SC affirms forfeiture of Marcoses' Malacañang jewelry collection

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2017 06:43 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2017 03:45 PM

Antique Sapphire and Diamond Necklace worth US$220,000 or approximately P9,775,700. According to the PCGG, this could fund 120 classrooms or provide the annual salaries of at least 50 public school teachers. Photo by the Presidential Commission on Good Government

MANILA- The Supreme Court has affirmed a Sandiganbayan ruling in June 2014 in favor of the forfeiture of the so-called Malacañang Jewelry collection (Malacañang Collection) of the Marcos family.

In a 21-page decision dated January 18, 2017, penned by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the high court ruled that it found "no reversible error in the ruling of the Sandiganbayan" over the seized jewelry collection, one of three forfeited collections, seized from the presidential palace after the 1986 People Power Revolution, and transferred to the Central Bank on March 1, 1986.

The anti-graft court issued a Partial Summary Judgment on January 13, 2014 and a resolution for the forfeiture of the collection on June 11, 2014, through a Special Division.

The high court said the Sandiganbayan was correct to grant the forfeiture in favor of government.

"[T]he Sandiganbayan correctly held that the forfeiture was justified and that the Malacañang Collection was subject to forfeiture.

"We reiterate what we have already stated in Republic vs Sandiganbayan, and subsequently in Marcos vs Republic, that 'whenever ang public officer or employee has acquired during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary.... said property shall be presumed prima facie to be unlawfully acquired," the SC said.

Based on a 1991 valuation of auction house Christie, Manson and Woods Intl., Inc., the subject collection was US $110,055 to US $153,089.