Sandiganbayan orders Marcoses to surrender paintings
The Sandiganbayan on Thursday has ordered the Marcos family to surrender expensive paintings illegally amassed during the late President Ferdinand Marcos' administration.
The 42-paged decision, penned by Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz, promulgated that the hundreds of paintings owned by the family were "unlawfully acquired."
Associate Justice Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. concurred the decision.
Among the paintings owned by the Marcoses are by the French masters Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh.
The anti-graft court ruled in favor of the Presidential Commission on Good Governance's (PCGG) presumption that the Marcoses will not be able to get hold of the paintings at that time even with their collective salaries.
"...the paintings and artworks valued at US $24,325,500.00 acquired by the respondent spouses were significantly out of proportion to their aggregate salaries of $304,372.43 as public officials," the court ruling read.
"Aside from the unsubstantiated "lack of sufficient knowledge" in their answer, respondents failed to present evidence to overturn the presumption that the paintings were unlawfully acquired. Hence, the forfeiture of said properties in favor of petitioner Republic is warranted," the court added.
The Marcos family was ordered to surrender the paintings as well as the proceeds of artworks which were sold.
The court also asked for the current locations of the 896 paintings which was believed to be under or used to be their possession.
In addition, a cease and desist order from disposing, transferring and/or selling of the art pieces was also imposed. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS