | 08:33AM
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