It seems like the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos will be having a happy holiday as so far they’ve managed to escape liability from four out of five cases this year regarding their illegally amassed assets.
The latest one was forfeiture case filed by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) against Senator Imee Marcos, Irene Marcos-Araneta, and former Senator Bongbong Marcos was recently dismissed by the Sandiganbayan due to the inability of the prosecution to prove the allegations against the Marcoses.
The civil case was filed in an attempt to recover at least P200 billion allegedly purloined from public coffers during their father’s over two-decade rule, according to Inquirer.
The 58-page decision by Fourth Division chair Associate Justice Alex Quiroz read, “Wherefore, premises considered, for failure of the plaintiff to prove its allegations by preponderance of evidence, the subject Complaint filed against defendants Estate of Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos Manotoc, Irene R. Marcos Araneta, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., and Constante Rubio is hearby dismissed.”
Inquirer columnist Artemio V. Panganiban wrote of these dismissed ill-gotten wealth cases saying that the fault lies in with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
“Their failure to observe the very basic rules of procedure is appalling and incredible,” Panganiban said. He cited many instances where documents were deemed inadmissible to court “for being mere photocopies, which failed to comply with the Best Evidence Rule,” read the second case against the Marcoses, Republic v. Tantoco (Sept. 25). The third case, according to Panganiban, also shared the same fault.
The first case against Marcos crony Roberto Benedicto, filed in August, took more than 30 years and was dismissed because of insufficient evidence.
The only time when the Marcoses lost this year was a case involving businessmen Jose Africa and Manuel Nieto Jr. in Eastern Telecommunications Phils Inc., where the shares were Marcos’ involvement was established successfully.
Amid all these cases, the Marcoses maintain their innocence, insisting that they did not steal anything.
Header photo courtesy of Malacañang Palace archives
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