Gov’t gets P1.3B from Marcos Swiss funds

Rappler.com
PCGG chairman Andres Bautista announces that the money was transferred to the Philippine government two months after a court ruling in Singapore

WEALTH RECOVERED. File photo of Andres Bautista, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), 14 January 2014. Dennis Sabangan/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has remitted P1.3 billion (about $30M) to the national treasury from Ferdinand Marcos’s Swiss accounts.

PCGG chairman Andres Bautista announced in a press conference Wednesday, February 12, that the money was transferred to the Philippine government two months after a Singapore court ruled that the Philippine National Bank (PNB) had the legal title to the deposits held in the Singapore branch of German WestLB.

PNB holds the money in its capacity as a trustee of the republic based on a previous escrow agreement with the Philippine government, Bautista said.

At the onset of the Corazon Aquino administration in 1986, the government recovered the wealth of Marcos from Swiss accounts. In 1997, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court issued a decision to return $680 million from the accounts to the Philippines after complying with two conditions.

1.) A final and executory decision of a credible Philippine court declaring Marcos’ Swiss funds as ill-gotten.

2.) Giving a rightful share of the funds to Martial Law victims – those who won a class suit in a Honolulu court against the Marcos estate.

Both conditions have already been met: the first one in July 2003, when the Philippine Supreme Court declared Marcos’ Swiss funds ill-gotten, and the second one, when President Benigno Aquino III signed last year the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

Under the law, some P10 billion funds recovered from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Swiss bank accounts will be appropriated for victims’ reparation. 80% of the amount will be spent for existing claims and 20% for future ones. – Rappler.com

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