The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) urged the Sandiganbayan to sustain their ill-gotten wealth judgment over the Malacañang jewelry of the Marcoses days before the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) released a full-page advertisement about its recovery performance in 28 years.
State lawyers asked on Wednesday the anti-graft court not to disturb their partial decision that declared as ill-gotten the Malacañang jewelry collection of former First Lady and now Rep. Imelda Marcos of Ilocos Norte province
As the name implies, the pieces of jewelry were left behind at the Palace before the Marcoses fled to Hawaii following the 1986 upheaval.
The case stemmed from the civil lawsuit that the PCGG filed as Civil Case 0141 in 1987.
”Partial summary judgment is hereby rendered declaring the pieces of jewelry known as the Malacañang collection as ill-gotten and are hereby forfeited in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines,” read last months’s Sandiganbayan ruling.
Marcos and her daughter Irene said that the collection “was never the subject of forfeiture under the instance [civil]case.”
They said that only the Swiss accounts worth $25 million and treasury notes worth $5 million were the only ones included in the civil case.
”It is irrelevant therefore whether respondents admitted ownership of the Malacañang jewelry . . . because the petitioner cause [its]exclusion from this case,” the mother-daughter Marcoses said.
However, the OSG said that the Marcoses’ contentions are “completely false” because the Malacañang collection “were specifically included or mentioned” in the petition.
State lawyers said that part of the forfeitable items included “jewelries, paintings and other valuable decorative arts found in Malacañang.”
”Clearly, respondents’ assertion that petitioner waived its cause of action over the Malacañang jewelry has no bases in fact or in law,” the OSG pressed.
They added that Imelda herself wrote a letter to the PCGG demanding the return of her jewelry, which the OSG said showed prima facie evidence that the Marcoses’ assets were out of proportion to their salary.
”To hold otherwise would run counter to the state’s avowed policy on asset recovery which, in turn, is anchored on consideration of national survival,” the pleading read.
The Malacañang collection was confiscated by the Philippine government along with the Hawaii collection and the Roumeliotes collection.
Meanwhile, in a brief performance report, the PCGG showed that with only a P2.8-billion budget for recovery between 1986 to 2014, the commission already took back P167.5 billion, the lion’s share of which was spent on the comprehensive agrarian reform program at P78.5 billion.
”Notwithstanding a limited budget, the PCGG has scored numerous hard-fought victories,” the commission said.
The biggest asset recovery referred to the $688-million Swiss deposits which marked PCGG’s “most important and successful asset recovery cases.”
The three jewelry collections were reported alongside the recovery of the $32-million Monet painting, with the Malacañang collection recognized as under appeal at the Sandiganbayan by the heirs of Marcoses.
It is this appeal that the OSG is asking the anti-graft court to junk for lack of merit.