VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Not all cases vs Marcos ill-gotten wealth dismissed by SC

A 2018 Supreme Court decision junking a case involving the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth resurfaced in a rehashed social media graphic to support a claim that the Marcoses stole nothing and the cases were all made up. This is misleading.

The graphic showed only the 2018 ruling affirming the Sandiganbayan’s 2010 decision and 2011 joint resolution which, as reported by multiple news media, dismissed a case against former president Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, and his associates.

But according to former SC Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, the high court issued three decisions establishing that the Marcoses had accumulated ill-gotten wealth. These rulings resulted in the forfeiture of foreign bank accounts and a jewelry collection of former first lady Imelda Marcos, she said in an Oct. 20 FB post.

In a decision written by former Supreme Court Associate Justice Noel Tijam, the high court’s first division ruled that the case to sequester P51 million of assets from the Marcoses and 15 other individuals was dismissed due to “insufficiency of evidence.”

Specifically, it noted that the Presidential Commission on Good Government, which filed the case, provided only photocopies instead of the original documents to support the accusations that the Marcoses and their associates accumulated ill-gotten wealth.

Meanwhile, other Supreme Court decisions have led to the forfeiture of Swiss bank accounts, assets handled by a dummy Panamanian corporation, and a jewelry collection of Mrs. Marcos upon establishing that the assets were ill-gotten.

In 2003, the SC ruled that a total of US$658 million previously stored in Swiss bank accounts and foreign foundations owned by the Marcos family were deemed to be unlawfully acquired.

In 2012, the SC ruled that the Marcoses used a dummy Panamanian corporation called Arelma Inc. to manage and hide ill-gotten wealth worth US$3.37 million at Merrill Lynch Asset Management. The assets were forfeited in favor of the national government.

Five years later, the SC also affirmed the Sandiganbayan’s partial summary judgment and resolution in 2014 which forfeited jewelry that belonged to Imelda Marcos worth US$150,000.

Posted by FB page Marcos defender 2022, the graphic garnered more than 2,500 reactions, 200 comments, and 660 shares. It emerged on Nov. 1, around the time #BBMSingawNgBayan trended on Twitter.

The original copy of the post, dated 2018, got 8,600 interactions as of late.

Marcos defender 2022, which uploads posts in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was created last Sept. 11.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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