FM gold enough to banish poverty’

by Federico D. Pascual Jr., Philippine Star:

WAY BACK in 2009, former first lady Imelda Marcos told this columnist and three other newsmen that her family’s wealth, most of it in gold kept in 177 banks abroad, is enough to rehabilitate the Philippines and lift Filipinos from poverty.

A big question is how to bring back the hidden hoard while everybody is debating whether or not the wealth was stolen by then president Ferdinand Marcos, and what part of it should be turned over to the Philippine treasury.

Why would the family offer (they do not say “return”) their wealth accumulated over 50 years to be used to improve the quality of life of Filipinos? Because, Imelda told us, that was the wish and instruction of her late husband.

The Marcoses’ avowed intention, while laudable, did not ring true to me, because I did not sense even just a hint of a concession that part of the wealth was tainted. Also, the paucity of details left me guessing.

Imelda showed us what appeared to be instruments supporting her claim to incalculable wealth waiting to be tapped. The documents were laid out neatly on long tables in two large rooms adjoining her penthouse in Bonifacio Global City.

What needs to be done to open the Marcos trove? She beat around the question, but my understanding was that it would be unlocked once another Marcos becomes president. Or if a fair deal is struck with the government.

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