PCGG to use Bongbong on Lucio

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — LAWYERS from the Presidential Commission on Good Government are scheduled to meet with Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. this afternoon in preparation for his testimony tomorrow against taipan Lucio Tan before the anti-graft court.

Marcos counsel Maricar Bautista confirmed the commission meeting with her client, but declined to add details.

But in a legal brief prepared by the Marcos Ochoa Serapio & Tan law firm—Marcos being Liza Araneta Marcos, wife of Marcos Jr.—the Ilocos congressman toed the commission line that the late President Ferdinand Marcos was a “silent partner” of the media-shy billionaire.

In the legal brief, Marcos Jr. recalled that he was summoned by his father to his study in Malacañang in the early 1980s—where he found Tan in deep discussion with his father.

“My father asked me to join them and he said that Lucio would explain to me our investment interests in several of Lucio’s companies,” Marcos Jr. said. “A week or so later, Lucio asked me if I could meet him in his office at Allied Bank.

“During that meeting, he explained the different corporate structures which our family apparently had financial investments in,” Marcos Jr. added.

Marcos’ son is expected to discuss the formation of Shareholdings Inc., the alleged holding company formed in November 1979 by the late president and Tan to acquire and consolidate the shares of stock in Tan companies such as Fortune Tobacco, Foremost Farms, Asia Brewery, and Allied Bank.

“I distinctly remember this because I was present when [Security Bank president and Marcos “financial executor” Rolando] Gapud went to meet Lucio and [to] formalize his business venture agreement with the latter,” Marcos Jr. said.

The elder Marcos was supposed to own 60 percent of Shareholdings Inc., and Tan, 40 percent.

“I believe that this was done to put our financial interests in all these companies into one holding company and in order to further ensure continuity of these companies in case any unfortunate event befalls Lucio or my father,” Marcos Jr. said.

According to the legal brief, the Marcoses have obtained US-certified copies of “several letters signed by Mr. Lucio Tan,” all addressed to the late president and containing the elder Marcos’ marginal notes.

The letters were among the many documents that Marcos’ personal secretary, Fe Gimenez, took when she and the Marcoses fled to Hawaii in February 1986 as a civil-military revolt threatened to overrun Malacañang.

The documents were seized from the Marcos party by the US Customs Service when they landed at Honolulu’s Hickam Air Force Base.

The sympathetic US government later furnished the Aquino administration certified copies of the documents, as the revolutionary government embarked on a worldwide hunt for the so-called Marcos billions.

Two decades later, the Marcoses obtained the same copies, plus other financial documents and exhibits presented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a corruption and racketeering trial in New York, after the documents had been declassified.

Among the documents are various deeds of sale executed by Tan and his family transferring ownership of his business empire to Shareholdings Inc.

In the Laoag court, Constante Rubio, a confidante of the former dictator, said Marcos had been wealthy even before he became president due to his trading business in precious metals.

Rubio, 87, said he gave his deposition before the court so that the evidence could be used even after he died.

“Before I die I want to tell the truth and to prove certain important facts, namely, I was a trusted assistant of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. As such, I was involved in his transactions on precious metals; and that from 1946 to 1980, he had been engaged in the trading of huge quantities of precious metals,” Rubio said.

A copy of Rubio’s statement was attached to Marcos Jr.’s pleading in a land ownership dispute involving P16 billion worth of prime real estate in Pasig City.