MANILA – The Sandiganbayan gave the government a go-signal to appeal the dismissal of a P102 billion ill-gotten wealth case against former President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, former First Lady Imelda Marcos and 11 other cronies.
The Sandiganbayan Second Division granted the prosecutors’ motion for reconsideration on the dismissed case as it is accordance to due process.
The anti-graft court cited the Supreme Court ruling on Marylou Cabrera against Felix Ng, which states the notice of hearing requirement is not “a hard and fast rule” and it may be relaxed as long as the parties are given the opportunity to be heard.
“It is undisputed that the Motion for Reconsideration (Re: Decision dated August 5, 2019) was laden with procedural defects for failure to comply with the requirements of Rule 15. Although the inadvertence of the plaintiff’s counsel is not a compelling or sufficient reason to relax the rule, the Court is of the view that the defendants’ right to due process will not be impinged should the Court act on the earlier motion as they will still be given an opportunity to study and meet the arguments therein for full review and appreciation by the Court,” the Sandiganbayan said.
“The government’s motion for reconsideration on the anti-graft court’s September decision disallowing the filing of the motion for reconsideration cannot be considered as a second motion for reconsideration as it “does not assail the Decision dated August 5, 2019 [junking the case] but seeks the reversal of the Resolution dated Sept. 13, 2019,” the anti-graft court added.
“Wherefore, premises considered, the motion for reconsideration (Re: Resolution dated Sept. 13, 2019) filed by the Republic of the Philippines is hereby granted. The Resolution dated Sept. 13, 2019 is hereby reversed and set aside, and plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (Re: Decision dated August 5, 2019) is given due course,” the anti-graft court said.
“Accordingly, the defendants are given 10 days to file an opposition to the motion for reconsideration (Re: Decision dated Aug. 5, 2019),” the anti-graft court added.
The Sandiganbayan on August dismissed the P102 billion ill-gotten wealth case against the Marcoses under Civil Case 0034 after the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG)—the government agency in charge of recovering the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth—failed to present evidence against the respondents./PN