BAGUIO CITY—Former First Lady Imelda Marcos may have been cleared of tax evasion charges, but she is still liable for unpaid taxes for seven Marcos mansions here that are now under government custody.
The mansions have been described as now in an “irreversible state of disrepair.”
Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. said the city government wants to redeem 20 years worth of taxes from properties allegedly owned by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ widow, his son, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and his daughters, former Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta.
Another compound that has been under sequestration belongs to the late newspaper publisher Hans Menzi.
Most of these houses are no longer habitable because of their state of decay, according to a security agency hired by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to man them.
Tax experts and real estate lawyers estimate that the properties could sell in the open market for at least P100 million.
The seven Marcos mansions here are located on Outlook Drive, a prime real estate corridor that bridges the presidential Mansion and the Mines View Park.
But only a portion of the property identified with Mrs. Marcos had been sold in a 2000 government auction.
Honorio Carlos Estepa, a broker, said many have been interested in buying the pieces of Marcos properties but “no one will take the risk because none of the Marcoses have been convicted.”
Estepa said all of these mansions will be recorded as “lis pendens,” even after government perfects their forfeiture in court because the Marcoses still have a stake in them.
“Lis pendens” is the annotation included on land titles to alert potential buyers that the property is the subject of pending suits.
Although the houses may be “in a sorry state,” real estate valuation still counts them as assets, Estepa said.