The lawyer who went after the Marcos millions

Feisty Philippine lawyer Haydee Yorac, who led the recovery of more than $600-million of ill-gotten wealth of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, died on Tuesday in the United States due to a lingering illness.

Yorac (64) died in Chicago, Illinois, while being treated for ovarian cancer.

Yorac was a former chief of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the government agency created to recover the billions of dollars allegedly plundered by the Marcoses and their cronies during the dictator’s 20-year rule.

She also got favourable decisions for the government over millions of dollars in disputed cocoa-levy funds, which the Supreme Court recently ruled to be public funds after decades of legal battles against industrialist and Marcos crony Eduardo Cojuangco.

She resigned from the PCGG earlier this year after heading the agency since July 12 2001.

In 2004, Yorac received a Ramon Magsaysay award — Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize — for government service.

Prior to becoming the PCGG chief, Yorac also headed the Commission on Elections and was a law professor at the University of the Philippines. She was among the few brave lawyers who never stopped fighting Marcos. — Sapa-DPA

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