By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard
SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said that as far as his family is concerned, the forfeiture in favor of the government of $42 million in the “Arelma” assets of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, has long been final.
The Sandiganbayan this month ordered the turnover of the Arelma accounts—which the Marcoses contend were lawfully acquired—to the Bureau of Treasure.
“It has long been decided. It has long been final. I think somebody opposed its transfer to the national government. That was what became final,” Marcos said.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government initiated forefeiture proceedings against the funds in 1991.
“The truth was—I didn’t know very much about that account. I learned about it when we returned to the Philippines in the 90s. I have no details of those accounts,” he added.
The senator also admitted that he has not followed the legal proceedings on the Arelma assets.
“It’s been a long time and that we no longer have anything to do with it. It’s been over a year ago,” said Marcos.
Despite the Sandiganbayan’s writ of execution, it’s unclear how soon the money can be transferred to the national treasury.
That’s because the funds, which are still deposited New York, are the subject of claims by a group of alleged human rights victims during the martial law years.
The Sandiganbayan had earlier declared all assets, properties and funds under the Panamanian firm Arelma Foundation rightfully belonged to government.
The anti-graft court’s Special Division issued a writ of execution dated Aug. 18 ordering the transfer of money from the Philippine National Bank to the Bureau of Treasury.
The funds originally amounted to $2 million, which were deposited with Merrill Lynch Securities in New York in 1972 under the name of Arelma Foundation.
The transfer order was based on a Supreme Court ruling in March that threw out a motion of consideration filed by Imelda Marcos, the widow of the late President.