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Auction For Marcos’ Jewelry Collection Appears To Be An Electoral Propaganda By Philippine President

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(Credit: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images) An official from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) shows a piece of jewellery seized by the Philippine government from former first lady Imelda Marcos, at the Central Bank headquarters in Manila on November 27, 2015. Philippine authorities had the dazzling collection appraised by auction houses for a second day, ahead of a possible sale. PHILIPPINES-POLITICS-CORRUPTION-CRIME-MARCOS
February 15
7:55 PM 2016

The Philippine government has announced on Friday approving the public exhibition and auction of the jewelry collection of late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos' wife Imelda. International experts have appraised the collection now to be worth at least ₱1 billion ($21 million). The appraisal has reportedly been conducted in a conservative manner.

The hoard has been seized from Hawaii in 1986 when Marcos and his family fled there after a revolt that ended the power regime enduring two decades. The announcement has been made by the officials of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). However, the approval has been rendered by the Privatization Commission headed by the Department of Finance (DOF), reports The Guardian.

Appraisal of the jewelry collection has been conducted by Christie's and Sotheby's in November 2015. The collection has originally been estimated to be valued $5 million to $8 million or ₱376 million in maximum. But PCGG claims that value of the items has been increased significantly, reports GMA News.

PCGG has been assigned to recover Marcos' ill gotten wealth. The commission expects to conduct exhibition and auction before departure of existing Presiident Benigno Aquino III's term in June, reports Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoting Andrew de Castro, its Chairman.

However, a portion of the collection, seized from the presidential palace after Marcos' flee, is being contested in the court. Other pieces of jewelry have been confiscated from Hawaii and Manila airport.

The jewelry collection includes a 25 carat, barrel shaped diamond worth at least $5 million. The list also includes a Cartier Diamond tiara which is now more valuable than the previous estimation of $30,000 to $50,000.

The seized items also include luxury wristwatches such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier. Some pieces are from globally reputed jewelry makers such as Bulgari, Van Cleef and Arpels and Bucellatti. The entire collection is kept in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Imelda Marcos has declined to comment on PCGG claims. Senator Bongbong Marcos, her son and vice presidential hopeful has also refused to clarify his position in this regard citing ignorance about the jewelry collection.

A huge collection of jewelry has been confiscated after fall of Philippine's Dictator President Ferdinand Marcos. Philippine government has approved exhibition and auction for part of the seized jewelry collection. The PCGG expects to conduct exhibition and auction before exit of the existing President from the office. Thus the move has been analyzed as an electoral propaganda ahead of upcoming general election.   

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