Palace acknowledges Marcoses stole huge amount of money, but...
Malacanang acknowledged on Friday the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos stole a huge amount of money from government coffers.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the amount subject of court's decisions were smaller compared to "claims" in the 1970s that the Marcoses stole some "$400 billion."
"It's huge amount in the sense," Panelo said when asked if the Palace considers as huge the over $658 million funds from the Marcoses Swiss bank accounts and forfeited in favor of the Philippine government based on the 2003 Supreme Court decision in the case of the Republic vs. Sandiganbayan.
"But what I was saying earlier, if it's 600 million (dollars) and you compare it to 400 billion dollars, that's small," he added.
Pressed as to where he got the $400 billion figure, Panelo said, "I don't know...that's what I've always read, billions of dollars were stolen..that was the claim."
He could not cite specific reports, which claimed that the Marcoses stole some $400 billion contrary to some documented reports the Marcoses allegedly amassed $5 to $10 billion during Marcos 20-year regime.
"Isn't it that they're saying that 400 billion dollars were stolen? How come it's 400 billion dollars, we don't have such big amount of money," said Panelo, who served as Imelda Marcos's lawyer in the late 1980's when she petitioned the court for habeas corpus so she could return to the Philippines from her exile in Hawaii.
Panelo's seeming baseless claim on $400 billion was apparently to justify President Rodrigo Duterte's recent pronouncement, doubting the Marcoses stole money from government coffers.
Duterte has been supporting the senatorial bid of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator. Celerina Monte/DMS