P12-trillion reward? Supreme Court says no to 'Marcos wealth informant'
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the petition of a man seeking a P12-trillion reward from the government for his supposed role in the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his family, and his cronies.
Danilo Lihaylihay, who identified himself as a "confidential informant," wanted the SC to compel the government to pay him at least P12 trillion as a reward.
Lihaylihay presented two letters dated March 1987 sent to Eliseo Pitargue, then-head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue-Presidential Commission on Good Government, in which he stated the supposed location of the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth.
But in a 22-page decision, the SC said Lihaylihay's letters only contained broad claims and just stressed the need to recover the ill-gotten wealth. He failed to show that his information was the main basis for the government's prosecution of the Marcoses.
And while there were several tax cases filed against the Marcos family and their cronies, the information required to get rewards should be specific information that could secure conviction, as stated in Republic Act No. 2338.
In Lihaylihay's letters, he failed to cite specific acts showing that internal revenue and customs laws were violated.
"From his 1987 letters to the present petition, his bases for rewards swelled from the Swiss bank deposits, gold bars, and diamonds mentioned in his original letters to Atty Pitargue to virtually all forms of the Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth," the SC said.
Lihaylihay was given a "stern warning" on lack of respect for court proceedings.
"Frivolous litigation translates to injudicious delays, hampers the resolution of more meritorious cases, and compels courts and tribunals to unnecessarily expend themselves," the decision states.
"Its ultimate result is a weakening of the courts' and tribunals' capacity to effectively and timely dispense justice."
Lihaylihay filed a certificate of candidacy to run for president in the May 2016 elections, but he was declared a nuisance candidate. – Rappler.com