Sandiganbayan grants deferment of trial of Marcos heirs’ ‘ill-gotten wealth’ case

Published July 7, 2022, 3:10 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Sandiganbayan allowed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. and members of his family to defer the proceedings in their ill-gotten wealth case set on Thursday, July 7.

With the ruling, the anti-graft court reset the pre-marking of evidence to August 4 at 1:30 p.m. and the pretrial to August 5 at 8:30 a.m.

The deferment of the proceedings was sought by Marcoses’ counsel, Manuel Plaza, who told the ant-graft court they needed more time to prepare and review the documents on the case.

“We asked the court for more time to look at the records because we want to make sure that the witnesses and records that we will present to the court will be admissible,” Plaza said during an interview after the hearing.

When asked if president Marcos will be present during the pretrial, Plaza answered that “our client is the President and he has other matters to attend to aside from this one.”

Set for hearing is Civil Case No. 0014 which was filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 1987.

Named defendants in Civil Case No. 0014 were Modesto Enriquez, Trinidad Diaz Enriquez, Rebecco Panlilio, Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio, Leando Enriquez, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Imelda R. Marcos, Don M. Ferry, Roman A. Cruz Jr. and Gregorio R. Castillo.

They were named in the case for reconveyance, reversion, accounting, restitution and damages involving the control and ownership of Ternate Development Corp., Monte Sol Development Corporation, Olas del Mar Development Corporation, Fantasia Filipina Resort, Inc., Sulo Dobbs, Inc., Philippine Village, Inc., Silahis International Hotel, Inc., and Hotel Properties.

Due to their exile abroad, the Marcoses failed to file their answer to the civil case and to the other cases. They were declared in default. With the death of the Marcos patriarch, the heirs were substituted as defendants.

The PCGG, through the OSG, sought the enforcement of the default order.

In his motion for reconsideration, President “Bongbong” Marcos told the Sandiganbayan that if their motion to reconsider the default order would not be resolved in their favor, their rights to due process and fair play would be violated.

The motion for reconsideration was granted. In a resolution issued last June 22 in Civil Case No. 0014, the court’s second division allowed the Marcos’ heirs — former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, President “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Imee M. Manotoc, and Irene M. Araneta to present their evidence.

On the presentation of evidence, the Sandiganbayan ruled:

“To allow the defendants (Marcos’ heirs) to present their evidence and proceed with the trial of the would be in furtherance of seeking the truth.

“Court litigants are primarily for the search of truth, and a liberal interpretation of the rules by which both parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce is the best way to ferret out the truth. The dispensation of justice and vindication of legitimate grievances should not be barred by technicalities.

“It is more in accord with justice that a party-litigant is given the fullest opportunity to establish the merits of his claim or defense than for him to lose his life, liberty, honor or property on mere technicalities.

“Truly the rules of procedure are intended to promote substantial justice, not to defeat it, and should not be applied in a very rigid and technical sense.

“Verily, the business of the courts is not just merely to dispose the cases seen as clutters in their dockets. Courts are in place to adjudicate the controversies with the end in view of rendering a definitive statement, and this can only be done by going into the very core and to the full extent of the controversy in order to afford complete relief to all the parties involved.”