Office of the Vice President
September 6, 2017
The Marcoses must first confess to stealing billions from government coffers before any talk of resolving pending cases against them may begin, Vice President Leni Robredo said Wednesday.
VP Leni issued the comment after President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said they are willing to “open everything and hopefully return” some of their wealth to the government.
The President, who was quoting an emissary of the Marcoses, then floated the idea that the political family may only give back ill-gotten wealth in exchange for immunity.
“Sa akin kasi, bago pag-usapan iyong immunity, dapat may pag-amin muna ng kasalanan. Mahirap magpatawad sa isang hindi naman inaamin iyong kasalanan,” the Vice President told reporters at the Metro Laylayan visit in Pasay City. “Tingin ko, walang healing na mangyayari, wala dapat immunity na mangyayari, hanggang hindi pa inaamin iyong kasalanan.”
For VP Leni, this offer may have only been made to “avoid legal repercussions.”
While such offer—no matter how delayed—may fast-track the possible recovery of the ill-gotten wealth, the Vice President underscored that it is “vital” for the Marcoses to admit their crimes and come clean with the public, as the cases have been dragging on for years.
“Kailangan nating intindihin na napakalaki noong ninakaw sa taumbayan, na bago pa man pag-usapan iyong forgiveness, iyong pagpapatawad, kailangang aminin muna na talagang nagkasala sa taumbayan,” she said.
“[M]atagal na pinahirapan ng mga Marcos iyong taumbayan sa pagpursigi ng mga kaso laban sa kanila. Hindi naman madali— Hindi madaling magkaso. Kung magbabalik-tanaw tayo, 31 years na mula na nagsampa ng mga kaso, pero halos kalahati pa lang iyong nababawi ng pamahalaan at naibabalik sa taumbayan,” she added.
The recovery of ill-gotten wealth amassed by the Marcoses and their cronies is a mandate of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was created after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.
As of late last year, the PCGG was dealing with more than 200 pending cases related to an estimated $10-billion in stolen wealth, which includes foreign bank deposits, real estate, jewelry, and artwork.
The Duterte administration previously announced that it would seek the abolition of the PCGG in its efforts to streamline the bureaucracy. Top officials at the House of Representatives have also filed a bill that seeks to transfer the task of recovering ill-gotten wealth to the Office of the Solicitor General.