Former First Lady Imelda Marcos and daughters Senator Imee Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta, as well as a certain Don Ferry, have waived their right to present evidence in the ill-gotten wealth case under Civil Case 0014, the Sandiganbayan Second division declared on Thursday.
This developed after the Marcos family members and Ferry neither showed up nor sent their legal counsels to the proceedings, where they were supposed to present evidence in their defense.
Civil Case 0014 charges the Panlilio couple Rebecco and Erlinda, alleged business associates of Mrs. Marcos and her husband, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., of acting as dummies in acquiring ownership and control of several companies, by securing financial assistance from state institutions on liberal terms “for their financial and pecuniary interests.”
“Despite notice, none of these defendants appeared [here in court] or sent any representative,” Sandiganbayan Second Division chairman Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. noted, thus declaring them as having waived their right to present evidence.
During the same hearing, government prosecutors from the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Solicitor General said they would not be presenting rebuttal evidence anymore.
In other developments at the anti-graft court:
• The Sandiganbayan has sentenced a former mayor of San Fernando, Bukidnon to up to 34 years of imprisonment for graft and falsification of public documents, over the procurement of a bulldozer and soil compactor amounting to P14 million in 2004.
In a 123-page decision promulgated on August 26, the anti-graft court sentenced Laurencia Edma, the former mayor, and Felipa Catanus, then municipal accountant, to a minimum prison time of six years and one month to a maximum of 10 years for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices.
Edma and Catanus are also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
They were accused of conspiring with one another with evident bad faith, gross inexcusable negligence, and manifest partiality to willfully, unlawfully, and criminally give unwarranted benefit or advantage to Monark Equipment Corp.
The Court pointed out that no competitive bidding for the items was conducted.
• The Sandiganbayan has sentenced the former president of the state-owned Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) to a maximum of 16 years imprisonment for graft and malversation in connection with the transfer of an aircraft space part to a corporation.
In a 70-page decision also promulgated on August 26, the Anti-Graft Court found then-president Danilo Crisologo and then-senior vice president Roberto Manlavi guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 and malversation.
Crisologo and Manlavi were sentenced to a minimum prison time of six
years and one month and up to ten years in prison for graft.
For malversation, they were sentenced to a minimum imprisonment of two years, four months, and one day to a maximum of six years and one day. The Court also fined them P111,754 and perpetually disqualified them
from holding public office.
• The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni and former Assistant Ombudsman Nenette de Padua of tampering with the anti-graft body’s rulings and sitting on cases.
The anti-graft court, via a split 3-2 vote, cleared Jalandoni and De Padua of 13 counts of falsification of documents and 56 counts of violation of Article 226 of the Revised Penal Code due to the prosecution’s failure to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Jalandoni was accused of making it appear that he was the final approving authority for the filing of criminal charges by supplanting his name over that of the original signatory.
Likewise, government prosecutors also alleged that at least 56 cases in the Ombudsman are pending on Jalandoni’s desk even if these were supposed to be resolved either by filing charges or dismissing the complaint.