MANILA, Philippines – The assigned values of two prized Marcos jewelry collections have dropped by 67% as of 2021 in the financial statements of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
Previously listed with a value of P1.03 billion in the years 2018, 2019, and 2020, the two jewelry collections which were said to be owned by the former first lady Imelda Marcos – the Hawaii and Malacañang Jewelry Collections – were listed with a reduced value of only P340.23 million in 2021, the most recent audit of the PCGG showed.
The explanation proffered in the financial statement for the significant drop in value of the two jewelry collections was the “adjustments in recording of the latest appraised value of Hawaii Jewelry Collection amounting to P892,509,675.64 which was entered twice in the books.”
Records, however, pointed to the valuation of the Hawaii collection at only P137.5 million based on a 1991 appraisal – instead of earlier appraisals made by international auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Christie’s examined 406 pieces of jewelry that were part of the Hawaii Collection and placed their value at between $10.92 million to $18.66 million. It also examined 215 pieces from the Malacañang Collection and valued them at between $4.65 million to $8.98 million. It submitted a report in December 2015.
The PCGG computed the average values of each collection and placed the valuation of the Hawaii Collection at $14.79 million, equivalent to P699.92 million (given the exchange rate then of P47.305 to the dollar). The Malacañang Collection yielded an average value of about $6.82 million, equivalent to P322.43 million. Together the two collections were worth over P1 billion.
Sotheby’s also did its own appraisal of 376 pieces of jewelry from the Hawaii Collection and listed their value at between $17.24 million to $28.62 million. It examined 199 pieces from the Malacañang Collection and placed their value at between $1.38 million to $2.097 million. It submitted its report in January 2016.
The PCGG again computed the average values and placed the value of the Hawaii Collection at $22.93 million, equivalent to P1.085 billion (based on an exchange rate of P47.325 to a dollar). It listed the average value of the Malacañang Collection as $1.74 million, equivalent to about P82.28 million. The Sotheby’s appraisal totaled over P1.9 billion.
No mention in audit report
A third collection, seized in 1986 by the Bureau of Customs from Demetriou Roumeliotes, was excluded in the PCGG audit report. Together with the two jewelry collections, the Roumeliotes Collection is being held for safekeeping by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The Roumeliotes Collection consists of 60 pieces of more extravagant jewelry and loose gemstones seized from Roumeliotes on March 1, 1986 at the Manila International Airport as he was about to fly abroad, according to the PCGG.
The Hawaii collection consists of trinkets and baubles found inserted among the Marcos family’s luggage when they landed at the Honolulu International Airport on February 25, 1986, the PCGG said.
A protracted 27-year court battle with the Marcoses ended with government winning in 2013 and seizing the Malacañang Jewelry Collection, the least valuable of the three collections.
The more valuable Hawaii Jewelry Collection was found by the United States Customs Services among the luggage of the Marcoses when they were fleeing to Hawaii in 1986.
The Commission on Audit, in its report, said the collection was turned over by US Customs to the Philippine government “through the US Hawaii District Court ruling on December 18, 1992.” According to that ruling, the Philippines is “entitled to the possession and control of the said collection.” – Rappler.com