Thursday, February 10, 2005

We Need No Solomonic Gestures Here. Everyone Can Be Happy.

The man of great censor, his honorable Senator Joker Arroyo was at his fiery tongue himself again when he made a public disclosure that part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth had already been stashed away by the Arroyo Administration for some use the people ought to know. Patently, Senator Arroyo is meaning to keep the government on its toes and won’t let them breathe with any form of callousness concerning the use of the much debated estate of the former dictator.

The stirrings of the senator found its mark immediately as Malacanang sounded off rather quickly that the monies are spent wisely. This may be the case and yet I could not help but feel that this kind of activity should be made known to the public by means of media disclosure but apparently, we are kept in the shadows.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye declared that the government could give a detailed accounting of the expenditures if necessary. Accordingly, part of the 683 Million Dollars worth of confiscated Swiss bank account were already disbursed for the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Law Reform, which according to Secretary Bunye is mandated by the law on agrarian reform.

Despite of the law, any use of the sequestered Marcos assets, or any part thereof should be done with great caution and publication knowing that it is partly claimed by Marcos years’ human rights victims that a U.S. Court in Hawaii have awarded to.

In further clarification, Secretary Bunye assured the public that the $200 Million set apart for the 10,000 human rights victims of the “conjugal dictatorship” is secured and would be distributed as intended. This would make each claimant $20,000 richer or roughly one million pesos in order for them to lick their wounds. Whatever you say, this is a lot of money yet, no money is enough to cover the pain and humiliation of abuse under the Marcos Regime.

If the words of Secretary Bunye are true to form, the long-running and ever furious issue of the Marcos wealth and its liability to human rights claimants may soon be over, and may finally come to a not so bitter end.

Now, comes the big question. Does a U.S. Court have the right credence and jurisdiction to meddle as to how the Marcos loot is spent by the government? Technically speaking, former President Ferdinand Marcos could only be liable to the human rights victims on his own personal account. The State, even during the Marcos years, could not be held liable and litigated against for any crime or tort due to the well-known and generally accepted principle of State Immunity.

On my part, whatever works best should work best here. What is in your mind?


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