Sandiganbayan upholds dismissal of ₱102-B forfeiture case vs. Marcos, cronies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — The Sandiganbayan Second Division upheld its decision to dismiss the P102-billion forfeiture case against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and cronies.

In an eight-page decision dated Feb. 13, the anti-graft court noted that there is insufficiency in the evidences presented by the Philippine government to reconsider the dismissed August 5, 2019 decision against the Marcoses and their cronies.

"Considering therefore that no new and compelling grounds were presented, the present Motion bears no weight in calling for a reversal much less modification of the assailed Decision," read the latest decision.

In a decision dated August 5 last year, the Sandiganbayan ruled that the Philippine government represented by the Presidential Commission on Good Government, failed to present evidences that the accused illegally accumulated wealth.

The anti-graft said that the government's evidences presented were not able to justify that the alleged cronies were also accomplices of the Marcos couple.

"The mere fact that the remaining defendants had held key positions in the government during the term of the President F. Marcos does not lead to the conclusion that defendants took advantage of their positions and embarked upon devices, schemes, and stratagems to unjustly enrich themselves," read the decision.

In rejecting the appeal, the Sandiganbayan pointed out that no original copies of the evidences were presented during the trial.

"Despite the considerable length of time for the plaintiff to gather and collate all relevant documentary evidence to prove its causes of action against the defendants, it miserably failed to produce the originals of the documents during trial."

It added, "Wherefore, finding no cogent reason to modify, alter, much less reverse the Decision dates August 5, 2019 the instant Motion for reconsideration filed by the Republic of the Philippines is hereby Denied."