Sandiganbayan junks Marcoses' plea to recover sequestered assets

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2023 07:28 PM

MANILA —The Sandiganbayan 4th Division denied the motion filed by former First Lady Imelda Marcos and her daughter Irene Marcos-Araneta for some ill-gotten properties to be released to them.

In a resolution promulgated Jan. 25, the anti-graft court junked the Marcoses' motion for the issuance of writ of execution they filed last August.

Sandiganbayan noted in its resolution that the 2 Marcoses moved for the express declaration of the properties involved in the case as not "ill-gotten" and for their release.

They also asserted that the conclusion of the trial in Civil Case No. 0002, which involved an estimated P200 billion assets and properties of the Marcos family, the plaintiff Republic of the Philippines failed to sustain a valid cause of action for the reversion, reconveyance, restitution, accounting and damages and thus the properties should be released.

But the plaintiff said in its opposition filed that the July 22, 2022 resolution on the dismissal of the case had not yet attained finality and thus could not be the subject of execution.

The Sandiganbayan also noted that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed a petition for review before the Supreme Court dated Aug. 10, 2022, assailing the decision of the Sandiganbayan in dismissing the case in 2019 and denying their motion for reconsideration in 2022. 

“Considering that an appeal was timely filed in the instant case, the prayer for the issuance of a writ of execution under Section 1, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court cannot prosper as the judgment or order that disposes of the action is not yet final,” the court said in the resolution penned by Division Chairperson Michael Frederick Musngi, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Maryann Corpus-Mañalac.

In its resolution, the Sandiganbayan also clarified the status of the assets or properties in the case.

Properties that have already been recovered, transferred to third persons not included in the case, or became subjects of court decisions and compromise agreements were considered moot and academic.

The properties include Marcopper Mining, Metropolitan Museum of Manila Foundation, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, among others.

There are also properties covered by the case whose sequestration orders were lifted, subject to the finality of the decision: Currimao Beach House, American Inter Fashion Corporation, and Silahis International Hotel, among others.

Properties without sequestration orders were only noted: Agro-Far East Foundation Colleges, Assemlyman Mariano Marcos Foundation College, and Liwayway Publishing, among others. 

The court also noted the following properties which are under the full control and supervision of the defendants: Currimao Beach House, Olot Rest House, Batc Museum, Batac Guest House.

The court made the clarification after Marcos and Marcos-Araneta made the request on whether the assets or properties form part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

“Thus, in connection with defendants’ prayer for the return of any specific property in their favor in light of the dismissal of this case, such return and/or recovery should be the subject of an independent action to recover ownership, control and/or possession of any such property/ies to be determined in a separate proceeding filed before a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with law,” the court said.


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