The Philippine government just lost its second case against the family and associates of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The ill-gotten wealth case, worth ₱1.052 billion, was junked due to “insufficient evidence”, according to GMA News Online.
The case versus the former president’s family also involved Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Dominador Santiago, the ex-chair of Tourist Duty-Free Shops, Inc. In the charges against Marcos and his wife Imelda, the couple used Tantoco and other associates as dummies in obtaining a Duty-Free franchise. The couple used the franchise to “[conceal] the ownership of illegally-obtained assets.”
The claims also pertained to various properties owned by the Tantoco claim. This includes 11 real estate properties in the country, Hawaii and Rome, stocks in 19 companies, jewelry, cash, and three Cessna aircraft, among others.
As per the anti-graft court, the evidence presented by state prosecutors, headed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government, was not enough to prove the claims. The ruling was written by Associate Michael Frederick Musngi and concurred by Associate Justices Lorifel Lacap Pahimna and Oscar Herrera, according to The Inquirer.
Malacañang spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the decision to file an appeal is up to Solicitor General Jose Calida.
Concerns about the government
However, there were concerns about Calida’s “supposed fondness for the Marcoses.” Panelo assured that Calida’s “closeness” to the Marcoses would not influence the decision to file an appeal. He also noted that the SolGen “will always base his decisions on the basis of the law and the evidence on hand.”
Selda, an organization composed of human rights abuse victims during the Marcos Martial Law era, expressed its criticism against the family’s victory. Selda chair Danilo de la Fuente said that the decision “is a part of the machinations of the Duterte administration” and the SolGen.
This allegation comes in light of current president Rodrigo Duterte’s statements that the dictator’s daughter funded his 2016 presidential campaign, among other connections with the Marcoses.