Presidential spokesman Harry Roque noted that the Marcoses had already clarified that they did not authorize Lozano to come up with a compromise agreement. The STAR/Perseus Echiminada, File

Compromise deal not sanctioned by Marcoses — Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The compromise deal submitted by Marcos loyalist Oliver Lozano is “not even a proposal” because it was not sanctioned by the former first family, Malacañang said yesterday. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque noted that the Marcoses had already clarified that they did not authorize Lozano to come up with a compromise agreement. 

“If attorney Lozano has no authority, it’s not even a proposal because it was not an authorized proposal from the heirs of president Marcos,” Roque said in an interview with dwFM.

“Considering it’s a legal document, the consent of the heirs of president Ferdinand Marcos (is necessary),” he added. 

Lozano has proposed a settlement in a letter to Palace legal counsel Salvador Panelo.

In a letter to Duterte coursed through Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II last Sept. 19, Lozano cited the need for “appropriate action” on the alternatives regarding the compromise.

The alternatives cited were compromise without congressional approval, compromise with optional congressional approval and acceptance of donation from the Marcos family. 

But the Marcos family has distanced itself from Lozano’s proposal.

Roque: Philippines has laws vs plunder

Roque also believes the government has no legal basis to enter into a compromise with the Marcos family for now, citing that the country has laws against plunder. 

“The President’s statement actually was that he is for it but he needs a law to authorize him to enter into one,” Roque said.  

“So just to complete the presidential position on the matter, while he’s for it, it appears that his hands are tied unless there is a law authorizing him to enter into such a compromise agreement,” he added. 

Roque noted that the country has laws against plunder and it would be contrary to law to enter into a compromise agreement except under exceptions identified by the Supreme Court.

“In fact, attorney Lozano also appended the draft law indicating that although the Marcoses have not given him any authority to submit the compromise agreement to Malacañang, he himself agrees with the position of the President that the law is indispensible,” he said. 

‘SC ruled Marcos immunity illegal’

The opposition has reminded the public that the Supreme Court already ruled that granting immunity to the family of the dictator is illegal.

“In Chavez vs. PCGG (Dec. 9, 1998), the Supreme Court 19 years ago struck down as illegal a compromise agreement granting the Marcoses immunity from criminal prosecution,” Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

Lagman said any grant of immunity to the Marcoses “will be against well-entrenched Philippine jurisprudence that criminal culpability is not subject to compromise.”

“The bottom-line in the proposal for a compromise agreement, albeit denied by the Marcos heirs, is to secure criminal immunity for the Marcoses from Congress in exchange for the compromise settlement,” he added.

Lagman stressed that any negotiation with the Marcoses “for the retrieval of the Marcos hoard must conform to the requirements of transparency, accountability and no conditionality.”

Former solicitor general Florin Hilbay is also leading the resistance against the proposed compromise agreement between the government and the heirs of the late dictator.

In a post on his Twitter account last Tuesday, Hilbay called on Filipinos to fight the reported proposal of Lozano. 

He noted that all three presidents in between the late former president Corazon Aquino and former president Benigno Aquino III – Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo – have tried to enter into a compromise deal with the Marcoses in order to recover the billions of their ill-gotten wealth.

“All failed because Filipinos loudly resisted. We shouldn’t make Duterte an exception,” Hilbay stressed.

Duterte and the Marcoses

Duterte’s father was a member of the Cabinet of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

In 2016, Duterte allowed the burial of the dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite public outrage.

In September 2017, Duterte said he had talked to eldest Marcos daughter and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos about the reported Marcos family’s offer to return their alleged ill-gotten wealth. 

“Yes, pati sino bang nandun (including those who were there)… they offered to settle,” Duterte said.

He also said the Marcoses were not prepared to accept that their wealth was stolen from the Filipino people. They are just willing to return it to the government.

“The Marcoses are ready to return. I accept the explanation because there is no other explanation, I do not know anything. I cannot debate with them. Sinabi ko (I said)… it’s time these things be finally settled,” he added. – Jess Diaz, Edu Punay

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