OSG: Martial law compensation from paintings 'disadvantageous' to govt

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said on Wednesday, April 3, that it canceled the settlement agreement with martial law victims because the deal was “grossly disadvantageous to the government.” 

The OSG was responding to the Philippine Star report on April 1 that quoted Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) acting chairman Reynold Munsayac who said that the OSG did not sign off to the distribution of compensation to martial law victims.

“In compliance with the requirement, the OSG reviewed the terms of the proposed settlement agreement.  Unfortunately, the terms were found to be grossly disadvantageous to the government and not in accord with existing Philippine laws and jurisprudence,” the OSG said on Wednesday.

It involves seized assets from from Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos and her former New York aide Vilma Bautista. The seized assets include prized paintings.

The OSG said that Malacañang, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, approved the PCGG’s request to enter into a settlement agreement that would be mediated by  New York District Court Judge Katherine Failla.

American human rights lawyer Robert Swift earlier told ABS-CBN News that the settlement agreement would give the government $4 million while the victims would get $13.75 million.

However, the OSG said that Malacañang required the PCGG to get the approval of the OSG and the Department of Justice. Both the OSG and PCGG are attached agencies to the DOJ.

“To finally settle the issue, on March 11, 2019, a case conference was held attended by lawyers from DOJ, PCGG and OSG. The three (3) agencies unanimously agreed that, in the best interest of the Republic, it will no longer enter into the settlement agreement,” the OSG said. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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