You are on page 1of 3

Republic v. Marcos-Manotoc 8. Respondents filed their respective demurrers to evidence.

G.R. No. 171701, February 8, 2012, J. Sereno granted all except the one filed by Imelda Marcos. (In sum: Originals
Facts: were not presented nor authenticated thus inadmissible.)
1. This case involves the P200 billion of the Marcoses’ alleged a. Re: Imelda’s Demurrer: she had categorically admitted that
accumulated ill-gotten wealth, the alleged use of media networks she and her husband owned properties enumerated in the
IBC-13, BBC-2 and RPN-9 for the Marcos family’s personal benefit, Complaint while stating that these properties were lawfully
the alleged use of De Soleil Apparel for dollar salting, and the alleged acquired. This was considered prima facie evidence since the
illegal acquisition and operation for the bus company Pantranco value of the properties was disproportionate to their
North Express Inc. income.
2. The PCGG was established by then Pres. Cory Aquino via Executive b. Re: Imee & Bongbong: Documentary evidence did not
Order No. 1. Through this, PCGG was given the mandate to assist the establish their involvement in the alleged illegal activities.
President, among others, to recover all ill-gotten wealth Originals were not presented in court nor were they
accumulated by former Pres. Marcos. authenticated by persons who executed them. Prosecution
3. PCGG, assisted by the OSG, filed a complaint for Reversion, also failed to provide any valid reason as to why it did not
reconveyance, restitution, accounting and damages against present the originals.
Ferdinand Marcos. After his death, he was substituted by his estate, c. Re: Irene Marcos and Gregorio Araneta: no testimonial or
Imelda Marcos, Bongbong Marcos, Imee Marcos-Manotoc, Irene documentary evidence that supported the allegations
Marcos-Araneta, Tomas Manotoc and Gregorio Araneta III. against them. Prosecution failed to present the original
4. Four amended Complaints were thereafter filed impleading the documents as regards such.
following, alleging active participation in the alleged amassing of ill- d. Re: Yeungs: documentary evidence inadmissible for being
gotten wealth: Nemesio G. Co and Yeungs (Kam, Ho and Fan) of mere photocopies and affiants had not been presented as
Glorious Sun Fashion Manufacturing Corporation Phils and Imelda witnesses, the allegations against them baseless. Petitioner
Cojuangco for the estate of Ramon Cojuangco and Prime Holdings, in failed to demonstrate howGlorious Sunwas used as a vehicle
the alleged illegal activities and undertakings of the Marcoses in for dollar salting; or to show that they were dummies of the
relation to the ₱200 Billion Pesos ill-gotten wealth allegation. Marcoses.
5. Pantranco Employees Association-PTGWO (PEA-PTGWO), a union e. Re: PEA-PTGWO: no evidence that Pantranco was illegally
of Pantranco employees, moved to intervene before the acquired.
Sandiganbayan. PEA-PTGWO contested the allegation that the assets In sum: With regard to Imee Marcos-Manotoc and Bongbong
of Pantranco were ill-gotten because, otherwise, the assets would be Marcos, Jr., Irene Marcos and Gregorio Araneta III, the court
returned to the government and not to the employees. noted that their involvement in the alleged illegal activities was
6. The Republic presented and formally offered its evidence against the never established; neither did the documentary evidence
respondents. Respondents objected to the offer primarily because pinpoint their involvement therein. The court held that all
the documents violated the best evidence rule of the ROC, as these presented evidence are hearsay, for being merely photocopies
were unauthenticated. Furthermore, respondents argue that and that the originals were not presented in court, nor were they
petitioner has not given any reason for its failure to present the authenticated by the persons who executed them. Furthermore,
originals. the court pointed out that petitioner failed to provide any valid
7. SB: issued a resolution admitting the pieces of evidence with a reason why it did not present the originals in court.
qualification that their evidentiary value shall be left to the 9. Petitioner filed a partial MR, insisting that there was a
determination of the Court. preponderance of evidence to prove the allegations. It also
questioned the court’s ruling that the evidence previously admitted
was later held to be inadmissible in evidence against respondents, referred to in the quoted rule. Petitioner presented as witness its
depriving the former of due process. records officer, Magno, who testified that these public and private
10. SB: denied MR, pointed out its reservation/qualification in its documents had been gathered by and taken into the custody of the
previous resolution. Also held that even if included, these were not PCGG in the course of the Commissions investigation of the alleged
substantial to hold respondents liable. ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. However, given the purposes for
which these documents were submitted, Magno was not a credible
Issue: WON the SB erred in granting the demurrers to evidence filed by witness who could testify as to their contents. If the writings have
respondents? subscribing witnesses to them, they must be proved by those
witnesses. Witnesses can testify only to those facts which are of
Held: No. Petitioner failed to observe the best evidence rule. their personal knowledge; that is, those derived from their own
1. It is petitioner’s burden to prove the allegations; the operative act on perception. Thus, Magno could only testify as to how she obtained
how and in what manner must be clearly shown through custody of these documents, but not as to the contents of the
preponderance of evidence. documents themselves.
2. The petitioner does not deny that what should be proved are the 7. Neither did petitioner present as witnesses the affiants of these
contents of the documents themselves. As such, it is important to Affidavits or Memoranda submitted to the court. Basic is the rule
submit the original documents that could prove petitioner’s that, while affidavits may be considered as public documents if they
allegations. Photocopied documents are in violation of best evidence are acknowledged before a notary public, these Affidavits are still
rule, which mandates that the evidence must be the original classified as hearsay evidence. The reason for this rule is that they
document itself. are not generally prepared by the affiant, but by another one who
3. Furthermore, petitioner did not even attempt to provide a plausible uses his or her own language in writing the affiant's statements,
reason why the originals were not presented, or any compelling parts of which may thus be either omitted or misunderstood by the
ground why the court such documents as secondary evidence absent one writing them. Moreover, the adverse party is deprived of the
the affiant’s testimony. opportunity to cross-examine the affiants. For this reason, affidavits
4. The presentation of the originals of the aforesaid exhibits is not are generally rejected for being hearsay, unless the affiants
validly excepted under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. Under Section themselves are placed on the witness stand to testify thereon.
3 (d), when ‘the original document is a public record in the custody 8. As to the copy of the TSN of the proceedings before the PCGG, while
of a public officer or is recorded in a public office,’ the original it may be considered as a public document since it was taken in the
thereof need not be presented. course of the PCGGs exercise of its mandate, it was not attested to by
5. However, all, except one of the exhibits, are not necessarily public the legal custodian to be a correct copy of the original.
documents. The transcript of stenographic notes (TSN) of the 9. In order that secondary evidence may be admissible, there must be
proceedings purportedly before the PCGG may be a public document proof by satisfactory evidence of:
but what the plaintiff presented was a mere photocopy of the a. due execution of the original;
purported TSN which was not a certified copy and was not even b. loss, destruction or unavailability of all such originals and
signed by the stenographer who supposedly took down the c. reasonable diligence and good faith in the search for or
proceedings. The Rules provide that when the original document is attempt to produce the original.
in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office; a 10. None of the abovementioned requirements were complied by the
certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof may plaintiff.
prove its contents. a. Exhibits ‘P’, ‘Q’, ‘R’, ‘S’, and ‘T’ were all photocopies.
6. The fact that these documents were collected by the PCGG in the b. ‘P’, ‘R’, and ‘T’ were affidavits of persons who did not testify
course of its investigations does not make them per se public records before the Court.
c. Exhibit ‘S’ is a letter, which is clearly a private document. It the recovery of ill-gotten wealth the present case must be maintained
is emphasized, even if originals of these affidavits were against Imelda Marcos and herein respondent Ferdinand Bongbong R.
presented, they would still be considered hearsay evidence Marcos, Jr., as executors of the Marcos estate pursuant to Sec. 1 of Rule
if the affiants do not testify and identify them. 87 of the Rules of Court. According to this provision, actions may be
11. Petitioner having failed to observe the best evidence rule commenced to recover from the estate, real or personal property, or an
rendered the offered documentary evidence futile and interest therein, or to enforce a lien thereon; and actions to recover
worthless in alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth insofar damages for an injury to person or property, real or personal, may be
as the specific allegations herein were concerned. commenced against the executors.
12. Moreover, the court held that the evidence, in particular, exhibits P,
Q, R, S, and T were considered hearsay, because their originals We also hold that the action must likewise be maintained against Imee
were not presented in court, nor were they authenticated by the Marcos-Manotoc and Irene Marcos-Araneta on the basis of the non-
persons who executed them. Furthermore, the court pointed out exhaustive list attached as Annex A to the Third Amended Complaint,
that petitioner failed to provide any valid reason why it did not which states that the listed properties therein were owned by Ferdinand
present the originals in court. These exhibits were supposed to show and Imelda Marcos and their immediate family. It is only during the trial
the interests of Imee Marcos-Manotok in the media networks IBC- of Civil Case No. 0002 before the Sandiganbayan that there could be a
13, BBC-2 and RPN-9, all three of which she had allegedly acquired determination of whether these properties are indeed ill-gotten or were
illegally. These exhibits also sought to prove her alleged legitimately acquired by respondents and their predecessors. Thus,
participation in dollar salting through De Soleil Apparel. These while it was not proven that respondents conspired in accumulating ill-
private documents were not authenticated, in violation of RULE gotten wealth, they may be in possession, ownership or control of such
132, SECTION 20. Proof of private document. Before any private ill-gotten properties or the proceeds thereof as heirs of the Marcos
document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due couple. Thus, their lack of participation in any illegal act does not remove
execution and authenticity must be proved either: (a) By anyone the character of the property as ill-gotten and, therefore, as rightfully
who saw the document executed or written; or (b) By evidence of belonging to the State.
the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker. Any
other private document need only be identified as that which it is In sum, the Marcos siblings are maintained as respondents, because (1)
claimed to be. the action pending before the Sandiganbayan is one that survives death,
13. Absent any convincing evidence to hold otherwise, it follows that and, therefore, the rights to the estate must be duly protected; (2) they
petitioner failed to prove that the Marcos siblings and Gregorio allegedly control, possess or own ill-gotten wealth, though their direct
Araneta III collaborated with former President Marcos and Imelda involvement in accumulating or acquiring such wealth may not have
R. Marcos and participated in the first couples alleged accumulation been proven.
of ill-gotten wealth insofar as the specific allegations herein were
concerned. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Petition is PARTIALLY
GRANTED. The assailed Sandiganbayan Resolution dated 6 December
SIDE ISSUE: The Marcos siblings are compulsory heirs 2005 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. For the reasons stated herein,
Under the rules of succession, the heirs instantaneously became co- respondents Imelda Marcos-Manotoc, Irene Marcos-Araneta, and
owners of the Marcos properties upon the death of the President. The Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. shall be maintained as defendants in Civil Case
property rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the No. 0002 pending before the Sandiganbayan.
inheritance of a person are transmitted to another through the
decedents death. In order to reach a final determination of the matters
concerning the estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos that is, the accounting and