The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division has allowed President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other heirs of his father to present evidence in an ill-gotten wealth case pending before the anti-graft court.
In the resolution of the court on Civil Case No. 0014, the motion to declare defendants to have waived their right to present evidence filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was denied.
The motion was filed after Marcos Jr., his mother Imelda, sisters Imee and Irene, as well as defendants Isaiah Pavia Cruz and Don Ferry failed to appear before the court for the initial presentation of their evidence on August 13, 2019.
“Admittedly, defendant Marcos, Jr. et. al. did not attend the hearing dated 13 August 2019 set for the presentation of defendants’ evidence. However, in the higher interest of substantial justice, and, considering the court denies the instant motion and hereby gives the defendants another chance to present their evidence in support of their defense,” the court said in the resolution penned by Associate Justice Arthur Malabaguio, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera, Jr. and Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi.
Civil Case No. 0014 is one of the cases filed against original defendants Imelda and Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1987, which seek to recover the ill-gotten wealth or assets and properties pertaining to Marcos who allegedly acquired them directly or indirectly through the improper use of funds or properties owned by the government.
After a series of motions filed by both the prosecution and the defendants in Civil Case No. 0014, trial ensued with the prosecution eventually resting its case in 2018.
Other defendants in the case include Modesto Enriquez, Trinidad Diaz Enriquez, Rebecco Panlilio, Erlinda Enriquez-Panlilio, Leandro Enriquez, Roman Cruz, Jr. and Gregorio Castillo.
“Verily, the business of the courts is not just merely to dispose the cases seen as clutters in their dockets. Courts are in place to adjudicate the controversies with the end in view of rendering a definitive statement, and this can only be done by going into the very core and to the full extent of the controversy in order to affor complete relief to all the parties involved,” the court said.
The court ordered the case to proceed with the initial presentation of the evidence of the defendants on July 7.