Wednesday 17 December 2014

£17m recovered from Marcos accounts

Published 12/02/2014 | 06:47

Former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda
Former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda

The Philippines has said it has recovered more than 29 million dollars (£17.6m) from the Swiss accounts of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The search for more of Marcos' hidden wealth continues, 28 years after he was toppled.

Andres Bautista, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said the money was part of the more than 712 million dollars (£434m) from Marcos' secret Swiss accounts that was now in government hands.

Mr Bautista, whose agency is in charge of recovering Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, said the government won ownership of the funds in Singapore courts over claims by victims of human rights violations under Marcos' rule and private foundations representing the Marcoses.

He said more than four billion dollars (£2.4bn) had already been recovered from an estimated 5-10 billion amassed by the Marcoses during his 20-year rule.

AP

Mr Bautista said last month that the government was targeting at least 1.1 billion dollars (£670m) more.

"There is still a lot of work that can be done in respect to pursuing ill-gotten wealth," he said. "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 dollars (£185,000) 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.

Mr Bautista said the government had filed more than 200 civil cases for recovery and forfeiture of ill-gotten assets, including property, amounting to about 667-890 million dollars (£407-£542m) 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.

Mr Bautista declined to comment when asked whether he believed Marcos' widow Imelda and their three children were 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 is a senator. Her other daughter, Irene, remains low key and has kept away from politics.

AP

Press Association

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