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A US lawmaker and the Aquino regime spread fake news to destroy the Marcoses.

ON March 5, 1986, the late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino discussed the recovery of the Marcos wealth with the late US Democrat Congressman Stephen Solarz of New York who came to Manila to talk about the Military Bases Agreement, among other things.

A week later, President Aquino issued Executive Order 2, freezing all assets of the Marcoses and their associates. With this sweeping edict, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) no longer had to bother with filing cases in court against particular persons, corporations and other assets.

Another week had passed, Solarz painted Marcos as a corrupt president, releasing to the international press a 'Marcos document' purportedly showing proof of corruption involving Marcos and 79 Japanese companies contracted to undertake Philippine projects funded with Japanese aid. The scandal-sensitive Japanese Diet promptly asked the National Revenue Bureau (NRB) to investigate the involved firms.

The Solarz document later turned out to be a hoax as shown by the NRB findings, but the local and international media deliberately obfuscated the NRB official report. In Japan, however, Asahi Shimbun, the largest newspaper in that country, exposed the sham story, thus:

'The firms were never found to have committed any payoffs. The only firms that were mentioned by the NRB Report as failing to report income were Mitsubishi, C. Itoh, and Kawasaki, and the amounts involved were rather small.

'On top of that, they all claimed that those unreported income had nothing to do with Marcos. They all said that technical interpretation of tax laws was the reason for the discrepancy.

'Marubeni Corporation, which was known to have been the largest recipient of project-related business, was found to be entirely proper in its business dealing. The NRB could not find any clue or even suspicion of payoff to Marcos.

'Sumitomo, which handled the Cagayan Valley Electrification Project, paid $210,000 as commission to Philippine agents, but those were also considered within normal business practice. One of the executives who handled the deal said, 'I've never heard of any money going to President Marcos.'

'With the NRB's efforts, the 'Marcos document' failed to turn up any incriminating evidence against Mr. Marcos. Formal investigation in Japan into Marcos corruption had now come

to an end.'

Solarz had actually given the press a litany of fake news, and he remedied the falsehood by deliberately not reporting the NRB's official findings to the US Congress and the American press.

Capitalizing on Solarz's spate of lies, they-the yellows and their pseudo-moralists and hypocrites-continued to demonize President Marcos and his wife, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Second District Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

Worse, the Marcoses' side of the story was never printed by the press, especially how the Cory Aquino administration subjected them to prejudgment of guilt, deprived them of their worldly possessions, restricted their movements and charged them with racketeering, obstruction of justice and mail fraud involving billions of pesos in that trial of the century

in New York.

Records of the New York Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) trial and other investigative materials put into a 347-page best-selling book, A Country Imperiled (Tragic Lessons of a Distorted History), authored by this writer and published by Amazon in 2011, showed how the Marcoses were persecuted. They were not only maltreated by individuals; governments and superpowers also tried to systematically destroy them, using greedy politicians and elite businessmen, backed by 16 foreign media personalities and hundreds of local journalists and propagandists.

After they conspired to oust the Marcoses from power and accused them in the RICO case of allegedly stealing money from the Filipino people, the Aquino regime and US government prosecutors presented in court 95 witnesses and 350,000 documents, including those allegedly seized from their private chambers in Malacanang purportedly showing that they embezzled billions of pesos.

One must be prepared to take the absurd in looking at the so-called loot that had been transformed into a propaganda hyperbole to demonize the Marcoses. One estimate put the 'ill-gotten wealth' at $356 million. Other charges, based on rumors, said the Marcoses had Swiss accounts ranging from $7 billion to $13.4 billion and a 'gold hoard' worth $250 billion stashed in Swiss banks and other overseas banks.

Whatever was the figure, it doesn't simply make sense at all. How could the Marcoses have stolen such huge amount when the total accumulated official budget of the Marcos regime in 20 years was only P486.2 billion?

Besides, Victor Macalincag, the national treasurer and deputy minister of finance at that time, admitted that there was P28 billion in the national Treasury when President Marcos was forcibly exiled to Hawaii, debunking claims by Cory and her supporters that the Treasury was empty.

By comparison, the accumulated budgets of the five presidents who succeeded President Marcos-from President Cory Aquino, her son Benigno Aquino III, and the three presidents between them, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo-reached more than P35 trillion in over 31 years.

In the post-Marcos years, the country saw a series of plunder cases, corruption in high places, economic sabotage, human-rights violations, insurgencies, hundreds of killings of journalists and serious problems of brownouts, flooding and horrendous traffic in the metropolis.

Exercising dictatorial powers, Cory Aquino ordered the sequestration of all assets of the Marcoses without according them due process. Executive Order 1 said: 'Vast resources of the government have been amassed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives and close associates'

The Supreme Court eventually disallowed the assumption that the Marcos assets were 'ill-gotten.' The SC would rule that the government had to substantiate and prove its allegation that the sequestered or frozen assets were, in fact, ill-gotten, specifically citing the case of Republic of the Philippines (PCGG) v. Sandiganbayan, et al. (G.R. 119292) on July 31, 1998.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 23, 2018
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