SC affirms dismissal of P1.5-B ill-gotten case vs. Marcoses, cronies
SC affirms dismissal of P1.5-B ill-gotten case vs. Marcoses, cronies
SC affirms dismissal of P1.5-B ill-gotten case vs. Marcoses, cronies
by Christhel Cuazon20 July 2023
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The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the dismissal of the forfeiture case filed against the late former president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., his widow former first lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, and their cronies involving the PHP 1.05 billion in alleged ill-gotten wealth.

In a decision promulgated on March 29 but only released to the media on Wednesday, the High Court affirmed the September 2019 decision of the Sandiganbayan, which dismissed the case filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) due to lack of evidence.

The SC First Division denied a petition seeking to reverse the Sandiganbayan’s decision that dismissed the complaint against Marcos, Imelda, Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Gliceria Tantoco, Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda, and Dominador Santiago, for insufficiency of evidence.

“While it is truly disappointing that nothing has come of this case despite the lapse of 36 years spent in litigation, the Court agrees with the Sandiganbayan that petitioner’s evidence is insufficient to support the allegations of its expanded complaint by preponderance of evidence,” Associate Justice Ricardo Rosario said in the ruling.


The SC said “there is no merit” in the petition, pointing out that the PCGG made numerous specific allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the respondents but the 11 exhibits presented did not show any connection with the illegal acts stated in the complaint.

The SC cited, among others, the letters from the Commission on Audit recommending an audit of Duty-Free Shops and studying their books of accounts, which the Court said were not sufficient to establish proof of wrongdoing.

The Court also ruled that although the promissory notes signed by the Tantocos' companies proved indebtedness, they did not establish a link to the illegal acts alleged by the PCGG.

The decision also mentioned that the PCGG failed to prove the allegation that the Tantocos were dummies of the Marcoses.


“Neither was the claim proved that 5% of the franchise tax paid by the Duty-Free Shops went to Mrs. Marcos. Clearly, these documents were insufficient to prove that respondents concealed illegally obtained assets, or amassed ill-gotten wealth,” the ruling read.

The PCGG first lodged the complaint in 1987, seeking to forfeit the illegally acquired properties supposedly held by the defendants. However, the "expanded complaint" which the Sandiganbayan ruled on was dated 1988.

In its complaint, the PCGG accused ex-President Marcos of unlawfully withdrawing funds from the National Treasury, the Central Bank, and other Philippine financial institutions, and of transferring these to various payees with the intention of obtaining ill-gotten wealth.

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