Sandiganbayan junks 1987 ill-gotten wealth case vs Marcos Sr., cohorts

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2023 05:28 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. during his second inauguration in 1969. File by Wikimedia Commons
President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. during his second inauguration in 1969. File by Wikimedia Commons

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan 5th Division lifted the sequestration order on Lianga Bay Logging Co. and Yulo King Ranch, properties supposedly owned by former President Ferdinand Marcos and his close associates.

In a resolution promulgated on Feb. 21, the anti-graft court dismissed the case against defendants Marcos, Rafael Sison, Peter Sabido, Luis Yulo, Nicolas Dehesa, and Don Ferry, as the evidence against them "failed to show the alleged schemes and strategies... to hide the supposed ill-gotten wealth."

The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Rafael Lagos and Associate Justice Maryann Corpus-Mañalac.

According to the Presidential Commission on Good Government’s (PCGG) estimated valuation of assets under litigation in 2009, the properties were valued at P2.7 million.

The case was filed in 1987 against the defendants as well as corporations Lianga Bay Logging Co., Philippine Integrated Meat Corporation, YKR Corporation and PIMECO Marketing Corporation.

The court noted that defendant Yulo denied the allegation that they supposedly accumulated unexplained wealth through concerted efforts with other defendants.

Among the witnesses presented by the Republic included PCGG research department director Danilo Daniel who testified that concessions and favors such as enormous loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) was given to Phil-Asia, a corporation supposedly controlled by respondent Sabido.

The court also said in the resolution that Daniel stated that YKR was owned by Marcos and Yulo received millions of pesos from the trust accounts of the Marcoses.

The court also noted that the Republic’s case was anchored on the testimony of Rolando Gapud, financial advisor of Marcos, whose judicial affidavit listed companies supposedly owned by the former President.

“In a replete number of cases, the Supreme Court ruled that failure to put the affiant on the witness stand is fatal to the case as it renders the affidavit inadmissible under the hearsay rule,” the court said.

The Marcos family’s unexplained wealth “is estimated between US$5 billion to US$10 billion, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad,” according to PCGG, with only P170 billion recovered in the past 30 years.


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