Sandiganbayan: Marcoses waived the right to present evidence

·Contributor
·2 min read
Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos talks to her grandson after taking the witness stand in the anti-corruption court Sandiganbayan in Quezon City, Metro Manila, in Philippines November 16, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos talks to her grandson after taking the witness stand in the anti-corruption court Sandiganbayan in Quezon City, Metro Manila, in Philippines November 16, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

A division in Sandiganbayan has declared that the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. have waived their right to present evidence in a civil case involving alleged ill-gotten wealth after his heirs, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Sen. Imee Marcos, and Irene Marcos-Araneta, including former Development Bank of the Philippines Vice President Don Ferry, did not attend the hearing on Thursday (September 1).

The case was Civil Case No. 0014 filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 1987. It involves a certain Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, alleged business partners of Marcos Sr. and Imelda, who acted as dummies in acquiring ownership or control of several companies by securing financial assistance “for their financial and pecuniary interests.”

The case also alleges that the Panlilios, as well as Modesto Enriquez, Trinidad Diaz-Enriquez, Leandro Enriquez, Guillermo Gastrock, Ernesto Abalos, and Gregorio Castillio, have taken advantage of their close ties with the former president and first lady “in order to enrich themselves at the expense of [the Philippines and its government].”

Through these cronies, the case said that the Marcoses allegedly gained control over certain businesses such as Ternate Development Corp., Monte Sol Development Corp., Olas del Mar Development Corp., Fantasia Filipina Resort Inc., Sulo Dobbs Inc., Philippine Village Inc., Silahis International Hotel Inc., and Hotel Properties Inc.

The anti-graft court’s second division had previously set the hearing on Thursday to give the Marcoses and Ferry the chance to present counter-evidence, but because of their absence, the lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General, represented by the PCGG, moved to declare the defendants to have already waived their right to counter the pieces of evidence that they have already presented.

The Second Division’s chairperson, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Oscar Herrera, granted the motion and directed all parties to submit their respective memoranda for a period of 30 days without extension.

“This case has been pending since 1987, so the period to file memoranda is non-extendible 30 days from today, after that, semi-considered submitted for decision,” said Herrera.

In an interview, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s lawyer, Manuel Plaza III, said that they will file a memorandum which would be the “summary of our position on the case,” and expressed confidence that the Sandiganbayan Second Division will be fair in its judgment of the case.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

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