Marcoses Appeal Sandigan Ruling

Manila Bulletin, October 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Marcoses Appeal Sandigan Ruling


Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda ''Imee'' R. MarcosManotoc and Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. filed with the Sandiganbayan yesterday their supplement motion to reconsider its decision which declared as ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of the government the US$627.8 million in Swiss deposits of the Marcoses.

The money, deposited in various Swiss banks in favor of five foundations held by the Marcoses, was ordered transferred to the Philippine government in 1997 by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court after litigation and now held in escrow by the Philippine National Bank (PNB).

As additional grounds in support of the motion for reconsideration they previously filed, the siblings said "that it was only by arbitrarily isolating and then erroneously taking certain statements made by them out of context that the court was able to treat them as 'judicial admissions' sufficient to establish a prima facie and thereafter a conclusive case to justify the forfeiture of the Swiss funds."

They also contend that the PCGG had not proven all the essential elements to establish a prima facie case for forfeiture and they have not made any judicial admission that would have freed the PCGG from its burden of proof and it was grievous error for the court to grant the motion for summary judgment.

They also added that assuming the government has established a prima facie case for forfeiture, the Marcoses must still be given chances and avenues to be heard on their defense and their statutory and constitutional rights to due process to be heard and to be presumed innocent simply mandate that this be accorded them by the court.

In their previous motion for reconsideration, they said that the court grievously erred in ruling that PCGG has established a prima facie case for the forfeiture of the Swiss funds.

They said that the PCGG which banked on Republic Act No. 1379 or "An Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Any Property Found to Have Been Unlawfully Acquired by Any Public Officer of Employee and Providing for the Procedure Thereof," has absolutely failed to establish its essential elements in Sec. 3 with respect to the approximate amount and identification of the property which the Marcos couple allegedly "acquired during their incumbency."

The forfeiture case landed at the Sandiganbayan's first division and the decision was penned by Associate Justice Catalino R. …

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