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PCGG flubs P102B Marcos forfeiture case

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), tasked with the recovery of the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth, “miserably” failed to sink its teeth, as the anti-graft court dismissed its P102 billion forfeiture case on Wednesday.

In a 67-page decision, the Sandiganbayan Second Division declared that the PCGG did not have sufficient evidence to convict the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos and eight of their cronies over alleged “illegally” accumulated wealth.

“Wherefore, premises considered, for failure of the plaintiff to prove by preponderance of evidence any of the causes of action against defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos, Rafael Sison, Placido Mapa Jr., Don Ferry, Jose Tengco Jr., Ramon Monzon, Generosa Olazo, Cynthia Africa, and Rodolfo Arambulo, the case against them is hereby dismissed,” the court said.

The case traces its origin way back in July 31, 1987, over three decades ago, which the court described as regrettable.

“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 decision read.

The burden of the prosecution was to prove, by a “preponderance of evidence”, that the properties they sought to recover were ill-gotten by virtue of the defendants’ close relationship with the former presidential couple.

At least according to the anti-graft court, the prosecution “failed to illustrate how defendants acted as dummies of Imelda Marcos in acquiring ill-gotten wealth.”

Former Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda in December posted bail before the court for her graft charges.

The month before that, the anti-graft court convicted Imelda for having used her First Lady status to maintain Swiss bank accounts which are synonymous with dirty cash.

Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna wrote the decision, concurred by Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera, Jr. and Associate Jjustice Michael Frederick Musngi.

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