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OSG: No more deal on seized $20-M Marcos assets for ML victims

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will no longer enter into a settlement agreement for the distribution of $20-million assets seized from the Marcos family in the United States to the martial law victims, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said in a statement Wednesday.

The OSG said the decision was arrived at during a case conference with officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) last March.

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“The three agencies unanimously agreed that, in the best interest of the Republic, it will no longer enter into the settlement agreement,” the OSG said.

The PCGG has been tasked to inform the New York District Court on the Philippine government’s decision.

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The review of the agreement came after the Office of the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum last Jan. 8 approving the request of the PCGG to be authorized to enter into a settlement agreement on the interpleader case pending at the New York District Court presided by Judge Katherine Failla.

“However, the said Memorandum required that before the PCGG can enter into the settlement agreement, both the OSG and DOJ shall approve its terms,” read the statement.

In compliance with the requirement, the OSG said it reviewed the terms of the proposed settlement agreement.

“Unfortunately, the terms were found to be grossly disadvantageous to the government and not in accord with existing Philippine laws and jurisprudence. Pursuant to its mandate to protect the interest of the Republic of the Philippines, the OSG issued its disapproval in a letter dated January 23, 2019. Meanwhile, the OSG awaited the position of the DOJ concerning the matter,” it stressed.

The OSG issued the statement following reports that it had been blocking efforts to pursue the settlement. /atm

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