SC upholds dismissal of over P1 billion forfeiture case vs. Marcoses | Inquirer News

SC upholds dismissal of over P1 billion forfeiture case vs. Marcoses

/ 06:28 PM July 19, 2023

SC upholds dismissal of over P1 billion forfeiture case vs. Marcoses.

A FAMILY BACK IN POWER The country’s 17th President and his family bask in the glow of a completed political comeback. On stage after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ oathtaking on Thursday are (from left) his son Joseph Simon Marcos, nephew Fernando Martin “Borgy” Manotoc, sister Sen. Imee Marcos, nephew Matthew Joseph Manotoc, son Ferdinand Alexander, mother Imelda Romualdez Marcos, wife Liza Araneta-Marcos, son William Vincent and adopted sister Aimee. (File photo by LYN RILLON)

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court has affirmed Sandiganbayan’s previous decision dismissing the P1.050 billion civil forfeiture case filed against former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., former first lady Imelda Marcos and their alleged cronies.

In a 25-page decision made public Wednesday, the first division of Supreme Court ruled that the petition for review to reverse the Sandiganbayan’s ruling lacked merit.


The petition was submitted by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

“In order to consider petitioner’s evidence as sufficient to prove the allegations of its expanded complaint, the Court has to perform many leaps of logic, engage in presumptions, and create inferences based on other inferences in order to bridge the gaps in the evidence adduced,” the resolution penned by SC Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario read.

“In the face of such gaps, petitioner’s allegations in its expanded complaint are reduced to mere speculations, insinuations and conjectures,” the magistrate noted.

“Thus, while it is truly disappointing that nothing has come of this case despite the lapse of 36 years spent in litigation, the Court agrees with the Sandiganbayan that petitioner’s evidence is insufficient to support the allegations of its Expanded Complaint by a preponderance of evidence,” the decision stated.

PCGG filed the forfeiture case in 1987 to recover assets and properties from the Marcos family and their alleged cronies.

These possessions included P609.27 million in shares of stocks and P443.05 million in real properties.


The expanded complaint included as respondents Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Dominador Santiago, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Gliceria Tantoco, and Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda.

They allegedly acted as dummies for the Marcoses in acquiring franchises to operate tourist duty-free shops at international airports, hotels and commercial centers.

Sandiganbayan, however, rejected many pieces of evidence presented by PCGG.

The anti-graft court justified its action by saying the evidence were not presented during the discovery proceedings or that the documents submitted were mere photocopies.

Only 11 exhibits and four testimonies were admitted as evidence.

Afterwards, Sandiganbayan concluded the remaining admissible evidence were either insufficient to prove the allegations of the expanded complaint, or were not related to the facts that PCGG had wanted to prove.

In affirming Sandiganbayan’s earlier verdict on the forfeiture case, the High Court declared, “Clearly, these documents are insufficient to prove that respondents concealed illegally obtained assets, or amassed ill-gotten wealth.”

“Accordingly, the Sandiganbayan was correct in dismissing the Expanded Complaint for Reconveyance, Accounting, Restitution and Damages against all the respondents,” it concluded.


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TAGS: Civil case, Forfeiture, Marcos, PCGG, Sandiganbayan

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