MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has dismissed the P102-billion forfeiture complaint against late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his widow Imelda, and their cronies over insufficient evidence.
In a 67-page decision dated Aug. 5, the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division said the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the agency tasked to recover the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth, failed to present evidence that the accused committed the following:
- Participated in extending loan accommodation to Aklan Bulk Carriers Inc., Fuga Bulk Carriers Inc., Coron Bulk Carriers Inc., and Ecija Bulk Carriers Inc.
- Appropriated for their own benefit and unjust enrichment, income revenues derived from the operations of RPN-9, IBC-13 and BBC-2
- Allowed the other defendants to hold and launder purloined funds for and in their behalf prior to remittance and credit to their overseas or foreign accounts
- Participated in the establishment of the California Overseas Bank
“Plaintiff miserably failed to adduce evidence to hold defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos liable under any of the causes of action set out in the Amended Complaint," the decision read.
The anti-graft court said that in civil cases, the plaintiff has "the burden of proving them by a preponderance of evidence."
"It saddens the Court that it took more than 30 years before this case is submitted for decision and yet, the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to sustain any of the causes of action against the remaining defendants," it said.
"In addition, the parties must rely on the strength of their own evidence, not upon the weakness of the defense offered by their opponent."
The Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth “is estimated between $5 billion to $10 billion, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad,” according to the PCGG.
The Marcoses remain in power, with the late dictator's daughter Imee Marcos elected senator in May.