This is one felicitous decision that is most welcome by the Filipino people coming from President Rodrigo Duterte. It takes political will to do it especially knowing that the president continues to have a soft heart for the family of the despot Marcos, while many Filipinos continue to harbor resentment against them.
I am of course referring to Duterte’s approval to auction off one of three jewelry collections recovered from the fleeing family when they arrived at the Honolulu International Airport during the 1986 People Power Revolution. This was particularly dubbed as the Hawaii collection consisting of 400 pieces estimated to be worth more than P700 million.
Whether or not the jewelries for sale are smaller or less expensive pieces compared to the other sequestered collections is not what matters most. What is of greater importance is that Duterte wants the proceeds to benefit the Filipinos in any way it could.
In reality, auctioning off the three jewelry collections should have been done a long time ago so that those who became victims of the repressive regime, and who has gone sooner to their graves may have enjoyed the fruits of retribution.
In fact it would have been more meaningful and symbolic had former Pres. Benigno Aquino III found the gumption to put the whole collections on the auction block during his presidency. His lack of audacity cost him the chance of getting the credit of alleviating the plight of the poor Filipinos with the proceeds that they needed so badly. It would have been a tribute to the family of a martyred patriarch that suffered so much, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Instead it is now Duterte who is getting the accolade for disposing the ill-gotten jewelries. He deserves it, but it is hoped that it won’t stop here. The people would like to see Duterte also ordering, before his term is over, the sale of the Malacañang collection of around 300 pieces that was left behind after the Marcoses fled the Palace and the Roumeliotes collection of 60 major pieces that Imelda’s Greek accomplice, Demetriou Roumeliotes, tried to spirit out of the country a few weeks after the Marcoses’ ouster.
While it is much appreciated that Duterte approved the auctioning of Imelda’s Hawaii collection based on public interest and not on friendship or political alliance, I find it somehow unreasonable, however, that the very same person that the expensive jewelry collection was sequestered from can still participate in the sale by auction. Knowing how filthy rich Imelda is, she can surely outbid the other buyers or use them to bid on her behalf. Thus, it defeats the purpose of having the jewelry collection to be taken out and away from the clutches of the avaricious former first lady.
To say that Imelda is no longer interested in her sequestered jewelries is absurd, if not a distortion of reality. It is probably what is motivating her to stay much longer in politics so she could have the chance to fulfill once more her evil desire to be reunited with her long seized treasures.