Lagman: Reopening Marcos family's estate tax case violates principle of final verdict | Inquirer News

Lagman: Reopening Marcos family’s estate tax case violates principle of final verdict

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/ 04:24 PM October 27, 2022
Rep. Edcel Lagman says reopening Marcos family's estate tax case will violate the principle of a final verdict

FILE PHOTO: Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court’s (SC) possible reopening of the Marcos family’s estate tax case would violate the so-called principle of the final judgment, which disallows the revival of cases already ruled with finality by a competent court.

Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman issued the statement to express concern that revisiting the case would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to endless streams of litigations.

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“If final and executory decisions of the Supreme Court can be reopened in perpetuity, then litigations would be interminable or endless and the hallowed doctrine of res judicata is abandoned with impunity,” he stressed in a statement Thursday.

“Res judicata means conclusiveness of judgment or a matter that has been adjudicated (with finality) by a competent court may not be pursued further by the same parties,” he also explained.

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Lagman, president of the opposition Liberal Party, pointed out that the estate tax case against the family of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had already been ruled with finality in March 1999.

“The decision of the High Court in the estate tax liability of the Marcoses, which has ballooned from P23-B to P203-B due to interests and surcharges, became a final and executory way back on March 9, 1999, or more than two decades ago,” the lawmaker said.

“Before 1999, the Marcoses were allowed starting in 1991 to return to the Philippines to face corruption charges, and Imelda Marcos even ran for President in 1992, seven years before the finality of the tax case. Verily, the Marcoses were in the Philippines to contest their estate tax liability,” added Lagman, a lawyer.

Lagman’s comments came after Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday, October 26, that “no decision is set in stone” regarding the P203 billion estate tax case of the Marcoses.

READ: SC may reopen Marcos estate tax case

It was a staple topic of question during Marcos Jr.’s 2022 presidential campaign that he address the graft and estate tax cases his family is facing.

However, he remained relatively silent on the matter until September 14, after he had already been elected president, when he publicly supported reviving the estate tax case in an effort to finally resolve the controversy.

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READ: Marcos: Reopen estate tax case and let’s argue

But as Lagman emphasized, the SC had already decided with finality with the family of late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. being ordered to pay P23 billion in estate taxes. And because of the Marcos family’s to settle the dues, the amount has ballooned to P203 billion. With reports from Joshua Go, trainee

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TAGS: Edcel Lagman, Marcos estate tax case, Supreme Court
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