After over three decades, the ill-gotten wealth case filed against Marcos Senior, his wife Imelda, and their alleged associates has reached a conclusion. The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division suspended the case for lack of evidence.
Ill-Gotten Wealth Case Discarded Due to Insufficient Evidence
Filed in 1987, the Marcoses and their purported associates dealt with Civil Case No. 0014. It intended to relinquish and reclaim specific assets and properties acquired illegally.
Accused individuals include Erlinda Enriquez-Panlilio, Modesto Enriquez, Don Ferry, Gregorio Castillo, and Rebecco Panlilio. Also counted on the list are Roman Cruz Jr., Leandro Enriquez, and Trinidad Diaz-Enriquez. Several companies were also involved, including Ternate Development Corp., Silahis International Hotel, Inc., and Sulo Dobbs, Inc., to name a few.
According to the prosecution, the accused, in conspiracy, illegally acquired and gained wealth without regard for the government.
“After carefully reviewing the evidence on record, it is evident that the plaintiff did not provide enough proof to support their claims. Specifically, they failed to demonstrate that the properties in question were obtained through illegitimate methods,” the anti-graft court stated.
Moreover, the court discounted the testimony of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) custodian and the only witness, Maria Lourdes Magno. The court believed that the prosecutor’s only witness didn’t have enough personal knowledge about the veracity of the presented documents. Likewise, the court said most documents were obscure copies from the PCGG’s custody.
Associate Justice Arthur Malabaguio signed the decision, supported by Associate Justices Edgardo Caldona and Oscar Herrera Jr.
Another Loss for PCGG
This is yet another sad loss for the PCGG regarding the ill-gotten wealth case against the Marcoses and their apparent associates just for this year. Last February, the court also ditched Civil Case No. 0024 due to deficiencies in evidence which could have recovered P581.304 million in assets. Because of this, the government couldn’t recover the wealth and properties the accused acquired ‘illegally’.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division likewise cancelled Civil Case No. 0167 against former Tacloban City Mayor Alfredo Romualdez. He’s the brother of former First Lady Imelda Marcos. According to the court, PCGG failed to proceed with the case resolution, although it’s been pending for over 30 years.
The court affirmed that the rules implored that the PCGG-OSG establish that the questionable properties were from the government. Likewise, they must identify if the accused’s debatable properties were illegally acquired or because of their close acquaintanceship with the Marcoses.
Sandiganbayan claimed that the government could not win the case against the accused parties because of a lack of competent evidence to support its accusations.
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