Marcos Had $88.7 Million Deposited in 5 World Banks : L.A. Institution One of Them, Document Says

From Times Wire Services

Ferdinand E. Marcos had more than $88 million on deposit in five banks around the world--including the Los Angeles-based California Overseas Bank--according to a document found in his suitcase, Administration sources said today.

The revelations came as the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asian and Pacific affairs prepared to make public most of the 2,089 documents taken by Marcos to Hawaii when he fled Manila last month after his 20-year reign collapsed.

"I want to make as much of this public as soon as possible," said Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.), chairman of the panel. Solarz and subcommittee investigators met Wednesday with officials from the Justice Department's criminal division, which has copies of the documents.

The sources said other documents confiscated from Marcos include ledgers showing that he and his family received tens of millions of dollars in "commissions" from American and Japanese companies.

Agents of the U.S. Customs Service in Hawaii have inventoried mounds of jewelry and precious art objects carried out of the Philippines on the Marcoses' plane, the sources said, adding, "Your imagination would run wild."

Price Tags Attached

One source said that there were enough pearls to cover a table large enough for a church banquet and that price tags were attached to some of the jewelry items apparently belonging to Imelda Marcos, wife of the deposed president. One piece was priced at $12,000.

Another item found with the Marcoses was a three-foot statue laden with diamonds and precious stones that is believed to be a national treasure in the Philippines, sources said.

The New York Times reported that in Manila, a document found in the presidential palace showed that Imelda Marcos presented a $60,000 emerald necklace to Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan's office denied receiving such a gift.

The bank list, one of 2,300 pages turned over to the new Philippine government and to the House subcommittee, showed balances totaling $88.7 million in five banks--including the California Overseas Bank, at least two in Switzerland, one in the Cayman Islands, a British possession in the Caribbean, sources said.

They said Marcos was reported to have had a balance of $5 million in the California bank.

'Real Donnybrook' Seen

Cynthia Takano, a spokeswoman for the bank, acknowledged it has some Philippine officers, but she expressed surprise at reports that Marcos had an account with the bank. She declined further comment.

Handwritten notes found from Marcos indicated that $35 million more had been deposited but not yet credited to the accounts, sources said.

A source said one Marcos document listed $1.7 million received from five Japanese companies.

The source said the revelation of Japanese payments could lead to a "real donnybrook" because it appears that the Japanese made "a serious, concerted effort to try and cooperate with the Marcos government and the only way to do that (was to) buy them off."

When Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Donald T. Regan, the White House chief of staff, were given inventories of the Marcos documents, an official said they were "disgusted" by the ostentatious display of wealth. That reaction is said to have shaped the way the Marcos party was treated.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World