Malacañang on Tuesday said it would abide by a ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the forfeiture of a jewelry collection of former First Lady Imelda Marcos that was seized in 1986.
In a news conference, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Duterte administration is yet to decide if the jewelry collection will be sold to generate funds for the government.
“I don’t know if we are going to sell it. But we will abide by the court decision that it belongs to the government,” Abella told reporters.
On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld a decision of the Sandiganbayan to forfeit the Marcos jewelry collection in favor of the government.
In a 21-page decision written by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, the High Court’s First Division denied a petition for certiorari filed by Marcos and her daughter Irene Marcos-Araneta that sought a reversal of the anti-graft court’s January 13, 2014 decision.
The third jewelry collection known as the “Malacañang Collection,” on which the Sandiganbayan based its decision, is composed of smaller and less expensive pieces that the Marcoses left behind when they fled during the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising.
The High Court, in affirming the Sandiganbayan’s decision, said the forfeiture was justified.
“The Sandiganbayan correctly held that the forfeiture was justified and that the Malacafiang Collection was subject to forfeiture,” it added.
The SC pointed out that the legitimate income of the Marcoses had been pegged at $304,372.43.136 only.
The Malacañang Collection is kept in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas along with the Roumeliotes and the Hawaii collections. CATHERINE S. VALENTE