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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The tangled Marcos web

Ninfa Leonardia Who is not fascinated with the report that the Marcos family is offering to give back to the country part of their wealth as well as the notoriously controversial gold bars that had been such a mystery to the Filipino people during the reign of the Marcos family? A former aide, or one who was said to be close to them, especially to Madame first lady (then) and now Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, has revealed that she had confided to him that there were 7,000 of those gold bars, but they are all stacked in foreign banks.

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The informant, identified in the media as Isabela Representative Rodolfo Albano was also reported to have said that the bars were worth $297.5 Billion, or even $15.7 TRILLION! Now, I wouldn't know how to count that far, but for sure, that is the reason why the family believes they can save the country from its foreign debts with what they are keeping. But it is one thing for them to offer, and sound good, but another thing to get the country's hands or those foreign deposits, because, as another member of the family has also been quoted as saying, “A superpower” is preventing the withdrawal of those bars.

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What can we, the ordinary citizens of this suffering country, make of such developments? Are we being taken for a ride again by the family that had impoverished us during the days of Martial Law when they reigned supreme? What steps can our courts take against them for this virtual admission – or confession – that they, indeed, had collected all the loot while in power? Are we again going to stand by helplessly, and not only us, but even our highest officials, our courts and our lawmakers? Ah, the injustice of it all!

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Forgive me for being more and more suspicious, but isn't part of this wealth being used by the namesake of the dictator, his junior, to fund his election protest against the legally elected vice president, and, if not successful, to be used for the campaign for the presidency that he has not made secret of? And we had mistakenly believed that after the EDSA Liberation, we had already been freed forever from the clutches of Martial Law evil.

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I hear that Iloilo Mayor Jed Mabilog is back in town already, and I believe he is feeling some relief, not only by the cancellation of the assignment of Chief Supt. Jovie Espenido to his city, but also because there has already been some bloodletting there with the killing of someone who must be the reason why President Duterte had dubbed Iloilo as “the most shabulized” city. But it seems there is still another suspected drug lord out there who is being sought by the police. If they are successful as they had been with Richard Prevendido, then maybe, even Duterte will say that Iloilo has been “unshabulized” already.

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Not just because I happen to belong to their sex am I very much disturbed about what is happening to the women occupying important positions in this country, and in this administration. But, note that there does seem to be some falling back to the days when women did not participate in governance, much less in occupying very important positions. It started with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who had been elected as senator, but now detained for various charges, and without bail, at that.

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Then, there were the moves to impeach Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on various claims about her performance. After Sereno, who's next? Also next on the block, figuratively speaking, is Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who is even related somehow to the president, his daughter being married to a Carpio. And we know what happened to Judy Taquiwalo, who seemed to be doing well in the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Tsk, tsk. Are there woman-heaters among those who have the president's ear?

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Well, well! Will wonders never cease? President Duterte himself has revealed that the Marcoses have explained to him that they were only keeping all that wealth because they wanted to “protect the economy”! My, why did it take them so many administrations of doing their protection work over funds that could have spelled a very great difference in the growth and progress of this country? Maybe, now that the son and heir of the dictator has plans to grab the presidency, they have thought up an excuse that they think people might buy. Protect the economy, indeed! Why did it take more than 30 years before they decided to stop protecting it? Oh what a tangled web!*

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