Marcos loyalist proposes deal with gov't on Marcos wealth

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Former President Ferdinand Marcos (left) and his lawyer Oliver Lozano

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 1) — A cut of the Marcos wealth in exchange for dropping all cases against the late strongman's family.

This is what Oliver Lozano, lawyer of former President Ferdinand Marcos, proposed to the government in June 2017.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed to CNN Philippines Monday that he received a copy of the proposal.

The documents, which were posted on social media, also include Panelo's reply to Lozano dated July 2017.

"The document was sent to the office by Atty. Oliver Lozano," Panelo said in a Monday statement. "Our office as a matter of courtesy and policy acknowledges receipt of any letter coming from any citizen. No action has been taken on Atty. Lozano's proposal."

Lozano told CNN Philippines on Monday that the proposal has been forwarded to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

Under Executive Order No. 1, the PCGG is tasked with the "recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates."

In his proposal, Lozano included a draft House bill granting immunity to the Marcos family and a draft compromise agreement between the Marcos family and the government.

Both documents claim using the wealth will give "unifying Social Justice for All through massive economic development and world-class rehabilitation as well as enable the government to settle the country's foreign and local debts."

However, Lozano's compromise agreement only covers a part of the wealth that was sequestered by the government, but "not judicially decided as ill-gotten."

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied there is such a deal, saying he has no knowledge whether the Palace has received the proposal.

Former Senator Bongbong Marcos said his family had no knowledge of these documents.

"As a point of information, Atty. Oliver Lozano does not represent any member of the Marcos family or the estate of the late President Ferdinand Marcos," he said in a Tuesday statement.

Aside from being the former President's lawyer, Lozano ran and lost in the 2004 senatorial race under the Marcos' Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party.

Lozano has also filed impeachment complaints against former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, son of former President Corazon Aquino, who succeeded Marcos after he was overthrown by popular revolt in 1986 due to alleged corruption and human rights violations.

In 2017, he filed similar complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, and former Commission on Elections chair Andres Bautista.

Read: Marcos loyalists ask House to endorse impeachment rap vs. Robredo

Billions in alleged ill-gotten wealth

According to the World Bank-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, former President Marcos started amassing ill-gotten wealth from the government on his first year as President in 1965.

The study revealed Marcos siphoned an estimated $5-billion to $10-billion in his 21-year regime.

In February 1986, former President Corazon Aquino established the PCGG through Executive Order No. 1. The agency has recovered over ₱170 billion since then until December 2015.

In addition, as of December 2016, the commission filed 248 cases against the Marcoses and their cronies or oligarchs who had close ties with the regime.

Meanwhile, victims of human rights violations during the martial law era started receiving compensation in May 2017.

Read: Martial law victims receive first half of monetary compensation

Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 grants monetary and nonmonetary reparation to human rights victims.

The government has allotted ₱10 billion for the reparation of the victims, which came from the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family transferred to the Philippine government by the Swiss Federal Court in December 1997.

Willing to return wealth

Talks of returning the Marcos wealth emerged in August 2017 when President Rodrigo Duterte, a close ally of the Marcoses, said the family, through a spokesperson, offered to turn over part of their questionable wealth.

Read: Duterte: Marcoses offer to turn over part of their wealth

"Sabi nila [They said], they'll open everything, and properly return 'yung nakita lang [what is found]," Duterte said.

"Sabi niya, baka makatulong, pero hindi ito malaki. 'But we are ready to open and bring back', sabi niya, 'pati 'yung a few gold bars.' Hindi ganoon kalaki, it's not the Fort Knox, it's just a few, but sabi nila isauli nila," the President added.

[Translation: It might help, but it's not much.  But we are ready to open and bring back, he said, even a few gold bars. It's not that large, it's not the Fort Knox, it's just a few, but they said they would return it.]

Duterte said the Marcos family kept the wealth because their patriarch, former President Ferdinand Marcos, was only "protecting the economy."

Meanwhile, former Senator Bongbong Marcos said in October 2017 that the government can have any ill-gotten wealth it can find.

Read: Marcos to government: If you find our alleged ill-gotten wealth, it's yours

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this story.