Marcos ill gotten wealth case: Sandiganbayan orders return to gov’t of shares in Eastern Telecoms
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has ordered the relatives of Ferdinand Marcos’ cronies to return to the government shares in a telecommunications company that the anti-graft court said was part of the late dictator’s ill-gotten wealth.
The decision by the court’s Special Third Division on Wednesday, Dec. 4, tagged shares of businessmen Jose Africa and Manuel Nieto Jr. in Eastern Telecommunications Phils Inc. and other investments were proceeds from Marcos’ illegally amassed assets.
The court also tagged as part of ill-gotten wealth shares in Polygon Investors and Managers Inc, Aerocom Investors and Managers Inc. The order also covered shares of other individuals that had been transferred to Africa and Nieto.
The court said the two should pay P68.16 million to the government, the value of Eastern Telecoms shares held by Aerocom Investors and Managers and Nieto before these were transferred to ISM Communications Corp.
The court order covered heirs of Africa and Nieto and all stock, cash dividends and interests on these.
Both were also ordered to jointly pay the government P1 million in exemplary damage.
This was the third forfeiture case against the Marcoses and their cronies decided upon by the Sandiganbayan in 2019 alone.
Two previous cases had been dismissed as state lawyers failed to prove guilt, largely because of a technicality—they did not present certified true copies of documents as evidence.
The late dictator and his family ruled the country for more than 20 years until their regime was toppled by the Edsa People Power revolt of 1986, forcing them to flee in exile to Hawaii.
But barely 20 years after that, the Marcoses had returned to the country and positions in power—former First Lady Imelda Marcos and daughter Imee Marcos are now both in Congress. Imee is a senator while brother Ferdinand Jr., or Bongbong, was former senator who nearly won the race for Vice President and is still protesting alleged cheating.
They had been accused of multiple crimes, including the plunder of public coffers, at the height of their power and also of ordering the killings, arrests and torture of political opponents and critics.
Edited by TSB
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