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PCGG sequesters Marcos properties in San Juan City

By Jason Faustino
10/29/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sequestered the 1,584-square-meter property of the Marcoses to exact payment for funds transferred to their private account from the National Food Authority coffers in 1983.
The PCGG may also seize 2 more properties to cover for the total judgment cost of P43.8 million. One measures 864 sq.m. located in P. Gueverra corner Maude Streets, and another measures 932 sq.m. in Claro M. Recto.
The issue stemmed from a Sandiganbayan decision on Sept. 9, 2010 ordering former First Lady Imelda Marcos to reimburse the government P10 million for the funds transferred to a private account.
She was also ordered to pay 28 years worth of interest on the principal amount with additional penalties of P1 million in moral damages; P500,000 exemplary damages; P250,000 nominal damages; and P200,000 attorney’s fees.
The judgment cost totals around P43.8 million.
Efforts to serve the judgment ended futile, however, forcing prosecutors to seek an alias writ of execution from the Sandiganbayan.
Albert de la Cruz, acting chief judicial staff officer of the Sandiganbayan, informed the graft court that he and sheriff Honofre Tejada Jr. tried to serve the judgment to Mrs. Marcos in her various addresses in Global City, Taguig and in San Juan City.
They were told, however, that she was staying somewhere else.
They also went to her office at the House of Representatives. They were informed that she was in Ilocos Norte.
In coordination with PCGG Commissioner Gerald Mosquera, the court officers filed a notice of levy on the three lots with the Registry of Deeds of San Juan City last October 13.
They were told that the 2 other lots should be verified with the Mandaluyong City Registry of Deeds.
Meanwhile, the government is to seize three Manila properties belonging to flamboyant former first lady Imelda Marcos as payment for money she embezzled nearly three decades ago, the government said Friday.
The houses are worth a total of P43.8 million, the government said.
The move ends a legal battle that began in 1987, a year after her late husband Ferdinand Marcos was toppled from power, said Nick Suarez, spokesman for the government’s Presidential Commission on Good Government.
Suarez said it was not known whether the Marcos family had ever lived in the houses, which will provide compensation for P10 million taken illegally from the state rice importing agency in 1983.
 “It is a victory for the Filipino people and the government because we were able to recover what is stolen,” Suarez told AFP.
The commission has been seeking to recover the billions stolen by the late dictator and his family during his 20 years in office.
A special anti-graft court ruled in April that the family must return the money to the government, plus interest, and the same court ruled this week that the government may now seize the properties after the family failed to pay.
Spokesmen for Imelda Marcos could not be contacted for comment.
Ferdinand Marcos ruled the country from 1965 to 1986, much of this time as a dictator. His family and their allies are accused of stealing billions of dollars in state funds during this period.
Imelda Marcos was known for her lavish, jetset lifestyle despite the nation’s poverty and a massive collection of thousands of her shoes was found at the presidential palace after the family fled to the United States.
The commission has said that it has recovered more than 85.64 billion pesos in Marcos funds since 1986.
However the officials said the lack of a paper trail and delaying tactics employed by lawyers for the Marcos estate had prevented the commission from recovering more.
The fallen dictator’s family returned to the Philippines after his death in 1989 and have regained some of their influence in recent years.
Imelda Marcos and their son, also named Ferdinand, were elected to parliament last year.
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