Editorial: Still salivating for the Marcos fortune Featured

Editorial: Still salivating for the Marcos fortune Image: Kami.com.ph

They’re at it again, it seems.
“They,” in this case, are the assorted parties who seek to play a role in the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. In doing so, they hope to earn their fair share.
Call it a commission, a reward, a percentage, a finder’s fee, or simply a cut of the stolen wealth, there will always be those who have delusions of having the wherewithal to seal the deal, for no other reason than their own perceived closeness to the Marcoses or by virtue of their having a position in the national government.
This week, the latest word on the search for the legendary loot was in the form of a draft compromise agreement sent by lawyer Oliver Lozano to Malacanan Palace way back in July of last year, but which was made public only this week.
If his name sounds familiar, this is because Lozano has been trying to ingratiate himself with the Marcos family since the 1970s. Too bad for him that the Marcoses want nothing to do with him.
Specifically, a spokesman for the late dictator’s family said Lozano “does not represent any member of the Marcos family or the estate of the late President Marcos.”
Former senator Bongbong Marcos said pretty much the same thing.
From what little information has been officially released, it appears that Lozano was attempting to broker a deal by approaching a Cabinet secretary who many legal luminaries find difficult to take seriously, Salvador Panelo.
He may be the chief legal counsel of President Duterte, but his weird attire and “colorful” personality has made him a laughing stock back home. It is no wonder then why Lozano would approach Panelo to work out some kind of mutually beneficial arrangement.
Perhaps Panelo was merely being polite when he accommodated his fellow laywer’s proposed compromise agreement. Perhaps not. That agreement seeks to lift the sequestration of the assets of the Marcoses in exchange for a return of an unspecified amount to the government.
Had a more credible lawyer submitted the proposal, perhaps the Duterte administration might have taken it more seriously. But because Lozano is a known “serial filer” of impeachment cases that few lawmakers have ever taken seriously, his credibility is shot.
If any progress is to be made in the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth, the only person who can make it so is none other than President Duterte, who stated last year that he had spoken to Imee Marcos and the two had discussed the possibility of some kind of settlement.
Such a settlement will have to pass through Congress, however. And since the lower house is under the near absolute control of the president, there will be no shortage of congressmen willing and able to work out a compromise deal that will be acceptable to both the president and the Marcoses.
Even the senate may ride along on the deal, since the hunt for the missing treasure has been going on for far too long now, with not enough of the true wealth being returned to the Filipino people.

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