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Duterte greenlights public auction of P700M worth of Imelda jewelry

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go signal for the government to auction off P704.8-million worth of jewelry of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters in a brief interview in Tokyo on Thursday, May 30, that the Chief Executive made the decision on Wednesday night.

"Sabi ni Presidente kagabi na gusto niya na makinabang ang taumbayan doon sa mga jewelries so tinanong ko siya, 'Are you going to give your go signal to sell?' 'Yes,'" said Panelo.

(The President said last night that he wants citizens to benefit from the jewelry. So I asked him, 'Are you going to give the go signal to sell?' 'Yes.')

Asked when Duterte will issue an order on the matter, Panelo said, "It depends on him but he agrees with it."

In September 2018, the Presidential Commission on Good Government asked the Office of the President  to approve its plan to sell one of 3 jewelry collections owned by graft convict Marcos, currently Ilocos Norte 2dn District representative.

The so-called Hawaii Collection is estimated to be worth P704.8 million.

Back in August 2017, Duterte had said an emissary of the Marcos family had reached out to him to say the clan was willing to return some of its wealth to the government.

Duterte counts senator-elect Imee Marcos as a political ally and has openly said he preferred that her younger brother Ferdinand Marcos Jr succeed him in the presidency. 

One of the thorniest issues in his presidency was the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, for which critics slammed the Chief Executive for being a "tuta" (lapdog) of the Marcoses. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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