February 16, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) recently said the value of the ill-gotten jewelry collection seized from the Marcos family and stored in a vault at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for almost three decades now amounts to more than a billion pesos.
According to the PCGG, this was based on the reports submitted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions houses, which conducted a weeklong appraisal in all collections last November.
The PCGG said reports showed that the total estimated value of the thousands of pieces has significantly increased with some swelled in value ten folds from previous appraisals.
But the agency said further gemological testing on significant items is still necessary for a more accurate estimate.
The Marcos Jewelry Collection is composed of three collections.
The Malacañang collection was abandoned when the Marcoses fled the Palace and is presently under the custody of the Office of the President.
The Hawaii collection on the other hand, was seized by the United States’ Bureau of Customs upon the Marcoses’ arrival in Hawaii in 1986 and is now under the PCGG’s custody.
The Roumeliotes collection is significant pieces that Greek national Demetriou Roumeliotes, a family friend of the Marcoses that have been linked to former first lady Imelda Marcos, attempted to smuggle out of the country right after former President Ferdinand Marcos’ ouster.
It was confiscated by the Bureau of Customs at what used to be the Manila International Airport.
The Marcos Jewelry Collection includes diamonds studded tiaras, necklaces, brooches, earrings, belts, and other gems as well as women’s and men’s wristwatches such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Cartier.
Some pieces were from renowned international jewelry makers such as Bulgari, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Bucellatti.
Among the most notable pieces is the 25-carat pink diamond, considered to be an exceedingly rare jewel.
The PCGG is responsible for the recovery of ill-gotten wealth accumulated by Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates, and close associates, whether in the Philippines or abroad.
It is also tasked with investigating cases of graft and corruption as may be assigned by the President, and adopting institutional safeguards to prevent corruption.