The “Marcos Magnanakaw” mainstream narrative that divided the Philippines for 35 years SHOULD NOT BE PRESUMED through news lips, stories, memes, quotes, etc., BUT SHOULD BE PROVEN IN COURT.

Stealing from the nation’s treasury is a SERIOUS CRIMINAL OFFENSE that needs to be proven in a CRIMINAL TRIAL.

To cement the “Marcos Magnanakaw” narrative is to get a final and executory Supreme Court decision in a crime involving stealing from the nation’s coffers. To prove the Marcoses indeed stole their wealth from the nation’s coffers, you need to have FORMIDABLE EVIDENCE to prove this allegation and secure a “beyong reasonable doubt” judgment.

As of January 2022, NO ONE has shown a final and executory Supreme Court decision in a case involving stealing from the nation’s coffers.

That means of all the cases filed against Ferdinand and Imelda, PCGG and the OSG could not prove that the source of the Marcos wealth is public funds.

Why are we looking for a final and executory Supreme Court criminal conviction in a crime that involves stealing from the nation’s coffers?

The final and executory Supreme Court conviction in a crime that involves stealing from the nation’s coffers will END all the arguments regarding the Marcos’ “ill-gotten wealth”.

The Marcos critics claim they have the “avalanche of evidence” to prove the Marcoses have stolen money from the nation’s funds, yet they COULDN’T CONVICT the Marcoses of a criminal charge that is final and executory in the last 35 years.

We used to subscribe to this mainstream narrative as well, and we also accepted these “avalanche of evidence” peddled to us by mainstream media and the politicians without questions. We simply accepted everything BLINDLY as facts.

But these pieces of evidence WERE NOT ABLE TO PROVE IN COURT that there were monies stolen from the Filipinos.

All the PCGG did was sequester assets through Cory’s Executive Order 1 and use CIVIL proceedings to forfeit these assets. These civil cases didn’t even discuss the crime of pagnanakaw.

We want to hold a position that is WELL-INFORMED, and the best source for a well-informed decision are the FACTS of a court decision, not the facts interpreted by historians, politicians, citizens, or mainstream media.

The facts of a COURT DECISION are legitimately PEER-REVIEWED, CROSS-EXAMINED, and VERIFIED by no other than the Supreme Court JUSTICES.

The interpretation of the facts INSIDE A COURT trumps all the interpretations and assumptions of historians, politicians, mainstream media, citizens, and legal students OUTSIDE OF COURT.

That’s why we want to make an informed position using court decisions, WHERE FACTS CANNOT BE CORRUPTED.

This is the reason why A FINAL AND EXECUTORY CRIMINAL COURT CONVICTION in a crime that involves raiding the nation’s coffers. This will settle the issue that has divided our nation in the last 35 years.

Adhering to court-examined and court-reviewed facts (the best source of facts) is NOT revisionism; IT IS A SEARCH FOR TRUTH. It is NOT apologism, it is a search for a well-informed, court-based position.

CRITICS: There are 3 existing Supreme Court civil forfeiture cases that prove Marcos stole money from the Filipinos

Thirty-five years and billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money that funded PCGG, all the Marcos accusers can produce to prove their “Marcos Magnanakaw” allegation are the Supreme Court CIVIL FORFEITURE CASES, namely:

– G.R. No. 152154 (2003) – https://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/thebookshelf/showdocs/1/47204
– G.R. No. 189434 (2014) – https://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/thebookshelf/showdocs/1/56652
– G.R. No. 213027 (2017) – https://elibrary.judiciary.gov.ph/thebookshelf/showdocs/1/62728

What are civil forfeiture cases?

A civil forfeiture case is an IN REM (against the property) court proceeding brought against property that was derived from or used to commit an offense, rather than against a person who committed an offense.

Unlike criminal forfeiture, there is no criminal conviction required, although the government is still required to prove in court that the property was linked to criminal activity. The proceeding allows the court to gather anyone with an interest in the property in the same case and resolve all the issues with the property at one time.

In a civil forfeiture case, the government is the plaintiff, the property is the defendant, and any person who claims an interest in the property is a claimant.

A criminal forfeiture case, on the other hand, where an in personam (against the person) action against a defendant that includes notice of the intent to forfeit property in a criminal indictment. A criminal conviction is required, and forfeiture is part of the defendant’s sentence.

Criminal forfeiture is limited to the property interests of the defendant, including any proceeds earned by the defendant’s illegal activity. Criminal forfeiture is generally limited to the property involved in the particular counts on which the defendant is convicted.

Republic Act 1379: The basis of forfeiting the assets of the Marcoses

The basis of the civil forfeiture cases against the Marcoses is the violation of the forfeiture law, the Republic Act 1379 or AN ACT DECLARING FORFEITURE IN FAVOR OF THE STATE ANY PROPERTY FOUND TO HAVE BEEN UNLAWFULLY ACQUIRED BY ANY PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AND PROVIDING FOR THE PROCEEDINGS THEREFOR.

RA 1379 states that if a government official cannot explain their wealth beyond the amount of their salary or known income, there is a PRESUMPTION that the unexplained wealth is “unlawfully acquired”.

Take note that the operative word here is PRESUMPTION, meaning it is an idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.

Since the Marcoses were not able to explain the assets in question in these civil forfeiture cases, by virtue of RA 1379, the Republic (represented by the Office of the SG) PRESUMED these assets were unlawfully acquired, and threfore forfeited these assets in favor of the Republic.

But since civil forfeiture cases are only IN REM proceedings, there is no criminal libility in these cases. The criminal action of “Pagnanakaw sa Kaban ng Bayan” was not even discussed in these cases.

Regardless, the Office of the Solicitor General and PCGG still need to prove that Marcos’ unexplained wealth came from Kaban ng Bayan, and in these cases, they did not.

These civil forfeiture cases don’t answer WHO, WHAT, HOW MUCH, WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW the public funds ended up in the hands of the Marcoses and the Swiss banks.

Most importantly, YOU CANNOT FIND in the DISPOSITIVE PORTIONS of decisions that say, “Guilty beyond reasonable doubt”, which proves guilt in the crime of “pagnakakaw sa kaban”. That’s because forfeiture cases are CIVIL IN NATURE and do not determine the criminal culpability of the respondent (in this case, the Marcoses).

CORY AQUINO’S EXECUTIVE ORDER 1

How is it possible that Cory’s first order of business when she became president was the enactment of Executive Order 1? She came into power on Feb 25, 1986 and EO 1 was enacted on Feb 28, 1986 with the following clauses:

“WHEREAS, vast resources of the government have been amassed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, and close associates both here and abroad;

“WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to recover all ill-gotten wealth.”

That’s three days after the EDSA revolution. How did the Cory admin determine Marcos “amassed vast resources of government” in just three days?

THE TERM “ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH” WAS QUESTIONED BY RENATO CONSTANTINO

Five months after the creation of PCGG (by Cory’s Executive Order 1, three days after EDSA People Power of 1986), the catchphrase “ill-gotten wealth” remained ill defined. This drew a reaction from the civil libertarian, Renato Constantino.

Constantino said:

“…the scope of what comprises ill-gotten wealth must be clearly delineated.

“Does it cover only Marcos and his cronies? One very valid objection to the Executive Order which created the PCGG is the fact that in so far as sequestration is concerned, the order appears to apply only to ‘Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates, and close associates,’ and may not be applicable to others (including present government officials and their own close associates) who may also have acquired ill-gotten wealth.

“Ill-gotten wealth is simply stealing the people’s money from government coffers. Ill-gotten wealth is money coming out of graft or commissions given to the power holders. How does the PCGG propose to distinguish between what is legitimate acquisition of assets (even if they were concessions by the granting power) from the actual wealth of the possessor?”

The PCGG thought it knew what hidden wealth was, and where it might be found. It jumped into action with relish. It sequestered 218 companies with equities worth Php10.7 billion in the first 100 days, plus Php1.837 billion worth of jewelry, aircraft and motor vehicles.

Then, PCGG started having trouble with the courts (which insisted on due process) and the inquisitive press (which insisted on transparency) as well.

CRITICS: Imelda Marcos has been convicted by Sandiganbayan for 7 counts of grafts 

The ONLY criminal conviction that the government has against the Marcoses is the 2018 Sandiganbayan decision that found Imelda Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft.

But this case, although criminal in nature, is not about stealing but about Imelda’s connectio to the foundations established in Vaduz, Switzerland. These foundations are the ones that own the Swiss bank accounts.

There is no discussion about anything related to the sources of wealth in the Swiss bank accounts, nor does it discuss anything related to nakaw, theft, or plunder, mismanagement of funds, etc.

The decision is also not final and is under appeal as of January 2022. Even if it becomes final and executory, you cannot use this case as proof of that the Marcos wealth was stolen from the nation’s coffers. 

CRITICS: These are so many books, newspaper clips, and stories related to ill-gotten wealth 

You cannot use news articles, banners, receipts, news articles, etc., to determine a person’s innocence or guilt in a criminal act. News articles are not court judgments. If you insist on “Marcos Magnanakaw” based on news articles, that is “trial by publicity”.

For an accusation of stealing from government funds, you need extraordinary evidence to prove it. News articles, receipts, screenshots are not enough to convict a person with a magnitude of accusation like this.

CRITICS: “Marcos is Dead. How Can You Sue a Dead Person?”

This is an excuse for the lack of conviction. There were many instances from 1986 to 1989 to file criminal cases against the late Pres. Marcos but the Aquino government did not do it. Why?

Because they knew that if they did that, FEM would be extradited back to the Philippines, attend court hearings, and defend himself. Intead, only civil cases were filed against the Marcoses.

BUT, on June 11, 1986, when Pres. Marcos was still alive, the Aquino government “authorized” the U.S. government to file criminal charges against the Marcoses in America.

A criminal case was filed in Los Angeles against the Marcoses for violating the U.S. Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.

What happened? The Los Angeles District Court dismissed the case.

The Aquino government filed an appeal on October 3, 1986 with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal on June 4, 1987.

The RICO charges were re-filed on October 21, 1988 in New York City. As we all know, the Marcoses won that case.

The loss of the RICO case against the Marcoses in 1990 was a HUGE BLOW to similar major lawsuits filed in the Philippines, because the prosecution depended basically on the same body of evidence.

So, it is NOT true that no criminal case was filed to try to convict Pres. Marcos and Imelda for corruption-related practices.

PCGG SUED IMELDA MARCOS WHO WAS A CABINET MEMBER

PCGG sued Imelda Marcos, who was a cabinet member during the time of Ferdinand Marcos. There were more than 170 criminal cases filed against Imelda in the last 35 years for the violation of “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” but many of these cases were dismissed for lack of evidence or that she was acquitted. 

The only standing guilty verdict against Imelda is the 2018 Sandiganbayan decision where the court found Imelda guilty of graft, but there is no proof or discussion of “nagnakaw sa kaban ng bayan” exists in that decision. 

CRITICS: “There Was no Plunder Law Then”

This is another excuse for not securing a criminal conviction against the Marcoses. This negates their argument because, according to the book, A Country Imperiled by Cecillo Arillo, the Office of the Solicitor General filed 171 criminal cases against the Marcoses. Many of these cases are of the violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”.

In fact, the 2018 Sandiganbayan decision that found Imelda guilty of graft is in violation of RA 3019, except that the prosecution did not establish the source of wealth, where it came from, or that it came from government funds.

OTHER POINTS

CORY AQUINO’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 286

On July 25, 1987, two days before Congress convened its first session, Pres. Cory Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) No. 286. The “midnight” EO, called “Sequestered Assets Disposition Authority”, empowered President Aquino to dispose of sequestered assets without interference from the PCGG or the judiciary.

In short, she could act as sequestrator, prosecutor, and judge at the same time. The Asset Privatization Trust (APT) subsequently used the controversial EO for disposing the sequestered assets and other non-performing assets turned over to it by the PCGG, the then bankrupt Philippine National Bank (PNB), and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

The non-performing assets turned over by PNB and DBP were actually foreclosed but many were cashable “assets,” including those acquired through behest loans that the two banks had granted during the Marcos years.

U.S. RICO CHARGES IN 1986 – LOS ANGELES

On June 11, 1986, the Aquino government “authorized” the U.S. government to file criminal charges against the Marcoses in America. This was consummated in Manila with the signing of a document, “Agreement on Procedures for Mutual Legal Assistance,” by PCGG Chairman Jovito R. Salonga and Deputy Assistant Attorney-General Victoria Toensing of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Following the signing of this agreement, a criminal case was filed in Los Angeles against the Marcoses for violating the U.S. Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.

The RICO charges filed against the Marcoses failed to prosper. The Los Angeles District Court dismissed the case. The Aquino government filed an appeal on October 3, 1986 with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which dismissed the appeal on June 4, 1987. Another track was tried in 1988.

NEGOTIATION IN EXCHANGE FOR THE MARCOSES TO RETURN HOME

In Cecilio Arillo’s book, “A Country Imperiled”, there is a statement from Imelda Marcos where she said: “Two close relatives of Mrs. Aquino went to Honolulu to meet with us. In essence, they wanted Marcos to reveal to them the location of the so-called Marcos gold, and the process of their availment and, consequently, they shall set up the mechanism for our return to the Philippines. This was in 1988… Although they presented no written authorization for the negotiations, they said that Mrs. Aquino was fully informed of their missions…

“Exchanges of documents and talks continued from February to July of that year. A list of agreement points was given to Ambassador [Emmanuel] Pelaez for confirmation and transmittal, to which he added that ‘Marcos provide $5 billion to the Philippine government.’ On July 11, 1988, Marcos wrote to Mrs. Aquino, stating

Imelda Marcos’ Extrajudicial Confession 

Imelda has extrajudicial admission in two separate instances claiming they have $987 billion at the bank of Brussels (BBC Interview) and $240 billion in one account (Mel Tiangco GMA Interview). She said they have deposits like these in 170+ banks in the world.

In these interviews, she showed a room FULL of documents organized by country and bank. She said that these are the evidence they presented during the trial in New York where she was charged for violating the RICO Act. She won that case.

BBC interview – https://youtu.be/GvYuTpVSI2E

Mel Tiangco interview – https://youtu.be/_uZl4h2fLuk

Gary Spence (Imelda’s defense lawyer) on Larry King LIVE talking about their NY trial victory – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rd_9hSNpI8

And then there is one gold certificate worth $900 billion at HSBC that the anti-Marcos submitted to the challenge as “evidence”.
https://tinyurl.com/mwa3ts8f

Given these extrajudicial admission from Imelda, for you to SHOW that the Marcoses plundered the treasury, you need to PROVE that the Philippines had AT LEAST $2 TRILLION between 1965 to 1986.

Based on the PSA report, Marcos’s budget was only Php400+ billion (PESOS). Based on Rappler, Marcos had a Php600+ billion (PESOS) budget in 21 YEARS.

Using your argument that Marcos’ UNEXPLAINED WEALTH came from “KABAN NG BAYAN”, answer this:

1. Did we have at least $2 Trillion from 1965-1986?

2. About your $10 billion allegation, where did it come from?

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