Sandiganbayan defers Marcos Jr. presentation of evidence, sets pre-trial next month

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2022 01:37 PM

The Marcos family poses for pictures on stage after the inauguration ceremony of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
The Marcos family poses for pictures on stage after the inauguration ceremony of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division has set the pre-trial of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Aug. 5 and the pre-marking of evidence on Aug. 4 in his Civil Case No. 0013 involving the ill-gotten wealth of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos Jr. and other defendants in the case, which includes former first lady Imelda Marcos, were supposed to start their presentation of evidence after being allowed by the court even if the case dates back to 1987.

Marcos Jr.’s legal counsel, lawyer Manuel Plaza, initially asked the court for an extension of 60 days but Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera said the period is too long.

“We assume that you studied it already, the precedent dates back to as early as 2020,” Herrera said.

“Our records that we have in our office, seem incomplete your honor. What we know so far are bits and pieces furnished us by the court or the parties,” Plaza replied.

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 directly or indirectly acquired through the improper use of funds or properties owned by the government.

Other defendants in the case include Modesto Enriquez, Trinidad Diaz Enriquez, Rebecco Panlilio, Erlinda Enriquez-Panlilio, Leandro Enriquez, Roman Cruz, Jr. and Gregorio Castillo.

While pre-trial or the submission of final list of pieces of evidence and witnesses should have occurred at the start of trial after the case was filed in 1987, it appeared that Marcos Jr. did not undergo pre-trial proceedings.

“I think based on my records, there was no pre-trial against President Marcos,” Plaza said in the hearing.

Asked by the media if Marcos Jr. will be present in the court in the next proceedings, Plaza said it is up to the court to decide.

“We will have to check the rules, as you know our client is the President, so he has other matters to attend to, we will consult with the court,” Plaza said.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government, the agency tasked of recovering the loot, has so far recovered more than P170 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth.

Among the biggest assets recovered by PCGG were nearly a half-billion dollars stashed in Swiss bank accounts, real estate in New York and proceeds from the sale of shares from various companies and properties in the Philippines.

The agency is still running after some P125 billion more from the loot, which include a vast collection of artworks.

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