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Government loses another Marcos wealth case

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A COURT has junked a civil case to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their associates after the Philippine government failed to prove its allegations with a “preponderance of evidence”.

In a 52-page decision, the antigraft Sandiganbayan Court’s Fourth Division dismissed the civil case against former first lady Imelda Marcos and the estates of the late Ricardo Silverio and Pablo Carlos Jr and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The June 30 decision was made public on Friday.

“After a judicious scrutiny of all the pieces of evidence offered in this case, the court finds that the plaintiff’s evidence falls short of the quantum required by law.

“Thus, the court is constrained to dismiss the instant complaint,” read the ruling authored by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, chair of the court’s Fourth Division.

Associate Justices Lorifel Lacap Pahimana and Edgardo Caldona concurred.

It was the latest setback in efforts to recover the Marcos family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth that was estimated at US$10bil (RM42bil).

In 2019, the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division also threw out a forfeiture case against the Marcos couple and their three children for lack of sufficient evidence.

The court ruled that without sufficient evidence that could establish that the properties in question were ill-gotten, it could not order their return.

Marcos’ widow was convicted of seven counts of graft in relation to her alleged financial interests in Swiss-based nongovernmental organisations while she was minister of Human Settlements but has not served a single day in prison.

In its latest ruling, the Sandiganbayan said that under Executive Order No 14, “quantum of proof” is required to recover ill-gotten wealth, which means that the evidence presented by one side should outweigh what is presented by the opposing side. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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