The decision of the Supreme Court (SC) to junk the government’s ill-gotten wealth case against late President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies “opened up deep wounds” in the Philippines’ psyche, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said on Tuesday.
Villarin claimed that the high court seemed to be “willing to appease the powers that be.”
The opposition lawmaker also lamented that the SC’s dismissal of a major case filed by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) 33 years ago was just “based on technicalities — that Marcos’ own presidential decrees that made the crime and photocopies of evidence sealed in Central Bank vaults cannot be used to convict the Marcoses.”
This argument is “a legal quackery that defies logic and reason when it is clear that the Marcoses plundered our country,” Villarin added.
“It’s the weight of the state through the PCGG ranged against a dictator yet the SC disregarded this historical fact. Such decision opened up deep wounds in our nation’s psyche and enables the Marcos to revise history and mock democracy,” he further said.
Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus also denounced the decision, saying it would be “a go-signal for plunderers” and an “insult to martial law victims.”
De Jesus lamented that the SC was allegedly”lending its pen to the historical revisionism project in favor of the Marcoses.”
“While not surprising, this development disturbingly conveys a message that you can raid the public coffers and amass billions and still get off the hook even years and decades after. This creates impunity for plunderers while casting a sharp insult to victims of martial law like me who have long fought for the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses,” the militant lawmaker added.
The SC ruling, she pointed out, also comes at a time when the Marcoses are actively pushing for the abolition of the PCGG, which is tasked to recover billions of pesos stolen by Marcos and his cronies.
Last May 15, the House of Representatives, voting 162-10, approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 7376, which seeks to abolish the PCGG and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC).
“Slowly but surely, the Marcoses are desperately given their political restoration under the fascist Duterte regime. But we vow to continue to expose the blood and political stench that have characterized the Marcos years – those dark years of unbridled corruption and mass killings which alarmingly resemble the present condition under Duterte,” De Jesus stressed.
The PCGG was claiming some P51-billion from the estate of Marcos and his cronies for damages over their alleged connivance to acquire ill-gotten wealth through behest loans.
The complaint was filed on July 23, 1987.
Among the respondents identified were former First Lady Imelda Marcos, representative of the Marcos estate, former construction magnate Rodolfo Cuenca, his son Roberto Cuenca, former Philippine National Bank president Panfilo O. Domingo, former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin, former Development Bank of the Philippines officer Don Ferry and 11 others. /vvp
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