President Corazon Aquino said Thursday she would allow former first lady Imelda Marcos to return home at the appropriate time to face criminal charges of looting the nation's treasury.

"We are not against the return of Mrs. Marcos, at the proper time, to face criminal charges in court. But this will be at the appropriate time," Aquino said in a statement. She did not elaborate.David Castro, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said Wednesday the wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos should be permitted to fly back from U.S. exile within the year to face trial.

Castro said that unless Marcos is present during the filing and prosecution of charges that she helped her husband steal upward of $10 billion during a 20-year rule, the Philippines would fail to recover some of the loot stashed in Swiss banks.

The PCGG was formed shortly after the dictator was forced into exile five years ago. He died in Hawaii on Sept. 28, 1989.

The Swiss Supreme court in December approved the turnover of $350 million in Marcos's deposits in Swiss banks as soon as a competent criminal court issues a legally binding verdict awarding the money to the Philippine government.

Aquino has repeatedly said she will allow Imelda Marcos to return to the country as soon as she is no longer perceived as a threat to the nation's security.

Aquino has crushed seven military uprisings. Supporters of the late dictator in the military participated in the insurrections.