Palace backs Duterte’s position on Marcoses’ alleged ill-gotten wealth

Marje Pelayo   •   March 2, 2019   •   4866

Former Philippine first lady and congresswoman Imelda Marcos poses for photographers at the ancestral home of her late husband, former president Ferdinand Marcos, on her 85th birthday in Batac, Ilocos Norte in the northern Philippines, July 2, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang clarified issues surrounding President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial statement that allegations against the Marcoses on the alleged ill-gotten wealth remain in question.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President was actually referring to the report which says that the Marcoses amassed P400 billion dollars from the Filipinos during the martial law regime.

Panelo said the figure was not convincing because of the fact that the Philippines did not have that huge amount of money during that time.

“If you are saying you stole from me 400 billion dollars and I have only 1 billion, how in heaven’s name can you be stealing from me when I don’t have that kind of money? Parang iyon ang dating,” Panelo said.

It was in 2003 when the Supreme Court (SC) awarded to the Philippine government more or less US$658 million dollar Swiss bank deposits of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former first lady Imelda Marcos due to failure to present a legal basis for the mentioned assets.

Panelo insisted that they do not oppose the decision of the court on the matter especially about the questionable assets of the Marcoses.

“What the Supreme Court says, is the law. Whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t matter. Yun ang batas, dapat gawin natin, sundin natin. Lawyer kami, iyon ang napatunayan. You have to agree to that. You should bow to the majesty of the law,” Pabelo noted.

As of 2017, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) have already recovered around P171 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses, which is purportedly a chunk of the alleged P530 billion stolen public fund.

To date, there are at least 200 cases pending in court in relation to the issue. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Senate to probe PCGG for losing ill-gotten wealth case against Marcoses

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Justice will conduct an investigation on the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) on the measures it has taken to sequester the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon will particularly question the PCGG’s failure to win the case against the Marcoses.

“Kung meron talagang ganung kalaking halaga, papaano nakuha yung perang yan. Yan ang unang tatanungin ko. Papaanong nakalap yan at bakit hindi ninyo maimbestigahan ng maayos para just follow the paper trail,” Gordon said.

On Monday (Dec. 16), the Sandiganbayan junks the 200-Billion forfeiture case against the Marcos family.

This is the fourth time that the PCGG lost its case in the Sandiganbayan. — (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Sandiganbayan dismisses P1-B civil case vs Marcoses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2019

Philippines First Lady and current congresswoman Imelda Marcos (2-L) when she visited the tomb of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos to mark National Heroes Day at the ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani’ (Cemetery of Heroes) in Taguig City, south of Manila, Philippines, 28 August 2017. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

The second division of the Sandiganbayan has dismissed the civil case filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) against former President Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda Marcos for insufficient evidence over P1 billion worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Based on the decision of the anti-graft court, the PCGG failed to present strong evidence against the Marcoses.

“The plaintiff Republic failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that the defendants by themselves, or in conspiracy with defendants Marcoses, obtained ill-gotten wealth,” the decision reads.

“Lastly, the court also finds that the defendants failed to prove their respective counterclaims alluding to alleged damages sustained.”

According to the Malacañang, the PCGG can still submit an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Marcoses should still be accountable if there is proof of ill-gotten wealth.

“Kung ill-gotten, we should always run after, basta ill-gotten (If it is ill-gotten we should always run after, as long as it is ill-gotten). It should be the policy of all governments to run after ill-gotten wealth,” he said.

The Sandiganbayan previously dismissed the P102 billion worth of forfeiture case against the Marcoses and other respondents last August.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Sandiganbayan junks 30-year-old forfeiture case vs. Marcoses, cronies

Marje Pelayo   •   August 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Second Division has dismissed the 30-year-old forfeiture case against the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and cronies.

According to the anti-graft court’s decision dated August 5, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) ‘miserably’ failed to show evidence that the accused accumulated billions worth of ill-gotten wealth during their time in office.

“Plaintiff (Philippine government) miserably failed to adduce evidence to hold defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos liable under any of the causes of action set out in the amended complaint,” the court said.

“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,” it added.

The PCGG filed the case in July 31, 1987, accusing the Marcos couple and cronies of amassing huge amount of public funds.

The ruling said the PCGG “failed to illustrate” how the late ambassador to Japan Roberto Benedicto and other cronies served as dummies of the Marcoses to acquire alleged ill-gotten wealth from various “schemes, devices and strategems” during their regime.

Aside from the Marcoses, also cleared were Rafael Sison, Placido Mapa, Jr., Don M. Ferry, Jose Tengco, Jr., Ramon Monzon, Generosa Olazo, Cynthia Cheong, Ma. Luisa Nograles, Leopoldo Vergara, Jose Africa and Rodolfo Arambulo.

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