Sunteți pe pagina 1din 2

Case 39

G.R. Nos. 152154; July 15, 2003. Republic of the Philippines versus Hon. Sandiganbayan(Spec. 1 st Div.), Ferdinand Marcos (represented by his Estate/Heirs) Decision on : PETITION FOR CERTIORARI seeking to 1. ANNUL RESOLUTION DATED JANUARY 31, 2002 RESPECTING CIVIL CASE# 0741 2. REINSTATEMENT OF EARLIER DECISION DATED SEPT. 19, 2000 WHICH FORFEITED IN FAVOR OF THE PETITIONER AMOUNT HELD IN ESCROW AT PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK PURSUANT TO RA 1379 IN VIOLATION OF RA 1379, RECOVERY OF US $ 356M SWISS BANK DEPOSITS

Original Case :

Facts : At the demise of 20- year term of the Marcoses, the State, represented by PCGG, sought to recover ill-gotten wealth of said clan belonging in principle and practically to the whole republic. The State was able to trace five accounts of various groups under the name of foreign foundations held in trust by Swiss Banks. After filing an action before the Swiss Supreme Federal Court, favorable judgment was successfully obtained thereto holding the Republic of the Philippines as legitimate owner by principle of the traced bank deposits with proviso however for certain conditions. It gave birth to Civil Case # 0741 for Forfeiture of the US $356M( total amount of bank deposits in five banks ) before Sandiganbayan, Special 1st Division. Pending adjudication of abovementioned case, petitioner-State was granted upon its motion before the Swiss Supreme Federal Court to transfer subject bank deposits to PNB and be held in Escrow. Subsequently, heirs-children filed a motion to place the escrow funds in custodia legis for fear of dissipation which was granted accordingly by Sandiganbayan. Subject Accounts were: 1. Vibur Foundation Account(Azio) 2. Charis-Solari-Volano-Spinus-Avertina Foundation Accounts(Xandy-Wintrop) 3. Ranby/Palmy Foundation Accounts (Trinidad) 4. Rosalyn-Aguamina Foundation Accounts 5. Maler Foundation Accounts In addition, US $25M and US $5M in treasury notes frozen in Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas were also sought of the petitioner-State to be forfeited for such were overstatement of the Marcos couples income and other joint lawful income. Before the pre-trial, the State and Marcoses entered into General Agreement and Supplemental Agreement in globally settling the assets of Marcos Family. The agreements were duly approved by Sandiganbayan which gave prelude to petitioner-State to move for summary judgment on the pleadings but was opposed by private respondents. Initially, Sandiganbayan ruled in favor of the State in its decision dated September 19, 2000 declaring that amount held in escrow are deemed unlawfully acquired wealth by the Marcoses, forfeiting the same in its favor which was US $ 627,608,544.95 already at that time. Mrs. Marcos, on her motion for reconsideration and manifestation against said order declared; (1) 90% ownership in the subject bank deposits, (2) she was not a party to the agreements entered by her children, (3) the foundations concerned must be respectively represented and rights be protected to properly accord due process. Thereto, Sandiganbayan issued a resolution dated January 31, 2002 reversing the previous decision and denying the petitioner-State s motion for Summary Judgment on the ground that it fails to annunciate real rights over the bank deposits by failure to produce in court the authenticated decision of the Swiss Supreme Federal Court with authenticated translations as attachment. It was discovered however, that the State didnt meet the sanctioned period in filing a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court and was motioned by the privates respondents to be estopped by laches. ISSUES : 1. WHETHER OR NOT THE STATE PROVED ITS CASE PURSUANT TO THE REQUISITES OF RA Nos 1379 (with respect to admissions on Marcoses personal circumstances, ownership of bank deposits)? 2. WHETHER OR NOT SUMMARY JUDGEMENT WAS PROPER IN THE CASE? 3. WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE OF THE PETITIONER IS FORFEITED FOR HAVING BEEN ESTOPPED BY LACHES? 4. WHETHER OR NOT THE SUBJECT DECISION OF THE SWISS SUPREME FEDERAL COURT WAS INDISPENSABLE EVIDENCE? 5. WHETHER OR NOT FOREIGN FOUNDATIONS NEED TO BE IMPLEADED? SC RULINGS: 1. Evidences produced by the government against private respondents sufficiently met the requirements sanctioned by RA No. 1379. Petitioner was able to produce documentary evidences on the Marcos couples income from 1965 to 1984(20yrs term of office) from their salaries, allowances and emoluments. It was able to establish other sources of private respondents income through introduction of their SAL, ITRs, Balance Sheets showing total earnings of US $ 2,414,484.91. These presentations clearly showed that subject bank deposits were evidence of countrys wealth stashed away, hid the same in layers upon layers of foundations and other corporate entities to prevent detection. Considering that the deposits are disproportionate to their declared income, presumption of unlawful acquisition of which was duly established. After having disclaimed ownership of

Case 39
subject swiss accounts in their initial pleadings, and considering that those were not previously declared before the court or public documents requiring disclosure thereof, said findings as well, were deemed prima facie evidence (provided in Sec 2 of RA#1379) against the frozen treasury notes held by Bangko Sentral, unless they can provide the quantum of evidence that those were acquired through lawful means. Private respondents answer further, constituted negative pregnant denial amounting to admissions of two relevant facts: (1) the SWISS BANK DEPOSITS of US $ 356M; (2) ownership of the same, firmly established by their action in entering to the General and Supplemental Agreements 2. Summary Judgment was properly called in this case. Under the rules, it should be applied if there is no genuine issue of facts which would require presentation of evidence in a full blown trial especially that it was so apparent that legal process documents were not genuine, executed to fool the law and the court. Denial made by the Marcoses during the pre-trial must be specifically noted and the subsequent claim by Mrs. Marcos of 90% ownership in subject bank deposits clearly manifested sham allegations. State was able to produce evidences shown by the various sworn statements of witnesses while the Marcoses failed to equally disprove said allegations and relied merely on their denial found to be negative pregnant in nature. 3. The Doctrine of Estoppel by Laches is deemed to be inappropriate in this casw. There can be no right over a subject which interest thereof is previously disclaimed in a pleading. Estoppel by laches cant be claimed against the government suing a sovereign or asserting governmental rights nor when it contravenes law or public policy as well. Technicalities of laws doesnt strictly apply in cases where issues are generally of public interest. 4. By the admission of Mrs. Marcos on her 90% ownership and 10% thereof to Ferdinand Marcos estate negated the precept that those named foundations were indispensable parties to the dispute. Swiss Supreme Federal Court Decision cant be implemented for there is no minimal rights to be protected anymore having been admitted and declared by Mrs. Marcos in a pleading her true interest over the money deposited per se nullifying true existence of said foreign foundations. 5. The decision of the Swiss Supreme Federal Court pertained merely in the release of bank deposits to be held in escrow at PNB. Sandiganbayans decision was not dependent in the determination of Swiss courts and so as the Supreme Courts. Despite of the absence of said decision, evidences sufficiently acknowledged that the subject amount of US $ 356M legally belongs to the Republic of the Philippines. The assailed Resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated January 31, 2002 was SET ASIDE. The Swiss deposits which were transferred to and are now deposited in escrow at the Philippine National Bank in the estimated aggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of January 31, 2002, plus interest were forfeited in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.