The Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) hosting of a dinner for former First Lady Imelda Marcos to mark its 50th founding anniversary is as good as glorifying corruption, according to ACT Teachers party-list Representative France Castro and former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales .
“I don’t think it is appropriate. Her founding of the CCP had nothing noble in her heart for the Filipino people. We should not glorify the leaders of a brutal and bloody dictatorship under Martial Law,” Rosales, one of thousands who was tortured and jailed during the dictatorship of Imelda’s husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, told GMA News Online in a text message.
“It is the same as burying Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani [just] because he was a past President. But we protested because his Presidency was anchored on plunder and greed. Imelda was his partner in this plunderous quest,” Rosales added.
Castro echoed Rosales, stressing that CCP is well aware of Imelda’s corruption.
In November 2018, the Sandiganbayan convicted Imelda of seven counts of graft for having pecuniary interests and participating in the management of several non-government organizations in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984, a time when she was prohibited to be involved in such business since she was the incumbent Minister of Human Settlements, Metro Manila Governor and a member of the Interim Batasan Pambansa.
Imelda, who was sentenced to spent six to 11 years in prison for every county of graft conviction, was never arrested.
“The CCP board knows about the corruption record of Imelda Marcos. Bagaman may mga kasong nadismiss, marami pa ring pending cases. Ang pagbibigay ng honor sa kanya ay katumbas ng pagkilala na pinararangalan ang kurap, o kaya ok lang magkurap at ok lang ang kurapsyon,” Castro said in a separate talk.
Castro was referring to at least 15 pending ill-gotten wealth cases against Imelda Marcos and her children, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, Jr., Senator Imee Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta.
Moreover, at least five ill-gotten wealth cases worth around P300 billion lodged against Imelda and the rest of her family have been dismissed by the Sandiganbayan due to lack of evidence in 2019 alone.
The biggest of which was the P200 billion forfeiture case that included bank deposits, real properties, companies, radio and television stations and aircraft located here and abroad.
The PCGG has already recovered at least P171 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth that the Marcoses acquired when the family was in power from 1965 to 1986.
In 2019, there were also two ill-gotten wealth cases won by the government against the Marcoses.
Last December 5, 2019, the Sandiganbayan ordered at least 19 Marcos cronies to return their assets off their shares in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (ETPI) to the Philippine government after these were found to part of former President Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.
In addition, the Sandiganbayan ordered Aerocom Investors and Managers, Inc. and Manuel Nieto, Jr., substituted by his legal heirs, to pay the government P68,167,610.93—the value equivalent to the value of its Eastern Telecommunications, Philippines, Inc. shares it had transferred or conveyed to ISM Communications Corporation in July 11, 2005.
On December 19, 2019, the Sandiganbayan Special Division also ordered the forfeiture of $20 million paintings illegally acquired by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his family in favor of the government. —LDF, GMA News