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Sandigan won't defer ruling on Marcos wealth case.

Sandigan won't defer ruling on Marcos wealth case !-- -- Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines The Sandiganbayan has rejected an appeal for deferment of ruling on a P1.052-billion civil forfeiture case against former first lady Imelda Marcos and her late husband, dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. In a resolution dated Jan.

31, the court's Second Division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the Marcoses' co-defendants Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr.

, estate of Gliceria Tantoco and Dominador Santiago praying for deferment of decision on the 32-year-old case. The Second Division said Santiago and the Tantocos failed to raise any new argument in their appeal that would justify a reversal of its Nov.

9, 2018 ruling submitting the case for resolution. "No new arguments were presented by the defendants in the instant motion.

The arguments raised therein have already been judiciously passed upon and properly considered by the Court in its assailed Resolution," the court's new ruling read. The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi with the concurrence of Associate Justices Oscar Herrera Jr.

and Lorifel Pahimna. Filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 1987, the forfeiture case docketed as Civil Case No.

0008 seeks to recover from the Marcoses and their cronies a total of P1.052 billion in 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 for reconsideration, Santiago and the Tantocos maintained that the court must defer its decision on the case, citing its similarities with another civil lawsuit docketed as Civil Case No.

0142. The Second Division, however, reiterated that "Civil Case No. 0142 and Civil Case No.

0008 are unrelated." The court had earlier pointed out that Civil Case No.

0142 challenges the validity of the PCGG's sequestration of the assets of Tourist Duty Free Shops Inc. (TDFSI) 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 of damages on the defendants.

The court noted that TDFSI, RCBC and BA are not involved in Civil Case No. 0008. The Second Division also reiterated that 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 the documentary evidence they presented at the course of the trial which lasted for about 20 years. "Since the case has already been submitted for decision as early as 14 April 2010 and that the defendants filed their Memorandum on 07 June 2010, while the plaintiff (PCGG) filed its Memorandum on 02 August 2010, the Court deems it proper to resolve the instant case," the Second Division's new ruling read.

Civil Case No. 0008 is among the 43 civil cases that PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan against the Marcoses and their cronies in 1987 or a year after the dictator was ousted through a popular military-backed uprising.

The Sandiganbayan had earlier dismissed 19 of the cases, and archived one. Twenty-three cases remain pending, including Civil Case No.

0008.
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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Feb 9, 2019
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