Novembsr 14 - November 20, 2005
THE ILOCOS TIMES - TOP NEWS

Marcos money missing?
BBM says it was used in 2004 elections

Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. stated that the supposedly missing Marcos money confiscated in favor of the government might have been used during the 2004 elections.

Marcos made this assertion after a Senate budgetary hearing uncovered that the Marcos money—totaling more than $600 million—had been depleted and only $8 million had been left.

“Well, maliwanag naman na ginamit sa eleksyon (it’s quite clear that it had been used in the election). It’s very clear. That’s where it was used. ‘Tanong n’yo kay Garci [former Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano). Alam niya ‘yan. $600-plus million ‘yun, $8 million na lang natira (Ask Garci. He knows that. It totaled $600-plus million before, now only $8 million are left). I would be very interested to know where the money went. I suspect—and this is the common suspicion of everyone—that majority of the money was used in the election. Although that’s a lot of money to be used just for one election,” Marcos said during his regular press briefing at the Provincial Capitol on November 16.

The governor also reiterated that this had been his family’s fear when the Marcos money, which was put in an escrow account, was ordered transferred to the possession of the national government: that it may just disappear.

“That always was our contention. We do not trust the national government. We will transfer the money to the Philippines immediately if it can be shown that it can be properly distributed and properly invested and properly used for the benefit of the Filipino people. That’s part of the mission statement of the Marcos administration. That was what the money was supposed to be for,” Marcos explained.

Marcos also scored the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) whom he said sold some of the Marcos assets sequestered earlier to themselves.

“What about the other assets that we recovered that disappeared also over the years? The PCGG in the first few years sold many of the so-called Marcos assets to themselves when as in the sequestration, it doesn’t allow the sale,” Marcos emphasized.

The namesake of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos also assailed the lack of documentation of the PCGG with respect to the sequestered assets. He noted that in the absence of a list detailing the specific assets sequestered, nobody knows what is being held by the PCGG and who really owns what.

“They can sue me for libel. They can sue me for anything they want. Believe me, I have been in these things for 20 years. I know exactly what’s happening.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agrarian Reform responded to the issue by saying that the recovered Marcos wealth is being used for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program as called for by the CARP law.

Jeffery Galan, DAR undersecretary for finance, management and administration, said P27 billion of the Marcos wealth is available for CARP’s implementation until 2006.

The government originally recovered a total of P35 billion in Swiss bank deposits. P27 billion had been earmarked for CARP while the remaining P8 billion was to be used as compensation for victims of human rights violation during the Marcos regime.

However under the law, sequestered Marcos wealth must be used for CARP only. The earmarked compensation for human rights victims would still need a new law for it to be implemented.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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