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Lagman: Giving Marcoses criminal immunity is illegal

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Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman said giving the Marcos family criminal immunity in a purported compromise agreement being hatched with the Duterte administration would be illegal.

“Any law giving criminal immunity to the Marcoses will be against well-entrenched Philippine jurisprudence that criminal culpability is not subject to compromise,” he said in a statement.

“In Chavez vs. PCGG (Dec. 9, 1998), the Supreme Court 19 years ago struck down as illegal a compromise agreement granting the Marcoses immunity from criminal prosecution,” Lagman said.

The Magnificent 7 lawmaker assailed the alleged deal.

“Last year it was the furtive and fast-tracked burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani even as the Supreme Court had not yet resolved with finality the issue on the interment of Marcos in the memorial cemetery for heroes,” he said.

“Now, it is exhuming the Marcos’ multi-billion dollar ill-gotten wealth from foreign and local burial grounds for a projected compromise agreement with the government on the return of the hoard even partially,” he added.

Lagman said, “No new law from the Congress is needed to authorize President Rodrigo Duterte to execute a compromise settlement with the Marcos heirs because the President has a continuing right and obligation to recover the Marcos illegal wealth, either by judicial action or compromise settlement, under Executive Order No. 1 of President Corazon Aquino”

He noted that E.O. No.1, which created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), categorically provides that the PCGG is “charged with the task of assisting the President in the recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in the Philippines or abroad.”

“However, the President’s recovery or negotiation for the retrieval of the Marcos hoard must conform to the requirements of transparency, accountability and no conditionality,” Lagman said.

“The bottom-line in the proposals for a compromise agreement, albeit denied by the Marcos heirs, is to secure criminal immunity for the Marcoses from the Congress in exchange for the compromise settlement,” he said.