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Palace: Duterte open to deal with Marcoses, but…

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By Xave Gregorio

Malacañang said on Wednesday (January 3) that President Rodrigo Duterte is open to striking a deal with the Marcos family on their allegedly ill-gotten wealth, but would need a nod from Congress.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a law is needed for Duterte to enter into a compromise agreement with the Marcoses, which could absolve them from criminal prosecution on their wealth.

“While he is for it, it appears that his hands are tied unless there is a law authorizing him to enter into such a compromise agreement,” Roque said in a press briefing.

Duterte had previously said a representative of the Marcos family had approached him to signal their willingness to turn over their wealth, which the World Bank’s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative estimates to be around $5 to $10 billion.

Roque added that it would be illegal for Duterte to ink a deal with the Marcoses “except under exceptions already identified by the Supreme Court.”

Marcos loyalist and abogado Oliver Lozano submitted a proposal for a compromise agreement to the Malacañang, which includes a draft bill which would grant the Marcoses immunity from suit from all cases regarding their sequestered wealth in exchange for the “sharing” of their wealth.

The Palace, however, said it has not taken any action on the Lozano proposal.