Sandiganbayan denies gov't appeal on P1-B civil case vs Marcoses, Tantocos

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2019 12:20 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda appear before some 35.000 college students undergoing a 2-year compulsory military training in Manila, Nov. 15, 1985. Romeo Gacad, AFP/File

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has denied a government appeal to overturn the dismissal of a P1-billion civil case against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, and their alleged dummies, Rustan’s Commercial Corporation founders Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Gliceria Tantoco. 

The Presidential Commission on Good Government, in its motion for reconsideration against the case's dismissal, argued that the defendants admitted material allegations pertaining to the ill-gotten nature of Tourist Duty Free Shops assets. 

The PCGG added that the Tantocos “indeed acted as dummies and agents of the Marcoses in acquiring ill-gotten wealth.” 

The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division denied the PCGG's appeal for lack of merit due to failure to present new argument. 

"The arguments raised therein have already been judiciously passed upon and properly considered by the court in the assailed decision which states that the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the plaintiff are insufficient to prove the allegations in the expanded complaint," the court said in a resolution promulgated last Nov. 20. 

The Tantocos earlier denied admission of the material allegations regarding the ill-gotten nature of the TDFS assets. They also argued that the government’s “conditionally admitted documentary exhibits and inconsequential witness testimonies” are insufficient. 

The anti-graft court noted Supreme Court rulings "that a motion for reconsideration should be denied when the same only rehashes issues previously put forward." 

The court in September cited insufficiency of evidence when it dismissed the civil case involving expensive art and jewelry, real estate properties in New York, duty-free shop franchises, tax-free importation benefits, corporations such as Rustan International Marketing, Eagle Mining Corporation, Rustan Pulp and Paper Factory.

The case also included properties in Hawaii in the United States, Rome, Italy, and Forbes Park in Makati City in an expanded complaint against the defendants as well as other personal properties such as motor vehicles, cash on hand and in bank, notes, loans, and 3 Cessna aircraft.
The ruling that denied PCGG's appeal was penned by Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera, Jr., and Associate Justice Lorifel Lacap Pahimna.