Merill Lynch has agreed to turn over about 1.88 billion pesos of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ hidden fortune.
The money was from the so-called ‘Arelma’ account and may find its way back to the Philippines as early as 2016.
The original $2-million dollar deposit into the Arelma account, via a dummy corporation called Arelma SA, was opened in 1972 with Merrill Lynch Securities in New York.
Merrill Lynch turned the money over to the New York County Treasury while the litigation process between the Philippines and the Marcos human rights victims was fought over in court.
Lawyers for the rights abuse victims have successfully blocked the Philippine government from taking the money for their own funding, essentially laying claim to satisfy a $2-billion dollar judgement for the victims in the case.
The initial deposit grew to $42 million (USD) or 1.88-billion pesos over the 42-years with accrued interest.
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