The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division dismissed another case against former President Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda and Rustan’s founders, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and his wife Gliceria involving more than a billion pesos or roughly US$19.3 million of ill-gotten wealth due to lack of evidence. erdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda and Rustan’s Commercial Corporation founders, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and his wife Gliceria involving more than a billion pesos or roughly US$19.3 million of ill-gotten wealth due to lack of evidence.
Civil Case no. 008 filed in 1988 by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) involved expensive works of art and jewelry, real estate properties in New York, duty-free shops franchises, tax-free importation benefits and corporations such as Rustan International Marketing.
It also included properties in Hawaii, 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 aircrafts.
In the resolution promulgated on September 25, 2019, the court said government lawyers failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that the defendants obtained ill-gotten wealth.
The court also stated there was failure to establish the relevance of the admitted documents and testimonies from witnesses against the Marcoses and the Tantocos.
The Sandiganbayan also said prosecutors failed to prove that Tantoco, Sr. acquired assets, funds and other property grossly and manifestly disproportionate to his salaries, lawful income, and income when he served as public officer during the Marcos administration.
The PCGG said it will be consulting lawyers from the Office of the Solicitor General and will be exploring all possible legal remedies.
Sen. Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator, said the dismissal of the case only proved their family’s innocence.
“Meron ba? Actually, hindi ko alam, sorry. Babasahin ko muna (decision) kasi hindi ako makapag-comment at hindi ko alam. Ang sa akin na lamang, talagang siyempre nagpapasalamat tayo sa haba ng panahon at sa dami ng kaso wala naman palang ebidensya. So after all these years, it’s taken what 30 + years to prove our innocence,” Marcos said.
The dismissal of the civil case followed the dismissal of a P102 billion forfeiture case against the Marcoses, also by the 2nd division, last August.
There are at least 20 other civil cases against the Marcoses pending before the Sandiganbayan. 21 other civil cases have been dismissed while one was indefinitely archived. (Jasper Camilo)