by Chino Leyco
The Duterte administration will pursue the sale of the controversial Marcos jewelry collection, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.
Finance Undersecretary Antoinette C. Tionko said the government will sell the 300 pieces of jewelry and other luxury items it seized from the family of the late former president, Ferdinand Marcos.
The jewelry set, known as “Hawaii Collection,” has been stored in a vault at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) since it was confiscated by the United States Customs in 1986 after the Marcos family fled for exile in Hawaii amid the People Power Revolution.
“We might need to reappraise the collection before we place the pieces on the auction block,” Tionko said in an interview in her office.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and Privatization and Management Office (PMO) will lead the auction for the Marcos jewels, she added.
In 2016, the inter-agency Privatization Council approved the sale of the “Hawaii Jewelry,” which is estimated to worth at least P1 billion, based on appraisals from auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
The collection includes a 25-carat “extremely rare” pink diamond believed to be previously owned by a Mogul emperor, which was estimated to be worth at least $5 million or around P237 million.
Based on a memorandum from the DOF-led privatization council, the minimum bid price for the jewelry, which is believed to be part of the supposed Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth, is set at $14 million, equivalent to P658 million.
In November, 2015, the Bureau of Customs and the PCGG had the three Marcos jewelry collections — The Malacañang, Hawaii, and the Roumeliotes — appraised by Christie’s and rival Sotheby’s.
Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said the sale of the Hawaii collection will proceed as planned after the Marcos family voluntarily relinquished ownership of this particular jewelry set.
“Proceeds from the sale will go to the Bureau of the Treasury and PCGG,” Beltran said when sought for comments. “The sale of this jewelry was deferred during the previous administration because of lack of time.”