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Palace: Law needed for compromise deal with Marcoses

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address before a joint session of Congress in July 2017. Behind him are Senate President Aqulino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando, file
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte favors a compromise deal on the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth but needs Congress to go along with it, his spokesman said Wednesday.
 
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after a supposed draft proposal to grant the Marcoses immunity and to lift the sequestration of properties courts have not yet found to have been ill-gotten spread on social media.
 
The Marcoses have said they did not authorize loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano to send his proposal to the Palace. They said they did not know anything about it.
 
Roque and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo have said that no agreement exists although Panelo has acknowledged that Lozano's proposal had reached his office.

'A few gold bars'

Last August, Duterte disclosed in a speech that an emissary from the Marcos family had had told him that the family was willing to “open everything” and to return wealth accumulated during the late dictator's decades as president.
 
“The Marcoses... Sabi nila, they’ll open everything and probably return yung nakita lang. Sabi nila: 'Malaki yung deficit mo sa... maybe this year and projected deficit spending baka makatulong',” the president said during the mass oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials in August.
 
“'Pero hindi ito malaki, but we are ready to open and bring back' sabi niya, pati yung a few gold bars,” the president claimed then
 
In September 2017, Duterte said he would encourage Congress to pass a law that will grant the Marcoses immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for the return of a portion of their wealth stashed abroad.
 
“Congress might decide to pass a law to allow the government to negotiate with the Marcos family. They should be in talks with the Department of Justice or representatives of the Finance department and Central Bank,” Duterte said then.
 
The 17th Congress has shown an eagerness to vote according to Duterte's policy decisions.
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