Palace on P51-B case vs Marcos, Ongpin: Don’t blame us

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The less-than-2-year Aquino government is not to blame for the unfavorable decision on the 24-year-old 'Binondo central bank' case, says Palace official

MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino government is not to blame for the latest unfavorable court decision on a damage suit against the late President Ferdinand Marcos, businessman Roberto Ongpin and others, a Palace officials stressed on Sunday, January 22.

“Contrary to one of the reports saying that we dropped the ball on this one, the President has been sitting in office for a little less than 2 years. This case started 24 years ago,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte stressed in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

The case that the Sandiganbayan dismissed on January 20 involved the biggest black market dollar traders in 1980’s organized into the “Binondo central bank.” Under the government of the late President Corazon Aquino, the mother of President Benigno Aquino III, a P50 billion suit was slapped against the late Ferdinand Marcos, the late Armed Forces chief Fabian Ver, businessman Roberto Ongpin, and others.

The anti-graft court found “no evidence to prove that the defendants received money by way of kickbacks, commissions, gifts, or percentages from capitalists of the Binondo Central Bank,” said the 69-page verdict.

Asked whether there is a need to review and strengthen the other pending cases against the Marcoses to ensure the government’s victory, Valte said that any such decision would be up to the Solicitor General Jose Anselmo Cadiz.

“You have to remember that some of these cases have been going on for the past two decades. There are some things that had happened in the past that perhaps it would be hard to rectify in the present. We would leave that up to the Office of the Solicitor General,” she said.

Cadiz had said that the government would appeal the Sandiganbayan ruling. –

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