President Rodrigo Duterte said he has yet to have a deal with the Marcoses on their willingness to return a small amount of the family’s ill-gotten wealth including a few gold bars.
Duterte told reporters during the birthday celebration of Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles that he has just “listen” and “accept” the offer and explanation of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on why the family wanted to return a part of the unexplained wealth, but never make any commitment.
“It’s not that easy. Just because I was listening, I accepted her explanation na kung bakit gusto na niya [I accepted her explanation if why they want to return (the money)]…I accepted the explanation na ‘gusto na namin na matapos [I accepted the explanation that we want it to be settled already]… And that was the offer. That was the rational of the governor when she offered,” Duterte said.
The president, however, added that in making the offer, Imee was not revealing that the wealth was ill-gotten.
“She is not ready to announce na ninakaw yang pera [She is not ready to announce that the money was stolen]. She says yung pinagdudahan, pagusapan [She says those that are suspicious, should be discussed]. That I accepted,” Duterte said.
The president also said the actual discussions on the return of the wealth would be lengthy and would need the participation of the Congress.
“Malaki pa yan [It would take time]. Kung totoo yan [If it’s true], if there is really sincerity in everybody’s heart, we have to start with Congress. You know Congress was authorized… Then it will be the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Secretary of Finance…It has to be the law. And the law must come from Congress, not from me,” Duterte said.
“If it’s an arbitration, kasi areglo [because it’s settlement], it would undergo an arbitration. Kung totoo talaga [If it’s really true]…But Congress must authorize, because that is money to be recovered by the government of the Philippines,” the president added.
Duterte said the government might continue to pursue the cases against the Marcoses if no negotiation has made.
“That realm would belong to the Secretary of Justice. Maybe there would be a compromise but if there would be none, you proceed” Duterte said.
“It’s not like if I accepted the explanation, it was already a done deal. You’re an idiot if you think so because you blurt without using the gray matter between your ears, which is your brain,” the president added.