- The Philippines was under Marcos’ dictatorship for more than 10 years, and during this time, they allegedly accumulated billions of ill-gotten wealth
- The Marcoses started amassing wealth in 1968, when they opened an account in Switzerland under another name
- Jewelries, real estate both in Philippines and abroad, money, gold bars, works of art, are all part of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth
One of the issues that impede the burial of ex-President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is the almost $10 billion ill-gotten wealth, which the Marcoses allegedly horde at the time that Marcos was still in power.
According to reports, during the first term of Marcos, he opened a bank account in Switzerland under the name of William Saunders.
At that time, 1968, despite the fact that his annual salary was only at $5,600, his bank account was at $950,000. Said amount was far greater than that of his income as president. This was the start of Marcos’ alleged embezzlement of Philippine treasures, which amounted to billions of pesos.
In 1986, when the Marcoses were overthrown from power, they were able to bring with them 400 jewels, P27 million newly imprinted money and gold bars.
Ruben Carranza, who served as the Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) between 2001 to 2004 said that the strongest evidence of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth was Switzerland’s return of the money that was kept in their banks.
Carranza said that he brought the decision on the forfeiture case filed against Marcos to the Ministry of Justice of Switzerland. There, they signed a contract to return the money, and indeed, the money was returned in 2003 but that was only a small portion of it.
The forfeiture case sought the return of only US $356 million, which was estimated in 2003 to be more than US $658 million inclusive of interest. Out of the billions of ill-gotten wealth, what was initially returned was a measly portion thereof.
It was also found that the Marcoses had units at the Apartment Olympic towers at 5 Avenue in Manhattan, New York. They also have several units at the Trump Tower. They also own paintings of world-renowned painters like Picasso. In addition, they have jewelries worth $8 million.
Summing up all Marcos ill-gotten wealth, it could readily reach $10 billion.
According to Carranza, one should not forget Marcos’ dictatorship. The memories of those who survived and those who died must live on. – SD, Kami Media