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

Marje Pelayo   •   August 8, 2019   •   1245

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.

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)

Robredo honors all freedom fighters during Marcos era on Ninoy Aquino Day

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday honored the sacrifices of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, and all Filipinos like him who fought against dictatorship and for the restoration of freedom in the country.

In a message to mark Ninoy’s 36th death anniversary, Robredo recalled how Ninoy’s death had inspired a movement that brought down the “rapacious” regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

“Every Filipino alive at that time remembers where they were when Ninoy fell. It was the defining moment for an entire generation: a moment that would inspire a movement that would ultimately bring down the dictator three years later, and bring about a restoration of the freedom Ninoy had given up his life and liberty fighting for,” Robredo said.

The vice president also pointed out that Ninoy was not the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country’s freedom.

“Thousands of Filipinos fell during the dark years of dictatorship, resisting till their last breath the cruelty and corruption it brought. Thousands more were estranged from their families, were thrown into prison, were subjected to brutality and humiliation. Many of them remain nameless and unheralded in our memorials and history books,” she said.

“So, when we celebrate the 21st of August, it is not just Ninoy Aquino we remember, but all those like him, both the nameless and the heralded, who gave of themselves so that we could be free,” she added.

“In this remembrance, we express both our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices made on our behalf, and, perhaps more significantly, our persistent commitment to defend the freedom they won back for us.”

Robredo also lambasted those who “dismiss the significance of Ninoy’s sacrifice,” or “question the validity of the movement it inspired,” and those who are pushing a revised version of history, claiming that the Marcos regime “was not so bad after all.”

“The simple truth is, Ninoy Aquino was a Filipino who gave his life for his country. His love for his homeland was seen not in easy talk or slick PR stunts, but instead blazed brightly through long years of imprisonment, of exile, and in the end, of martyrdom,” she said.

“Many talk about being willing to die for our country. Ninoy was one of the courageous few who actually did,” she added.

Ninoy, a staunch critic of the Marcos government, was assassinated upon his return from a three-year exile in the United States on August 21, 1983. He was shot and killed at he was shot and killed at the then Manila International Airport (now named after him) as he was escorted off the airplane.

Ninoy’s death led to protests that sparked snap presidential elections in 1986, which led to the 1986 EDSA Revolution that catapulted his wife, Cory Aquino to presidency.

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