MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court upheld a Sandiganbayan ruling denying a motion by the government to offer supplemental evidence on a civil suit it filed against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his son, Sen “Bongbong” Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, and others.
The SC voted 7-7 to affirm, for the second time, a ruling made by the antigraft court in February 2002. The High Court first ruled in favor of the Sandiganbayan in 2011. The SC, in a resolution dated March 13, 2012, said the government’s motion contained “rehashed arguments.”
The government, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government, filed ill-gotten wealth charges against Marcos, his wife Imelda and son Bongbong, Enrile, Jose Africa, Manuel Nieto and Potenciano Ilusorio in 1987 for the alleged illegal manipulation of the purchase of the major shareholdings of Cable and Wireless Limited in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc (ETPI).
In October 1994 and 1996, the government secured the testimony of former ETPI director and treasurer-in-trust Maurice Bane through deposition in London.
The government later decided to include Bane’s deposition in its case against the Marcoses, but the Sandiganbayan ruled against it in 1998.
The Sandiganbayan again ruled against government in 2000 and 2002.
The PCGG elevated the case to the SC, which upheld Sandiganbayan’s ruling in 2011 by a vote then on 7-7.
Those who voted against the PCGG are Chief Justice Renato Corona, Justices Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez and Jose Mendoza. Dissenting were Justices Antonio Carpio, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama, Lourdes Sereno, Bienvenido Reyes and Estela Bernabe. Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro inhibited from the case.
In 2012, the SC sustained its 7-7 vote. The SC said Corona – whose impeachment case will be voted upon by two of the respondents, Senators Enrile and Marcos – need not inhibit because he voted on the case even before he was impeached in December 2011. – Rappler.com