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Marcos wealth case dismissal was based on evidence-Palace.

The Sandiganbayan's decision to dismiss the P102-billion forfeiture case against the Marcoses was based on evidence, Malacanang said on Thursday.

'The Sandiganbayan, when it dismissed the case ... has most likely based its decision on the evidence presented before it,' presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.

'Since it says there [was] no proof, maybe there's no other recourse but to dismiss the case,' he added.

Malacanang issued the statement after the antigraft court's Second Division junked the forfeiture case filed 32 years ago against the family of the late dictator, President Ferdinand Marcos.

In its ruling, the Sandiganbayan said the Presidential Commission on Good Government had failed to prove allegations that officials of the Development Bank of the Philippines, acting on Marcos' orders, extended loans to various shipping companies owned by the late President's cronies.

Panelo said Malacanang would 'leave it to the Supreme Court to decide' if it would overturn the Sandiganbayan ruling.

Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares meanwhile expressed disgust over the dismissal of the case, saying it would send a 'wrong message' to the youth.

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'The lesson [from that] decision is horrible: 'if you steal big you go scot-free, but if you steal a cell phone you go to prison. Or worse get killed,' Colmenares said .

The Sandiganbayan 'stinks of massive irregularities,' he added.

Colmenares said government personnel involved in the suit filed by the state in the forfeiture proceedings should be prosecuted for criminal negligence.

'So many documents to prove ill-gotten wealth, yet not a single original copy,' he said.

'The prosecution should have demanded that the cronies testify [against the Marcoses] as part of the settlement agreement,' Colmenares said. -WITH A REPORT BY MELVIN GASCON

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 9, 2019
Words:391
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