Sandiganbayan orders release of sequestered properties of Marcos' son-in-law

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2019 04:45 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2019 07:19 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) The Sandiganbayan Special 4th Division has ordered the release of sequestered properties of the son-in-law of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

These properties, owned by Gregorio “Greggy” Araneta III, include IMEXCO Enterprises Inc. and Asialand Development Corporation.

Araneta's motion for release of sequestered properties has been granted by the anti-graft court, according to a decision promulgated on January 14. 

The anti-graft court however noted in the resolution that other companies such as North Express Transport, Inc., Golden Needle Inc., High Five Philippines, Inc., and Philippine Semi-Conductor Devices, Inc., which are not in Araneta's name, are not included.

Back in 2005, the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution granting all the demurrers in the case except the one filed by former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government immediately brought the case to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for review, arguing that the determination whether the properties belong to the ill-gotten wealth of the former dictator will be made only after there is a final adjudication on the case.

In 2012, the Sandiganbayan resolution was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

“Notably, the Supreme Court did not modify the Sandiganbayan’s lifting of the sequestration orders on the properties in the name of defendant Gregorio Maria Araneta III,” the court said in the decision penned by Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Zaldy Trespeces.

In the resolution, the court also allayed PCGG's concerns that granting Araneta’s motion will be fatal to the main case.

“The effect of the lifting of the sequestration will merely be the termination of the government’s role as conservator. In other words, the PCGG may no longer exercise administrative or housekeeping powers, and its nominees may no longer vote the sequestered shares to enable them to sit in the corporate board of the subject company,” the court said.

The anti-graft court is expected to decide on Civil Case 0002 involving the P200 billion civil liability of the Marcoses and their cronies after both sides had presented their respective memoranda or summary of arguments.