Palace not interfering with court after Sandiganbayan junked P200-B forfeiture case vs Marcoses - Panelo
Malacanang expressed concern on Tuesday on the dismissal of the P200-billion forfeiture case against the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos but noted that the court always decides based on evidence.
In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it would be up to the Solicitor General if the case would still be appealed.
"Any government is concerned with any case filed by it against perceived transgressors of law. But in the final analysis, it’s the court that always decides whether there’s a case or not against the accused," he said.
"We never interfere with the decision of the court. The court will always decide on the basis of the evidence," added Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
The Sandiganabayan Fourth Division junked the civil suit against the defendant estate of Marcos, his wife Imelda, and children Imelda Marcos Manotoc, Irene Marcos Araneta, and Ferdinand Jr., and an associate named Constante Rubio "for the failure of the plaintiff to prove its allegations by preponderance of evidence.”
The anti-graft court said most of the pieces of evidence presented by the Presidential Commission on Good Government against the Marcoses were photocopies and "barely readable."
Panelo said the current government lawyers could not be blamed for the dismissal of the case.
"You must remember that this case is prosecuted prior to the administration. Meaning, you can’t blame the present lawyers for that," he said.
Aside from the civil case 002, the PCGG has lost three other cases against the Marcoses this year.
Asked if government lawyers could be held accountable for losing Marcos cases, Panelo said, "If there are no documents to be presented, how can you make the lawyers to be accountable for that?"
He added that the Palace always considers that all courts would observe due process "because that is precisely what a Constitution tells everyone ? the lawyers, the courts." Celerina Monte/DMS