Marcos Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Marcoses barred from recovering forfeited assets

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: Marcoses barred from recovering forfeited assets
A YouTube video falsely claims that the Marcoses have completely recovered their wealth, but a January 2023 court order bars them from retaking forfeited assets

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has completely recovered his family’s wealth following a court verdict dismissing an ill-gotten wealth case against his parents, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos and former first lady Imelda R. Marcos.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video bearing the claim was posted by a YouTube channel with 20,700 subscribers who regularly post misleading videos about the Marcoses. The particular video in question has garnered 52,000 views, 1,300 likes, and 159 comments as of writing. 

The video’s title states: “NANLUMO ang mga AQUINO at Media sa HATUL ng Korte PANALO na PRES MARCOS NABAWI na lahat ng KAYAMANAN”

(Aquino and the media disheartened by the court’s verdict. A victory. President Marcos has recovered all wealth.)

The video references a CNN Philippines article published on June 28, 2023, about the dismissal of an ill-gotten wealth case against the Marcoses. 

The facts: The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has junked several ill-gotten wealth cases against the Marcoses, who are still, however, barred from retaking their forfeited assets due to a Sandiganbayan order issued in January 2023.

In its 40-page resolution, the Fourth Division of the anti-graft court ruled that the Marcoses cannot retake control of the properties already declared part of their ill-gotten wealth, including companies and land holdings. The court junked for lack of merit the Omnibus Motions filed by the former first lady and her daughter Irene seeking the return of properties sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). 

Since the Sandiganbayan’s ruling stands as final, the Marcos family cannot bring to court the issue of ownership.

Court victories: The Marcoses, however, have won several cases filed with the Sandiganbayan that sought the forfeiture and recovery of assets and properties owned by the family and their associates. (READ: Nine ways the Marcoses stole public funds)

In a June 2023 decision, the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division dismissed the case against the Marcos couple and their alleged associates, stating that the prosecution failed to prove that the assets in question were ill-gotten. 

Similarly, the court’s Fifth Division dismissed a civil case against the Marcoses and their associates in a February 2023 ruling, saying the evidence failed to establish that the properties were acquired unlawfully.

Ill-gotten wealth: As of 2021, the Philippine government has successfully recovered P174.2 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth. The PCGG, the agency tasked to recover billions of stolen wealth from the Marcoses and their cronies, continues to pursue the recovery of P125.9 billion more. (READ: BREAKDOWN: P174B recovered from Marcos loot, P125B more to get)

Of the amount recovered, P2.88 billion constitutes an escrow fund while P171.3 billion in total collections and remittances to the national treasury is distributed to the following:

  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (P78.9 billion)
  • PCGG – Special Provision (P847.3 million)
  • Human rights victims (P10.5 billion)
  • Office of the Solicitor General (P151.7 million)
  • General Fund (Rental) (P3.6 million)
  • Office of the President (P4.4 billion)
  • Coco Farmers/ Coconut Industry Investment Fund (P76.4 billion) 

Previous fact checks: Rappler had fact-checked claims related to the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth:

 – Marie Flor Cabarrubias/Rappler.com

Marie Flor Cabarrubias is a Rappler Intern. He is a fourth year Communication Research student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa Manila. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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