MANILA — Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on Wednesday welcomed the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the family of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is willing to return to the government their alleged ill-gotten wealth.
“This is something na mahalaga sa ating kasaysayan. Kinakailangan ng ating bayan to be able to move forward — ‘yung admission na ninakaw ‘yan at pagbabalik ng pera (This is something important for our history. Our people need to be able to move forward — the admission that it was stolen and returning the money),” Aquino told reporters in an interview.
Aquino, meanwhile, expressed hope that the Marcoses would return the wealth “in full.”
“I’m not against na ibalik ng mga Marcos yung pera. Ang magandang tanong ‘magkano doon sa kinuha nila’? Sana po yung kabuuan ang ibalik sa ‘tin. (I’m not against the Marcoses returning their wealth. But the question is ‘how much of what they have stolen?’ I hope they return the amount in full),” he added.
Aquino said that it was important to find out from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was created to run after the illegally-amassed wealth of the Marcoses, how much the family owed the government.
“Magkano ito? Itong magandang alamin natin sa PCGG, sa human rights victims At hindi naman po tama na baka naman maliit na porsiyento lang yan sa kabuuan na ninakaw sa atin. Kung maibabalik man, dapat yung kabuuan yung ibabalik niyan (How much is it? It will be good to find out from the PCGG and human rights victims. Because it is not right if they return only a small percentage of the amount stolen from us. If it is ever returned, it should be returned in full),” Aquino said.
He said that the “whole world” has accepted that the Marcoses have stolen money from the government, and refused to accept rumors that the money was merely stored for safe-keeping.
“Kung totoong tinago lang ‘yun dapat matagal na nilang binalik yun. Tanggap naman po ng buong mundo na ninakaw po yung perang yan at dapat lang ibalik na nila yan (If it’s true they merely kept it, they should have returned it a long time ago. The whole world has accepted that it was stolen and it’s only right that they return it),” the senator said.