Palace: Sandigan ruling vs Marcos crony a ‘significant win’ for Filipinos
Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Sandiganbayan asking the heirs of a crony of late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to return some P511 million worth of ill-acquired wealth from illegal logging concessions covering about 600,000 hectares in four provinces.
Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. hailed the decision of the anti-graft court as a “significant win” for Filipinos.
“The judgment rendered by the Sandiganbayan is a significant win for the Filipino people in the long-term effort to recover assets that had been illegally acquired during the dictatorship by known cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos. The PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Governance) will implement the decision once it attains finality,” Coloma said in a statement.
The Sandiganbayan’s second division issued the ruling 24 years after the PCGG filed a civil suit against the late Alfonso Lim Sr., his son Alfonso Jr. and former Minister of Natural Resources Teodoro Peña in October 1991.
The decision, which was promulgated last Dec. 14, 2015, ordered Taggat Industries owner Alfonso Lim Sr., to return to government “all funds and properties acquired through the cancelled TLA (timber license agreement)…”
It was found that the timber concessions granted to the Lims exceeded the 100,000-hectare constitutional limit provided in the 1973 Constitution.
The Lims used to cut and export narra and almaciga trees in forests of Batangas, Cagayan, Rizal and Cavite provinces during the 1970s.
The Sandiganbayan, however, dismissed the claim of the Republic for damages against the Lims and did not mention any liability from Marcos, his wife Imelda and children. CDG