PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he talked with Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos regarding the possible return of some of the Marcoses' wealth to the government.
Two days before, Duterte said in a media interview in Davao City that authorization is needed since "that is money to be recovered by the Government of the Philippines and that was the offer".
According to Duterte, his "acceptance" of the rationale of the Marcos family, through Gov. Imee Marcos, does not mean a final decision on the status of the ill-gotten wealth. He said he accepts the explanation, whether it is true or not, because there is really nothing more to it anymore.
Asked why Duterte cannot pursue negotiations on his own, Abella said, "What we can say is that the President cannot simply be acting on his own, the legislative has to come into play in this case".
Duterte said that the Marcos family said that they wanted "closure" from the issues surrounding their wealth.
"I accepted their explanation because there's no other explanation".
Opposition lawmakers have also objected to the alleged Marcos offer. I do not know anything... "Pag sinabi kong I accept the invitation, it's about time that uh this thing is finally settled", Duterte said.
He said the process on the return of the questioned wealth should start with a legislation from the Congress and not from him.
However, Duterte was categorical in saying that there was no admission of sorts regarding the wealth. "It has to be the law", he said.
There are laws and policies for the recovery of the Marcos wealth, including Executive Order No. 1 issued in 1986, which established the Presidential Commission on Good Government and tasked it with the "recovery of all ill-gotten wealth".
Duterte last week said he wants the PCGG abolished.