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Philippines: $1.9bn from Marcos’ ‘ill-gotten wealth’ recovered


September 14, 2008

Philippines: $1.9bn from Marcos’ ‘ill-gotten wealth’ recovered
The Philippine government received about $3.5 million from the estate of former President Ferdinand Marcos on Friday, bringing the total amount of improperly obtained wealth recovered from the dictator to $1.93 billion since he was ousted 22 years ago, the Associated Press quoted an official as saying.

Nic Suarez, spokesman for the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the agency assigned to recover Marcos' alleged ill-gotten wealth, said another $425 million worth of assets, including real estate and stock market shares, have been recovered but not yet sold.

An estimated $4.26 billion in cash and assets is also being sought through litigation in an anti-graft court, Suarez said.

By law, the recovered Marcos' assets are used to fund the government's 20-year-old land reform program.

"We have been very faithful in remitting to the national treasury," Suarez said.

Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years until he was toppled in a "people power" revolt in 1986. He and his family fled into exile in Hawaii and he died three years later
in Honolulu without admitting any wrongdoing.

The Marcos funds received Friday came from the sale of shares in a holding company allegedly used as a front to hide the late dictator's interests in the Manila Bulletin
newspaper. The Supreme Court declared last November the shares were ill-gotten and the government was the real owner.

A report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime alleged last year that Marcos illegally amassed between $5 billion and $10 billion before he was ousted.

Marcos' wife, Imelda, and their three children returned to the Philippines in 1991. Imelda and their eldest daughter, Imee, have served as members of the House of Representatives. Their son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, is now a Congress member representing his home province of Ilocos Norte.

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