MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division has junked the Php102 billion civil forfeiture case against late former President Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and 11 others.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was formed to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth and which filed the case, “miserably failed” in presenting evidence, according to the Sandiganbayan’s ruling dated August 5.
The PCGG filed a case in 1987, seeking to hold the former President and the former First Lady liable of amassing ill-gotten wealth. The commission said that the Marcoses: 1) Participated in extending loan accommodation to Aklan Bulk Carriers Inc., Coron Bulk Carriers Inc., Fuga Bulk Carriers Inc., and Ecija Bulk Carriers Inc.; 2) Appropriated, for their own benefit and unjust enrichment, income and revenues derived from the operations of RPN-9, IBC-13, and BBC-2; 3) Allowed their 11 co-accused to hold and launder purloined funds for and in their behalf prior to remittance and credit to their overseas of foreign accounts; and 4) Participated in the establishment of the California Overseas Bank.
However, even after three decades, the PCGG failed to present sufficient evidence to convict the respondents.
“It saddens the Court that it took more than 30 years before this case is submitted for decision and yet, the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to sustain any of the causes of action against the remaining defendants,” the anti-graft court said in its ruling.
The Sandiganbayan cited that the PCGG should have relied on its own evidence and not on the defendants’ defense being weak.
“Wherefore, premises considered, for failure of the plaintiff to prove by preponderance of evidence any of the causes of action against defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Rafael Sison, Placido Mapa Jr., Don M. Ferry, Jose R. Tengco Jr., Ramon Monzon, Generosa C. Olazo, Cynthia Cheong, Ma. Luisa E. Nograles, Leopoldo Vergara, Jose L. Africa and Rodolfo Arambulo, the case against them is hereby dismissed,” the anti-graft court said. (RAF/LMO)
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