Why 3 Swiss nationals got pres'l medal of merit

Posted at 02/14/2014 3:04 PM

MANILA - The Philippine government is conferring the Presidential Medal of Merit to three Swiss nationals for their significant contributions towards recovering the amount of over US$684 million, the largest amount recovered to date from the illicit assets of the Marcos' family and their cronies.

The Swiss nationals are Guy Fontanet, former Member of the Swiss Federal Parliament; Moritz Leuenberger, former Federal Councillor and President of the Swiss Confederation; and Sergio Salvioni, former Member of the Swiss Federal Parliament.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government, under then Chairman Jovito Salonga, hired the three lawyers to help the Philippine government recover and estimated $5 billion-$10 billion in Marcos' ill-gotten wealth.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the three awardees were conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit "for the legal assistance they had extended that led to the successful discovery, freezing, and eventual recovery of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses, which were deposited in Swiss banks and other financial institutions, and for contributing towards the restoration of democracy and upholding justice and human rights in the Philippines."

Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Leslie Baja, on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III, conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit on the three Swiss nationals in a ceremony at the Philippine Embassy in Berne last February 11.