Imee willing to sign bank waiver to prove no Marcos ill-gotten wealth

Mara Cepeda
The anti-graft court has found evidence that Imee Marcos is a beneficiary of the illegal Swiss foundations created and maintained by their mother, Imelda Marcos

BANK WAIVER. Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos says she has nothing to hide in her bank accounts. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte governor and administration senatorial candidate Imee Marcos is willing to bare her bank accounts to the public to prove she did not benefit from her family’s multibillion ill-gotten wealth. 

On Saturday, February 9, the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was asked by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, a senatorial bet from the opposition, if she is willing to sign a bank waiver.

“Ang akin pong tanong, dahil sa isyu ng yaman, willing po ba sila magpirma ng bank waiver para patunayan na wala ho kayong tagong yaman?” Alejano asked Marcos during GMA-7’s senatorial debate. (Because we are on the issue of wealth, are you willing to sign a bank waiver to prove you do not have hidden wealth?

Marcos said yes, saying she had been filing her Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) as a longtime politician. 

She went on to say she supports including bank waivers among the qualifications for candidates.  

“Wala tayong problema diyan. Matagal na ‘kong nasa gobyerno, at taon-taon nagsa-submit kami ng mga SALN. Kaya ‘di po problema ‘yan. At, sa tingin ko, puwede namang gawing qualification ‘yan para sa ating iba’t ibang kandidato,” said Marcos. 

(We don’t have a problem with that. I have long been in government, and we submit our SALN every year. That’s why that’s not an issue for me. And, I think, this can be a qualification for different candidates.)

Imee Marcos’ father ruled with an iron fist for 21 years, his term marred by disappearances, torture, killings, media oppression, and corruption. (READ: Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history

Transparency International estimates that Ferdinand Marcos embezzled some $5 billion to $10 billion from 1972 to 1986 through shell corporations, real estate properties, and money in numerous offshore banks. (READ: What you should know about the agency hunting Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth)

Over the last 30 years, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has recovered at least P170 billion in ill-gotten wealth from the Marcos family.

“Handa po kaming ipagtanggol ang aming pangalan. At alam po natin na ‘yong PCGG ay magpapatuloy, ngunit ayokong mag-comment kasi interesado po kami. Pero patuloy po naming ipagtatanggol at ipaglalaban – ebidensiya sa ebidensiya, dokumento sa dokumento – lahat ng mga paratang na ito,” Marcos said during the debate.

(We are ready to defend our name. We know the PCGG’s operations are still ongoing, but I don’t want to comment because I am an interested party. But we will keep on fighting these accusations – evidence to evidence, document to document.)

The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan also found evidence that Imee Marcos and her siblings ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr and Irene Marcos Araneta were among the beneficiaries of the illegal Swiss foundations created and maintained by their mother, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos, while the latter held government positions from 1968 to 1986. 

The Sandiganbayan has convicted the matriarch with 7 counts of graft, but she is appealing the case before the Supreme Court.

Marcos, however, refused to comment on the findings of the court, citing the sub judice rule that bars lawyers and parties to a case from disclosing details of pending judicial proceedings. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.