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Court junks another case vs Marcoses


The Sandiganbayan on Friday junked another civil case filed against former president Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda and their cronies for lack of evidence.

This file photo taken on November 15, 1985 shows then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos (L) and his wife Imelda (R) appearing before some 35,000 college students undergoing a two-year compulsory military training in Manila. The Philippine government has lost a decades-old legal effort to seize a multi-million-dollar chunk of Ferdinand Marcos’ estate, a special anti-graft court said October 25, 2019, scolding prosecutors for failing to produce admissible evidence. – / AFP / Romeo GACAD

The court’s Fourth Division granted the demurrer to evidence of spouses Fe and Ignacio Gimenez.

The case was filed to recover P267.3- million alleged ill-gotten wealth from the respondents.

But the anti-graft court said the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence.

“In the case at bar, it is an undisputed fact that most of the documents submitted by the Republic are mere unauthenticated photocopies. No explanation was also proffered by the latter as to why the original copies of these exhibits were not presented,” the court said.

“Absent a clear showing that the original of these exhibits have been lost, destroyed or cannot be produced in court, the Republic’s photocopied exhibits must be disregarded, being unworthy of any probative value,” it added.

The court added that the testimonial evidence of witnesses were “insufficient to save the present case from being dismissed.”

The government, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Solicitor General, filed the civil case in 1987.

In the complaint, the Gimenez couple was accused of conspiring with their co-defendants “to unlawfully acquire, accumulate and misappropriate public funds.”

The decision was written by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz and concurred with by Associate Justices Reynaldo Cruz and Maria Theresa Mendoza Arcega.

In September, the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division also dismissed a P1-billion civil forfeiture case against the Marcoses, Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Gliceria Tantoco, Maria Lourdes Tantoco Pineda and Dominador Santiago.

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Today’s Front Page January 18, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 18, 2020