Sandiganbayan dismisses P1-B civil case vs Marcoses
Aileen Cerrudo • October 8, 2019 • 1046
The second division of the Sandiganbayan has dismissed the civil case filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) against former President Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda Marcos for insufficient evidence over P1 billion worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth.
Based on the decision of the anti-graft court, the PCGG failed to present strong evidence against the Marcoses.
“The plaintiff Republic failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that the defendants by themselves, or in conspiracy with defendants Marcoses, obtained ill-gotten wealth,” the decision reads.
“Lastly, the court also finds that the defendants failed to prove their respective counterclaims alluding to alleged damages sustained.”
According to the Malacañang, the PCGG can still submit an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Marcoses should still be accountable if there is proof of ill-gotten wealth.
“Kung ill-gotten, we should always run after, basta ill-gotten (If it is ill-gotten we should always run after, as long as it is ill-gotten). It should be the policy of all governments to run after ill-gotten wealth,” he said.
The Sandiganbayan previously dismissed the P102 billion worth of forfeiture case against the Marcoses and other respondents last August.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has cleared Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and six others of graft cases relating to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel scam.
Revilla was accused of diverting his PDAF funds to bogus non-government organizations which involved the so-called Pork Barrel Queen, Janet Lim Napoles.
Based on the ruling of the Sandiganbayan First Division that was released on Monday (July 5), the court granted Revilla’s demurrer to evidence acquitting the Senator of 16 counts of graft on grounds of insufficiency of evidence.
“The bonds posted by accused Revilla are hereby ordered released, subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures. The Hold Departure Order issued against them are also set aside and declared functus officio,” the ruling stated.
Also dismissed from the case are Mario Relampagos, Rosario Nunez, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare, Encarnita Christina Munsod, and Chita Jalandoni.
Meanwhile, the court did not grant Napoles on her demurrer to evidence, meaning the graft cases filed against her will continue to trial.
In a statement, Revilla said the dismissal is proof that the accusations filed against him have no basis.
“The Sandiganbayan, by granting our Demurrer to Evidence and dismissing all the charges against me, validates what we have known from the very beginning – that all the accusations against me have no basis and any leg to stand on,” he said.
“I am not, and never have been involved in graft and corruption. This is the reason why I did not run; I did not hide; and did not evade the judicial system. I put my trust and my life in our Courts. The truth has come out. Now, I can move forward to serving our nation and our people even further, free of this nuisance,” he added.
The Sandiganbayan also acquitted Revilla of plunder in relation to the pork barrel scam in December 2018. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council on Thursday announced it has extended the application period for several vacant positions in the Court of Appeals (CA), and other courts.
In an advisory, the JBC said it moved the deadline from August 25 to September 25 following requests for extension of the deadline of submission of documents owing to the difficulty in securing documents in view of the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite were placed under MECQ from August 4 to 18. It has now shifted to general community quarantine status.
The JBC said there are job openings in the CA, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) as well as in the Legal Education Board.
CA vacancies are for the positions left by Justices Rodil Zalameda, Edgardo Delos Santos, Mario Lopez, and Samuel Gaerlan who were appointed to the Supreme Court; Justices Luisa Padilla and Jane Aurora Lantion who compulsorily retired in January 2020.
The opening in Sandiganbayan is for the position left by the late Justice Reynaldo Cruz, while the CTA vacancies are for the positions formerly held by retired Justices Cielito Mindaro-Grulla and Esperanza Fabon-Victorino.
The JBC also said applications are also open for several positions in the Legal Education Board.
The council reminded applicants to access the online application scheduler in its website on or before August 25 to register and selected the date they will submit their documents.
Applicants must also submit the complete and accurate digitized versions of their documents through electronic mail on their selected date and time of appointment in the scheduler.
The submission of hard copies of documentary requirements, however, is suspended until further notice, the JBC said.
The Sandiganbayan has dismissed the charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and ex-PNP Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas over the Mamasapano clash in 2015.
The dismissal of the charges against the two former police officers was due to the lack of probable cause to charge them of graft and usurpation of official functions complaints for their involvement in the anti-terrorist operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015.
The said operation led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.
Purisima was charged for still leading the operation to kill terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman, under Oplan Exodus, despite being suspended as the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.
Napeñas, on the other hand, was also charged for allegedly conspiring with Purisima.
Based on the resolution, Purisima and Napeñas cannot be charged due to the lack of sufficient evidence.
“There is no mention in the information, nor any evidence on record, that accused Napeñas received or expected to receive any material remuneration or consideration therefor,” the resolution states. “It could not be said that Purisima was under the pretense of being a PNP chief because he was ordered by his president and commander-in-chief to perform such supervision and monitoring.”
Purisima and Napeñas were charged with violating Section 3(a) of the anti-graft law which punishes “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations.”
Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan said the dismissal of the criminal complaints did not mean that the two accused had no liability over the Mamasapano clash and appropriate charges can still be filed against them.
“What the court merely ruled is the non-existence of probable cause against Napeñas in both charges and the insufficiency of the allegations in the information filed against Purisima,” the resolution reads.—AAC
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