Sandiganbayan affirms dismissal of P1-billion civil case vs. Tantocos, Marcoses

Published November 29, 2019, 12:53 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan Second Division has affirmed its decision dismissing the P1.052-billion civil case filed against Rustan’s Group of Company (RGC) owners Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Gliceria Tantoco, which also involved the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)
Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN) 

The anti-graft court promulgated on September 25 to dismiss the civil case against the Tantocos, Marcoses, as well as Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda, and Dominador Santiago due to the insufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence.

Civil Case No. 0008 was filed based on the complaint for Reconveyance, Reversion, Accounting, Restitution and Damages on March 18, 1988 by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

The PCGG sought the recovery of ill-gotten wealth constituting of funds and property, which were reportedly acquired during the term of Marcos from December 30, 1965 to February 1986.

The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration on October 17, claiming that the defendants’ responsive pleadings admit material allegations in the Expanded Complaint pertaining to the ill-gotten nature of Tourist Duty Free Shops assets, and that the material allegations in the Expanded Complaint have been sufficiently established.

The prosecution likewise enumerated its witnesses and summarized their testimonies, as well as highlighted its evidence that show how the Tantocos acted as dummies and agents of the Marcoses in acquiring ill-gotten wealth.

Unfortunately for the prosecution, their MR was denied for lack of merit. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly held in a long line of cases that a motion for reconsideration should be denied when the same only rehashes issues previously put forward,” the resolution read.

“In this case, no new argument was presented by plaintiff Republic of the Philippines in the instant motion,” it added. “The arguments raised therein have already been judiciously passed upon and properly considered by the Court in the assailed decision, which states that the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the plaintiff are insufficient to prove the allegations in the Expanded Complaint.”

The three-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi with the concurrence of Chairperson Oscar Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna.

The PCGG claimed that the Tantocos acquired the franchise to exclusively manage and operate tourists duty-free shops at international airports, hotels, and commercial centers by securing presidential approval, and they were supposed to pay only a minimal franchise tax of seven percent of the gross income. This was even shared with the Nutrition Center for the Philippines with Imelda as president, the Manila Seedling Bank with Bienvenido Tantoco Jr. as president, as well as the Mount Samat Reforestation Project.

Out of the seven percent, only two percent really went to the government coffers. The five percent became the “petty cash” of Imelda since these were reportedly funneled to her private foundations.

They also procured almost unlimited duty-free importation benefits and manipulated importations by mere Draft Acceptances in excess of the amounts allowed by the Central Bank.

Despite this allegations, the anti-graft court had to dismiss the civil case because the prosecution only presented four witnesses before the court before waiving further presentation of evidence due to non-appearance of PCGG lawyers.

The letters presented by the prosecution from the Commission on Audit (COA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Bureau of Customs (BOC) only pertain to alleged tax deficiencies. The letters do not prove how the defendants are “dummies” of the Marcoses in the operation of duty-free shops, and their participation in securing the presidential decree was not established.

The court likewise denied the admission of several exhibits for being mere photocopies, which is in violation of the Best Evidence Rule.

 

 
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Sandiganbayan affirms dismissal of P1-billion civil case vs. Tantocos, Marcoses

Published November 29, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan Second Division has affirmed its decision dismissing the P1.052-billion civil case filed against Rustan’s Group of Company (RGC) owners Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Gliceria Tantoco, which also involved the late President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)
Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN) 

The anti-graft court promulgated on September 25 to dismiss the civil case against the Tantocos, Marcoses, as well as Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda, and Dominador Santiago due to the insufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence.

Civil Case No. 0008 was filed based on the complaint for Reconveyance, Reversion, Accounting, Restitution and Damages on March 18, 1988 by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

The PCGG sought the recovery of ill-gotten wealth constituting of funds and property, which were reportedly acquired during the term of Marcos from December 30, 1965 to February 1986.

The prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration on October 17, claiming that the defendants’ responsive pleadings admit material allegations in the Expanded Complaint pertaining to the ill-gotten nature of Tourist Duty Free Shops assets, and that the material allegations in the Expanded Complaint have been sufficiently established.

The prosecution likewise enumerated its witnesses and summarized their testimonies, as well as highlighted its evidence that show how the Tantocos acted as dummies and agents of the Marcoses in acquiring ill-gotten wealth.

Unfortunately for the prosecution, their MR was denied for lack of merit. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly held in a long line of cases that a motion for reconsideration should be denied when the same only rehashes issues previously put forward,” the resolution read.

“In this case, no new argument was presented by plaintiff Republic of the Philippines in the instant motion,” it added. “The arguments raised therein have already been judiciously passed upon and properly considered by the Court in the assailed decision, which states that the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the plaintiff are insufficient to prove the allegations in the Expanded Complaint.”

The three-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi with the concurrence of Chairperson Oscar Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna.

The PCGG claimed that the Tantocos acquired the franchise to exclusively manage and operate tourists duty-free shops at international airports, hotels, and commercial centers by securing presidential approval, and they were supposed to pay only a minimal franchise tax of seven percent of the gross income. This was even shared with the Nutrition Center for the Philippines with Imelda as president, the Manila Seedling Bank with Bienvenido Tantoco Jr. as president, as well as the Mount Samat Reforestation Project.

Out of the seven percent, only two percent really went to the government coffers. The five percent became the “petty cash” of Imelda since these were reportedly funneled to her private foundations.

They also procured almost unlimited duty-free importation benefits and manipulated importations by mere Draft Acceptances in excess of the amounts allowed by the Central Bank.

Despite this allegations, the anti-graft court had to dismiss the civil case because the prosecution only presented four witnesses before the court before waiving further presentation of evidence due to non-appearance of PCGG lawyers.

The letters presented by the prosecution from the Commission on Audit (COA), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and Bureau of Customs (BOC) only pertain to alleged tax deficiencies. The letters do not prove how the defendants are “dummies” of the Marcoses in the operation of duty-free shops, and their participation in securing the presidential decree was not established.

The court likewise denied the admission of several exhibits for being mere photocopies, which is in violation of the Best Evidence Rule.

 

 
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