No luck for Imelda and Irene Marcos: Sandiganbayan denies latest property recovery bid
MANILA, Philippines — The attempt of former first lady Imelda Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta to recover over 20 properties and assets sequestered from their family has been denied again, as the Sandiganbayan said their motion for reconsideration lacks merit.
In a resolution dated May 4 from its Fourth Division, the Sandiganbayan denied the motion for reconsideration filed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s mother and sister regarding Civil Case No. 002, or the P200-billion civil forfeiture case.
The Marcoses tried to recover the assets obtained by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) following the end of the rule of the family patriarch, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., as Sandiganbayan previously dismissed the civil case last December 2019.
However, Sandiganbayan, last January 25, denied the Marcoses’ bid to recover 23 assets and now declined their motion for reconsideration for lack of merit again.
“The defendants implore the Court to reconsider its earlier ruling to deny the discretionary execution of judgment in the instant case pending appeal by insisting that there exists a good reason to justify the same. Specifically, the defendants insist that they have been deprived of the properties for more than thirty (30) years and that said properties were dissipated by PCGG’s neglect and have been released from sequestration by virtue of compromise agreements,” the resolution, authored by Division chair and Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi, read.
“Essentially, the defendants pray for the return of subject properties recovered by the government, allegedly dissipated while under the administration of the PCGG, and center their arguments on the supposed illegality of the transfers made by virtue of compromise agreements and the lack of authority of the PCGG in entering into such contracts […] The Court is not persuaded,” Sandiganbayan added.
According to Sandiganbayan, a motion for reconsideration would be denied if the side that filed the said motion only rehashed the arguments previously presented, which was the case for the latest appeal.
Earlier this year, Sandiganbayan said there was still time for the PCGG to appeal their dismissal of the case before the Supreme Court, which means the Sandiganbayan decision to junk the case is not yet final.
PCGG filed Civil Case No. 002 against former president Marcos’ heirs to recover at least P200 billion allegedly plundered by the late strongman’s two-decade rule.
On top of the P200 billion being sought by the PCGG for actual damages, the commission also sought P50 billion in moral damages, and P250 million as compensation for expenses incurred in the recovery process. From the supposed ill-gotten wealth, P976 million were deposited at the Security Bank and Trust Company, and another P711 million at the Traders Royal Bank.