The Philippines Digging for Treasure

Aquino moves to recover Marcos' loot abroad and mollify critics at home

A week after Ferdinand Marcos touched down at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, U.S. Customs officials were still examining his luggage. The deposed Philippine President and his 88-member entourage brought with them 22 boxes of freshly minted pesos and 278 crates of jewelry, artworks, gold and real estate deeds. That cache last week became the centerpiece in a tug-of-war between Marcos and the new government of Corazon Aquino, which claimed that the loot and other Marcos wealth abroad legally belonged to the Filipino people. The Reagan Administration found itself caught between its desire to help the fledgling Aquino government and...

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