Sandiganbayan declares over 800 Marcoses-owned artworks as ill-gotten
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has ordered the relatives of former president Ferdinand Marcos to account and either surrender or pinpoint the location of paintings that were illegally amassed during the late dictator’s two-decade reign.
In the partial summary judgment of the anti-graft court’s special division dated Thursday, the kin of Marcos and former first lady Imelda Marcos were also mandated to stop disposing, transferring, and selling the 896 pieces of artworks.
“Accordingly, partial summary judgment is hereby rendered […] ordering the respondents, their agents, representatives, nominees or persons acting on their behalf, to cease and desist from disposing, transferring and/or selling any of the above-mentioned paintings and artworks,” the court said.
This decision stemmed from the civil case filed by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) last December 1991.
The artworks involved include those specified by the PCGG, the Grandma Moses paintings in their possession, the artworks listed in A Report on the Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s Art Collection, aside from other artworks found to be under their possession.
According to the court, the reason why the artworks were forfeited because the Marcos couple failed to substantiate how they got a massive art collection — amounting to $24.32 million — despite their aggregate salaries of $304,372 during their terms.
“In the case of respondents, they failed to state and substantiate how they lawfully acquired the funds used to purchase the paintings. Respondents likewise failed to show proof that they had other legitimate sources of income aside from their combined salaries of $304,372.43,” the judgment penned by Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz said.
“Hence, this sum legally and fairly serves as basis for determining the existence of a prima facie case of forfeiture of the artworks,” Sandiganbayan noted.
The Sandiganbayan’s recent judgment came after the PCGG lost another Marcos forfeiture civil case involving around P200 billion worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth. This specific case was the fourth victory of the Marcoses out five cases that the anti-graft court decided just in 2019.
Edited by JPV
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