Ex-Imelda aide tried to sell stolen paintings — US court
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A former secretary of Imelda Marcos was found guilty by a US court on Monday for conspiring to sell a Monet painting titled “Water Lily,” which vanished after the 1986 revolution.

“More than 25 years after these masterwork paintings were looted, it took a jury two and a half hours to come back with a guilty verdict against the woman who conspired to steal them,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.

Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairman Andres Bautista welcomed the conviction of Vilma Bautista, 75.

Ms. Bautista (not related to the PCGG chief) is expected to be sentenced before the end of the year.

“She can be sentenced up to 25 years,” he said.

Bautista, along with two other PCGG officials, testified in the court hearing in New York last month.

The Commission is readying a civil case against Imelda’s former aide.

“We will be working to recover the proceeds and assets which were confiscated from Ms. Bautista and which we asserted to be owned by the Republic,” the PCGG chair said.

These include the proceeds from the sale of the Monet painting, bank deposits amounting to $15 billion, an apartment worth $3.9 million and three unsold paintings worth millions of dollars.

Ms. Bautista and her two nephews, Chaiyot Jansen Navalaksana and Pongsak Navalaksana, were arrested in New York in November last year after it was discovered they sold three paintings believed to be owned by the Marcoses.

ANDRES BAUTISTA CHAIYOT JANSEN NAVALAKSANA AND PONGSAK NAVALAKSANA GOOD GOVERNMENT IMELDA MARCOS MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY CYRUS VANCE MONET MS. BAUTISTA NEW YORK PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION VILMA BAUTISTA
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