MANILA

Forfeiture case vs Marcos, cronies junked; Palace shrugs

THE Sandiganbayan has dismissed the P102-billion forfeiture complaint against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his widow Imelda, and their cronies due to lack of evidence.

Malacañang on Thursday, August 8, shrugged off the ruling, saying the Sandiganbayan had no choice.

"Sandiganbayan, when it dismissed the case, it has most likely based its decision on the evidence presented before it," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told a press conference Thursday.

"Since it says there is no proof, then there is no other recourse but to dismiss the case," he added.

Panelo issued the statement after the anti-graft court, in a decision dated August 5, dismissed the case that was lodged 32 years ago against the Marcos family and their cronies due to missing original copies of key documentary evidence.

The Sandiganbayan noted that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) "miserably" failed to present evidence to prove that the late dictator and the former frst lady accumulated ill-gotten wealth.

The PCGG, the agency tasked to recover the supposed hidden wealth of the Marcoses, filed the complaint on July 24, 1987, accusing the Marcos family and their alleged cronies of being engaged in "schemes, devices, or strategems" in order to supposedly acquire ill-gotten assets.

"It saddens the Court that it took more than 30 years before this case is submitted for decision and yet, the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to sustain any of the causes of action against the remaining defendants," the Sandiganbayan said in its ruling.

The PCGG had alleged that the Marcoses allegedly amassed up to $10 billion during the late despot's two-decade rule.

Despite the issues hurled against the Marcos family, it continues to hold political power, with daughter Imelda Josefa "Imee" Marcos currently serving as senator. (SunStar Philippines)


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