Palace says Duterte just being transparent on possible Marcos deal

MANILA — Malacañang on Wednesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte was just being transparent when he announced a possible deal with the kin of former president Ferdinand Marcos over the issue of supposed ‘hidden wealth.’

This was stressed by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella after the group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) accused the President of being a spokesman for the Marcos clan.

“The remarks of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang that President Duterte has become the spokesman and negotiator for the Marcoses entirely missed the point. PRRD disclosed about the issue of the Marcos wealth in his speech in the spirit of transparency,” the Palace official said in a statement.

“The Chief Executive has the best interests of the Filipinos in mind, which is, how our people would benefit from the recovery of the Marcos wealth,” Abella said.

In his speech Tuesday during the mass oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacañang, Duterte said the Marcos family is willing to “open everything” and “return” to the Philippine government some wealth in question, including a few gold bars.

“The Marcoses — I will not name the spokesman — sabi nila na they’ll open everything and probably return ‘yung nakita lang,” the President said.

“Sabi nila na, ‘malaki ang deficit mo sa… maybe this year, ang projected deficit spending would be big,’ sabi niya. Baka makatulong. Pero hindi ito malaki,” Duterte said.

Later in the day, CARMMA hit the Presidents statements saying they were “not acceptable.”

“Not only has Duterte sponsored the official rehabilitation of the dictator, he now also facilitates the exemption of the Marcos heirs from accountability and punishment,” the group said in a statement.

“Now it can be told: President Duterte has become the spokesman and the negotiator for the Marcoses,” the group said.