The Supreme Court (SC), led by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, has ruled that the “Malacanang Collection” of Marcos jewelry is part of the ill-gotten wealth cases against late strongman President Ferdinand Marcos and his family.
In a 21-page resolution of the SC First Division, dated January 18, 2017, Sereno affirmed findings of the Sandiganbayan Special Division and no error was committed by the anti-graft court.
The High Court ruled that the “assailed partial summary judgment of the Sandiganbayan dated January 13, 2014 and resolution dated June 11, 2014 rendered by the Sandiganbayan in Civil Case No. 014 are affirmed.”
Justices Mariano del Castillo, Bienvenido Reyes, Estela Perla-Bernabe and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa concurred with the ruling.
The Sandiganbayan, in its partial summary judgment, stated that the “Malacanang Collection” was part and subject of the forfeiture petition; the motion for summary judgment was proper; and the forfeiture of the collection was justified pursuant to Republic Act 1379 or the Forfeiture of Ill-Gotten Wealth Law.
The SC junked the contention of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her daughter Irene Marcos Araneta that they were deprived of due process and there was no trial or hearing and that they were shamefully never given an opportunity to show that the questioned jewelry may have been acquired though other means.
“Needless to say, the various pleadings petitioners have filed in this case and in other cases involving the Marcos properties were countless occasions when they could have proven that the ‘Malacanang Collection’ had indeed been lawfully acquired as claimed. They alleged that they were denied due process by not being given any opportunity to prove their lawful acquisition of the ‘Malacanang Collection.’ This allegation cannot be given credence for being utterly baseless,” the resolution read.
“All in all, in the absence of any compelling legal reason, there is no basis to overturn, or carve an exception to, existing jurisprudence on the matters raised in the present case,” it said.
The SC noted that the “Sandiganbayan correctly held that the forfeiture was justified and that the Malacanang Collection was subject of forfeiture.
The legitimate income of the Marcoses had been pegged at “$304,372.43.”
“Petitioners failed to satisfactorily show that the properties were lawfully acquired; hence, the prima facie presumption that they were unlawfully acquired prevails,” the High Court said.