CA junks petition questioning legality of PCGG

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 11 2013 01:52 AM | Updated as of Jul 11 2013 09:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has junked the petition of a lawyer of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos questioning the legality of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) more than 27 years after its creation.

In a nine-page decision, the special 14th division of the appellate court dismissed the petition of Oliver Lozano for lack or merit and instead affirmed the ruling of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in 2008.

The CA cited the lack of actual controversy to pass judgment on the constitutionality of Executive Order 1 signed by the late former President Corazon Aquino creating the quasi-judicial agency to recover ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

The CA also stressed Lozano has no legal standing to question the law, meaning he will neither benefit nor suffer injury from the result of the case.

The CA dismissed as “too vague” the claim of Lozano that not voiding EO 1 would make the Filipinos suffer and the bandits in government reap the fruits.

“It is easily discernible that the instant petition is devoid of merit since the first two fundamental requisites for the exercise of judicial review in cases involving the constitutionality of a presidential issuance are absent. We cannot sweep aside critical requirements rooted in judicial self-restraint mandated by the constitutionally enshrined principle of separation of powers,” read the ruling penned by Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez.

The CA also held that issues raised by petitioners were mere conjectures.

“The petitioners merely postulated that the controversy is not pretended and the judgment will have a practical legal effect or value. Other than this conjectural claim, the petition does not present any statement of actual violation of their rights or direct injury from the implementation of the subject issuance that would qualify them for relief from this Court,” the CA stressed.

Associate Justices Manuel Barrios and Victoria Isabel Paredes concurred with this decision.

Earlier this year, a proposal was raised for PCGG to wind down its operations and allow regular government agencies to pursue and recover the remaining ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies.

The Department of Justice had said it was ready to handle the remaining cases, but President Aquino has yet to decide on the issue.