MANILA, Philippines – After 28 years, The Sandiganbayan Second Division of the Philippine anti-graft court ordered the Marcoses and the Lim family that owns Taggat Industries to return all the properties claimed by government on Monday, January 4.
According to press reports, the Sandiganbayan favored the Civil Case Number 0030 that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed in 1987, a year after dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted.
Among the properties sequestered by the PCGG and awarded by the Sandiganbayan division in favor of the state are vast tracts of land in Cagayan, Manila, Tagaytay, Batangas, and Rizal. In 2006, they had a total appraised value of P511.12 million.
The original defendants in the 28-year-old case were Alfonso Lim Sr, Alfonso Lim Jr, Marcos-time Environment Minister Teodoro Peña, Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos, and several corporations.
Also awarded to the state are two Cessna planes that had been grounded since 1994, and various assets in the name of Alfonso D. Lim. While the Sandiganbayan ordered the return of all properties claimed by government, it dismissed the state’s claim for damages for lack of proof.
Former Minister Peña was absolved of any liability due to lack of evidence.
The 35-page ruling was penned by Associate Justice Napoleon Inoturan. Associate justices Teresita Diaz Baldos and Oscar Herrera Jr concurred.
It could be remembered that eight high-end paintings in the possession of the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos were ordered temporarily seized on September 29, 2015.
The following paintings were ordered secured by the court namely Madonna and Child by Michelangelo Bounarroti, Femme Couchee VI (Reclining Woman VI) by Pablo Picasso, Portrait of the Marqueza de Sta. Cruz by Francisco de Goya, Still Life with Idol by Paul Gaugin, LaBaignade Au Grand Temps by Pierre Bonnard, Vase of Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, Jardin de Kew pres de la Serre 1892 by Camille Pisarro and L’Aube by Joan Miro.
Officers from the court sheriff’s office were instructed to seize the paintings, which is now under judicial custody and placed in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The 85-year-old Imelda Marcos has been charged with various civil and criminal cases in court, but she has never been jailed in the country. She and her husband were forced out of power in the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
The government has won in a number of PCGG’s claims against the Marcoses including assets of Swiss foundations amounting to over $658 million ($14.6 million*) were forfeited in 2003. A jewelry collection worth $153,089 were likewise returned to the state last January 13.
On August 18, after 5 years of appeal after another by the Marcoses, the government also ordered the seizure of the Arelma assets. The ill-gotten wealth hidden under a dummy foundation known as Arelma Incorporated was valued at P147.49-million (US$3.37 million*) in 1983.
What can you say about the reclamation of ill-gotten wealth of Marcoses? Is this a demolition job against the image of Vice Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos? Comment your thoughts.
(valuable data obtained from reports of Rappler)