Thursday, December 12, 2013
Powers of PCGG, Sandiganbayan over sequestered assets of Marcos and cronies; the need to speed up the delayed cases.
"x x x.
In fact, however, the Sandiganbayan has the authority to order the
holding of a stockholders’ meeting at ETPI. The PCGG had sequestered the
substance of that company’s shares of stock. And, since Section 2 of
Executive Order 14 dated May 7, 1986 vests in the Sandiganbayan exclusive
jurisdiction over all cases regarding “the Funds, Moneys, Assets and
Properties Illegally Acquired or Misappropriated by Former President
Ferdinand Marcos, Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, their Close Relatives,
Subordinates, Business Associates, Dummies, Agents or Nominees”
including “all incidents arising from, incidental to, or related to, such cases,”
it follows that the Sandiganbayan can issue the requested order. Besides,
with the PCGG in effective control of ETPI, it is expected to obey the
Sandiganbayan’s orders as it has always done.
Ultimately, the issue in case such a stockholders’ meeting is called
would still be whether or not the PCGG can vote the sequestered shares as it
did in 1991. It brought an action before the Sandiganbayan on July 22, 1987
to have those shares forfeited allegedly for having been unlawfully obtained
during martial law in connivance with the late President Marcos. There may
be prima facie evidence to warrant their sequestration initially but the
Sandiganbayan cannot let the case continue to drag on after the passage of
26 years. Any further delay is simply inexcusable. It is probably among the
most delayed cases in Philippine history, a black mark in the record of its
The Sandiganbayan should, therefore, set an irrevocable deadline for
the PCGG to complete the presentation of its evidence, using judicial
affidavits in lieu of direct testimonies, to prove its allegations after which
that court should provisionally determine whether there is sufficient
evidence to allow the sequestration to continue for all or some of the shares,
without prejudice to the taking of further proceedings to conclude the action.
The Sandiganbayan may afterwards order the holding of a stockholders’
meeting to elect a new Board of Directors, where the sequestered shares may
be voted based on that court’s provisional findings.
x x x."
G.R. Nos. 172222/G.R. No. 174493/G.R. No. 184636. November 11, 2013
Victor Africa Vs. The Hon. Sandiganbayan and Barbara Anne C. Migalos