The Sandiganbayan gave its permission to the government to appeal the dismissal of the P102-billion ill-gotten wealth case against former President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, as well as their 11 other cronies.
The anti-graft court's Second Division, in a five-page decision dated Nov. 6, granted government prosecutors’ motion for reconsideration on the anti-graft court’s Sept. 13 decision. The decision disallows the government’s appeal due to the state’s failure to provide notice of hearing—that is a violation of the Rules of Court.
The anti-graft court cited the Supreme Court ruling on Marylou Cabrera vs. Felix Ng as basis of its decision.
“It is undisputed that the Motion For Reconsideration (Re: Decision dated Aug. 5, 2019) was laden with procedural defects for failure to comply with the requirements of Rule 15. Although the inadvertence of the plaintiff's counsel is not a compelling or sufficient reason to relax the rule, the Court is of the view that the defendants' right to due process will not be impinged should the Court act on the earlier motion as they will still be given an opportunity to study and meet the arguments therein for full review and appreciation by the Court,” the Sandiganbayan said.
In addition, the anti-graft court ruled that the government’s motion for reconsideration on the anti-graft court’s September decision cannot be considered as a second motion for reconsideration as it “does not assail the Decision dated Aug. 5, 2019 [junking the case] but seeks the reversal of the Resolution dated Sept. 13, 2019.”
“Wherefore, premises considered, the motion for reconsideration (Re: Resolution dated Sept. 13, 2019) filed by the Republic of the Philippines is hereby granted. The Resolution dated September 13, 2019 is hereby reversed and set aside, and plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (Re: Decision dated August 5, 2019) is given due course,” the anti-graft court said.
“Accordingly, the defendants are given 10 days to file an opposition to the motion for reconsideration (Re: Decision dated August 5, 2019),” the anti-graft court added.
Last August, the Sandiganbayan junked the P102-billion forfeiture case involving the Marcos family and 11 of its cronies due to inability of the prosecution to present sufficient evidence.
The court said the that the Presidential Commission on Good Government, or the government agency in charge of recovering the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, failed to provide evidence on specific instances where late President Ferdinand Marcos and former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos were accused of being guilty of having participated in extending a loan accommodation to Aklan Bulk Carriers Inc., Fuga Bulk Carriers Inc., Coron Bulk Carriers Inc., and Ecija Bulk Carriers, Inc.; appropriated revenues derived from the operations of RPN-9, IBC-13 and BBC-2 for their own benefit and unjust enrichment and income; allowed their 11 other co-accused to hold and launder purloined funds for and in their behalf prior to remittance and credit to their overseas or foreign accounts; and participated in the establishment of the California Overseas Bank.
The court said the PCGG also failed to provide evidence on how the other defendants acted as dummies of Mrs. Marcos in acquiring ill-gotten wealth.