MARCH 22, 2022 | Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday said given the chance, the government will sell the massive ill-gotten jewelry collection and paintings seized from the Marcoses as it tries to collect the P203 billion estate tax liabilities the family owed to the state.
Moreno made the statement when asked what assurance he can give to the Filipino people that he can fulfill his promise to collect the P203-bilion estate tax liabilities owed by the heirs of the ousted dictator given the decades-long legal maneuverings resorted to by the family to escape their responsibility.
“Maaari siyang ipatupad, and we guarantee you, maipapatupad yon dahil yun po ay batas. What matters most ay makokolekta yon, dahil marami pa naman silang pag-aari na maaari naman nating makuhanan at mapunan yung para sa estado,” Moreno said during the Serve the Nation presidential interviews aired over TV5.
“Kung maaalala niyo, may mga diyamante, mga assets na nakuha sa kanila. Natutulog po sa Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Picasso USD 200 million sa mundo yan, mahal na mahal yung mg paintings, Monet, na nakolekta na ng gobyerno. Ito tangan-tangan natin, pwede naman nating isalba o ibenta na. kasi there is no use of that na sa buhay ng tao kung nandi-dyan lang yan sa vault ng ating gobyerno,” Moreno explained.
Based on the reports submitted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s in November 2015, the massive ill-gotten jewelry collection seized from the Marcoses and stored in a vault at the BSP for almost three decades amounts to a conservative estimate of at least P1 billion.
The collection includes diamonds studded tiaras, necklaces, brooches, earrings, belts, and other gems as well as women’s and men’s wristwatches such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Cartier. Some pieces were from renowned international jewelry makers such as Bulgari, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Bucellatti. Among the most notable pieces is the 25-carat pink diamond, considered to be an exceedingly rare jewel.
Meanwhile, paintings seized by the government include three “Madonna and Child” paintings by Michelangelo; “Femme Au Chapeau,” “Paysage,” “Jeune Femme En Rouge,” “Coupe De Fleurs,” five “Vase De Fleurs,” “Panier De Fleurs” and “Jeune Femme Shabilant” by Paule Gobillard; and a Picasso replica brass strokes.
Aside from this, the more than a hundred missing artworks which the Marcoses purchased during their two-decade reign that have yet to be recovered. Extremely valuable paintings made by the most iconic artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Pierre Bonnard, and Michelangelo are just among the missing artworks. The Marcoses amassed an art collection that can rival a country’s national gallery.
It was in a March 1 press briefing that Moreno first mentioned about the existence of the Supreme Court ruling (G. R. No. 120880) on the P203-B in estate tax which the Marcos family owe the government. He went on to say that if he becomes president, he will surely collect the Marcos debt and use it as ayuda or cash assistance to millions of Filipinos affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aksyon Demokratiko Chairman Ernesto Ramel Jr. has written both the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Presidential Commission on Good Government and both government agencies confirmed they have been trying to collect unpaid estate taxes from the Marcos heirs which were worth P23 billion in 1997 but ballooned to P203 billion due to interests and penalties 20 years later.
At the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President Headquarters, Team Isko political and campaign strategist Lito Banayo appealed to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to order the BIR, which is under his department, to immediately collect the P203-B Marcos debt and use it as cash assistance to workers who lost their jobs as well as jeepney drivers who have been bearing the brunt of the unabated increase in fuel prices.
“The P203 billion can go a long way in giving cash assistance to some 4.2 million workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. That would translate into P48,833.33 ayuda for each of the 4.2 million workers and which will be equivalent to a 4,000 monthly ayuda for each worker for 12 months,” Banayo pointed out.
In the same press conference, Aksyon Chairman Ramel again scored Marcos Jr. for telling media that all the talks about the P203 billion estate tax liability of his family are all “fake news” and part of negative campaigning against their camp.
“Hindi po paninira at negatibong kampanya ang magsabi ng katotohanan. Nagsalita na po ang Korte Suprema at naghatol na ito ay pinal na. Nagsalita na po kamakailan ang PCGG at BIR bilang tugon sa aming liham at pinasinungalingan ng mga ito ang mga pahayag ni Atty. Vic Rodriguez, isa mga mamahaling abogado at tagapagsalita ni Marcos Jr.,” Ramel said in a prepared statement.
Ramel also revealed that he has written another letter to BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay requesting a certified true copy of the demand letter which the BIR sent to the Marcos family on Dec. 2, 2021. The demand letter should be sent to the Marcos heirs every five years as a reminder that they should pay their debt to the government.
“Ang tunay na isyu po dito ay ang karakter ng nais mamuno sa ating bansa. May isang kandidato na tapat na nagdeklara ng labis sa kanyang sumobrang pondo sa kampanya noong 2016 at agad nagbayad ng karamptang buwis. Pero may isang kandidato na 25 taon na mula ng inutusan ng Korte Suprema na magbayad ng takdang estate tax pero sa pamamagitan ng mga mamahaling abogado at malakas na impluwensya at kapangyarihan ay hindi marunong tumalima sa pamahalaang nais niyang pamunuan,” Ramel said.
Ramel continued: “Ikaw na po ang nagsabi noong Biyernes, G. Marcos na tatalima ka anuman ang i-utos ng korte. Sir, the Supreme Court had already spoken in 1997. Hinihintay naman po namin kung kailangan kayo magbabayad ng buwis na umabot na sa P203-B. Tama na po ang pagtatago sa mga mamahaling abugado na mahilig lamang lituhin ang taumbayan. Malinaw po at ang katotohanan ay nasa harapan na po nating lahat.”#