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Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

vs Republic of the Philippines, GR 189434


Imelda Romualdez-Marcos vs Republic of the Philippines, GR 189505

April 25, 2012

Facts:
On December 17, 1991, the Republic, through the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), filed a Petition
for Forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan which sought the declaration of the Swiss bank accounts owned by petitioners
totaling USD 356 million (now USD 658 million), and two treasury notes worth USD 25 million and USD 5 million, as illgotten wealth and the forfeiture of the assets of dummy corporations and entities established by nominees of Marcos and
his wife, Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, as well as real and personal properties manifestly out of proportion to the
spouses lawful income.
On October 18, 1996, respondent Republic filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and/or judgment on the pleadings
pertaining to the forfeiture of the USD 356 million. The Motion was granted and was decided in favor of the Republic. On
July 16, 2004, in the same petition, the Republic filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment to declare the funds,
properties, shares in and interests of ARELMA (dummy corporation owned by Marcos), wherever they may be located, as illgotten assets and forfeited in favor of the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to R.A. 1379. The same was also granted
and was decided in favor of the Republic. Petitioners now question the validity of the grant of the Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment on the ARELMA assets contending that the judgment rendered pertaining to the USD 356 million
became final and executory and therefore, the judgment over the ARELMA assets is already barred since the two Motions
pertain to one and the same petition. Petitioners also assert that they ought to be given all the constitutional right due to an
accused since the proceeding is a criminal action and thus the petitioners should have been given the opportunity to be
heard in a full-blown trial.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the Forfeiture proceeding is criminal in nature so as to entitle petitioner an opportunity to be heard in
a full-blown trial
2. Whether or not the judgment of forfeiture of the USD 356 million barred the claim of forfeiture over the ARELMA
assets
Ruling:
1. No, forfeiture proceedings partake of a quasi-criminal nature, not criminal. It is quasi-criminal only for the reason
that, in a sense, the right against self-incrimination is applicable to the proceedings, i.e., in which the owner of the
property to be forfeited is relieved from the compulsory production of his books and papers. Proceedings for
forfeitures are generally considered to be civil and in the nature of proceedings in rem. The statute providing that no
judgment or other proceedings in civil cases shall be arrested or reversed for any defect or want of form is
applicable to them. In some aspects, however, suits for penalties and forfeitures are of quasi-criminal nature and
within the reason of criminal proceedings for all the purposes * * * that no person shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself.
Forfeiture cases impose neither a personal criminal liability, nor the civil liability that arises from the commission of a
crime (ex delicto). The liability is based solely on a statute that safeguards the right of the State to recover
unlawfully acquired properties. Executive Order No. 14 (E.O. No. 14), Defining the Jurisdiction Over Cases
Involving the Ill-gotten Wealth of Former President Ferdinand Marcos, authorizes the filing of forfeiture suits that will
proceed independently of any criminal proceedings. Section 3 of E.O. 14 empowered the PCGG to file independent
civil actions separate from the criminal actions.
2. No, Civil Case No. 0141 has not yet terminated. Petitioners are under the mistaken impression that the Swiss
Deposits Decision serves as the entire judgment in Civil Case No. 0141. Just because respondent Republic
succeeded in obtaining summary judgment over the Swiss accounts does not mean it is precluded from seeking
partial summary judgment over a different subject matter covered by the same petition for forfeiture. In fact, Civil
Case No. 0141 pertains to the recovery of all the assets enumerated therein, such as (1) holding companies, agroindustrial ventures and other investments; (2) landholdings, buildings, condominium units, mansions; (3) New York
properties; (4) bills amounting to Php 27,744,535, time deposits worth Php 46.4 million, foreign currencies and
jewelry seized by the United States customs authorities in Honolulu, Hawaii; (5) USD 30 million in the custody of the
Central Bank in dollar-denominated Treasury Bills; shares of stock, private vehicles, and real estate in the United
States, among others.
In any case, the Sandiganbayan rightly characterized their ruling on the Motion for the USD 356 million as a
separate judgment, which is allowed by the Rules of Court under Section 5 of Rule 36. Section 4 of Rule 35
pertains to a situation in which separate judgments were necessary because some facts existed without
controversy, while others were controverted. However, there is nothing in this provision or in the Rules that prohibits
a subsequent separate judgment after a partial summary judgment on an entirely different subject matter had earlier
been rendered. There is no legal basis for petitioners contention that a judgment over the Swiss accounts bars a
motion for summary judgment over the ARELMA account.

Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. vs Republic of the Philippines, GR 189434


Imelda Romualdez-Marcos vs Republic of the Philippines, GR 189505

March 14, 2014

Facts:
On April 25, 2012, this Court rendered a Decision affirming the Decision of the Sandiganbayan and declaring all the assets
of ARELMA, S.A., an entity created by the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, forfeited in favor of the Republic of the Philippines. The
anti-graft court found that the totality of assets and properties acquired by the Marcos spouses was manifestly and grossly
disproportionate to their aggregate salaries as public officials, and that petitioners were unable to overturn the prima facie
presumption of ill-gotten wealth, pursuant to Section 2 of Republic Act No. (RA) 1379.
Petitioners seek reconsideration of the denial of their petition, reiterating the following arguments:
1. That the Sandiganbayan erred in granting the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment because a) the Republic had
earlier stated that it will file a separate forfeiture action regarding the assets of ARELMA and b) Civil Case No. 0141
had already terminated; and
2. That the Sandiganbayan does not possess territorial jurisdiction over the res or the ARELMA proceeds, which are
held by Merrill Lynch in the United States.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the judgment of forfeiture of the Swiss accounts already terminated Civil Case No. 0141
2. Whether or not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the res which is the ALERMA proceeds and which are
located abroad
Ruling:
1. No, It is clear from our 25 April 2012 Decision that this is a distorted reading of the facts. The said Petition for
Forfeiture described among others, a corporate entity by the name "Arelma, Inc.," which maintained an account and
portfolio in Merrill Lynch, New York, and which was purportedly organized for the purpose of hiding ill-gotten wealth.
The Decision of this Court in G.R. No. 152154 affirmed the partial summary judgment only over the Swiss deposits
which the Sandiganbayan declared as forfeited in favor of the State.
This cannot be construed as a bar to a subsequent judgment over numerous other assets and properties expressly
sought to be forfeited in Civil Case No. 0141. Respondent Republics success in obtaining summary judgment over
the Swiss accounts does not mean its preclusion from seeking partial summary judgment over a different subject
matter covered by the same petition for forfeiture. In fact, Civil Case No. 0141 pertains to the recovery of all the
assets enumerated therein, such as (1) holding companies, agro-industrial ventures and other investments; (2)
landholdings, buildings, condominium units, mansions; (3) New York properties; (4) bills amounting to Php
27,744,535, time deposits worth Php 46.4 million, foreign currencies and jewelry seized by the United States
customs authorities in Honolulu, Hawaii; (5) USD 30 million in the custody of the Central Bank in dollardenominated Treasury Bills; shares of stock, private vehicles, and real estate in the United States, among others.
The Swiss Deposits Decision, G.R. No. 152154, dealt only with the summary judgment as to the five Swiss
accounts, because the 2000 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment dated 7 March 2000 specifically identified the
five Swiss accounts. It did not include the Arelma account. To subscribe to the view of petitioners is to forever bar
the State from recovering the assets listed above, including the properties it had specifically identified in its petition
for forfeiture. As we have discussed in our Decision, the ruling of the Sandiganbayan is rightly characterized as a
separate judgment, and allowed by the Rules of Court under Section 5 of Rule 36.
2. Yes, in any case, we find that the Sandiganbayan did not err in granting the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment,
despite the fact that the Arelma account and proceeds are held abroad. To rule otherwise contravenes the intent of
the forfeiture law, and indirectly privileges violators who are able to hide public assets abroad: beyond the reach of
the courts and their recovery by the State. Forfeiture proceedings, as we have already discussed exhaustively in
our Decision, are actions considered to be in the nature of proceedings in rem or quasi in rem, such that:
Jurisdiction over the res is acquired either (a) by the seizure of the property under legal process, whereby it is
brought into actual custody of the law; or (b) as a result of the institution of legal proceedings, in which the power of
the court is recognized and made effective. In the latter condition, the property, though at all times within the
potential power of the court, may not be in the actual custody of said court.
The concept of potential jurisdiction over the res, advanced by respondent, is not at all new. As early as Perkins v.
Dizon, deciding a suit against a non-resident, the Court held: "In order that the court may exercise power over the
res, it is not necessary that the court should take actual custody of the property, potential custody thereof being
sufficient. There is potential custody when, from the nature of the action brought, the power of the court over the
property is impliedly recognized by law."