Exiled ruler Ferdinand Marcos has offered to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with U.S. attorneys on a $268 million international racketeering indictment, officials said Wednesday.

Philippine Justice Secretary Sedfrey Ordonez said he received a phone call from Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Labella on Monday afternoon informing him that John Barko, one of Marcos's lawyers, had told Labella the ousted dictator wants to discuss the racketeering case.Ordonez told reporters he was informed about the Marcos move out of courtesy to the Philippine government as one of the aggrieved parties in the racketeering indictment.

President Corazon Aquino, celebrating her 56th birthday at a church in the nearby town of Malolos, said she was informed by Consul General Tomas Gomez in Honolulu hours earlier that Marcos's condition has improved since he was hospitalized Jan. 15.

Marcos was reported to have suffered a collapsed left lung, which was later reinflated. He also had a cardiac "accident" and had undergone surgery for removal of a foreign object blocking his ear.

The hospitalization of the 71-year-old Marcos came while a hearing was being held in a New York court on whether Marcos was fit to travel for his arraignment. The hearing was recessed until Feb. 9 while Marcos, said at one point to be dying, was allowed to recover.

Aquino said Gomez reported to her that on hearing of the postponement, Marcos's wife Imelda "had a small celebration at a Thai restaurant in Honolulu."