In a resolution dated Nov. 9, 2018 but released to the media only yesterday, the court’s Second Division has denied “for lack of merit” the Motion to Defer Decision filed by Marcoses’ co-defendants Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., estate of Gliceria Tantoco and Dominador Santiago.
AP/Bullit Marquez
Sandiganbayan sets ruling on P1-billion Marcos wealth case
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Another civil case against former first lady Imelda Marcos and her husband, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., involving P1.052 billion in alleged ill-gotten wealth, is now up for decision by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

In a resolution dated Nov. 9, 2018 but released to the media only yesterday, the court’s Second Division has denied “for lack of merit” the Motion to Defer Decision filed by Marcoses’ co-defendants Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., estate of Gliceria Tantoco and Dominador Santiago.

The forfeiture case docketed as Civil Case No. 0008, filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Goverment (PCGG) in 1987 seeks to recover from the Marcoses and their cronies a total of P1.052 billion in alleged ill-gotten wealth, composed of P609.27 million in shares of stocks and P443.05 million in real properties.

The PCGG is also seeking P50 billion in moral damages and P1 billion in exemplary damages.

The PCGG said the Marcoses and their co-defendants must also be compelled to pay temperate damages, nominal damages and other judicial costs, the amounts of which shall be determined by the court.

In their motion filed in February 2016, Santiago and the Tantocos prayed to defer the decision on the case, claiming that another pending civil lawsuit docketed as Civil Case No. 0142 involves the “same legal issues and parties.”

Santiago and the Tantocos said that deciding on Civil Case No. 0008 without resolving first its similarity with Civil Case No. 0142 might be prejudicial to the parties involved.

In its ruling, however, the Second Division maintained that the present case “is totally unrelated to Civil Case No. 0142.”

“Their inconsistent opinion on the relationship of these two cases cannot be arbitrarily used by the defendants,” the Second Division said.

The court pointed out that Civil Case No. 0142 challenges the validity of the PCGG’s sequestration of the assets of Tourist Duty Free Shops Inc. and the freeze order against TDFSI’s bank accounts with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and Bank of America (BA), while Civil Case No. 0008 involves the recovery of the assets of the Marcoses and their co-defendants as well as the imposition against them of damages. 

The court noted that neither the TDFSI, RCBC or BA is a party in Civil Case No. 0008. 

Besides, the court said, Civil Case No. 0008 should have already been submitted for decision nine years ago after the PCGG and the defendants submitted their respective memoranda containing the summary of their arguments, testimonies of their witnesses and documentary evidence they presented at the course of trial, which lasted for about 20 years.

IMELDA MARCOS PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERMENT SANDIGANBAYAN
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