[News Report} State lawyers want to know where Marcos funds went
by: Cynthia D. Balana 08/29/12 Philippine Daily Inquirer
State lawyers have asked the Sandiganbayan to order the Philippine Veterans Bank to produce records of Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos’ deposits that it earlier garnished after the amount dwindled from P36.55 million to a little over P1 million in just two months.
In a 12-page comment filed with the special court’s Fifth Division, the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Solicitor General reminded PVB of its assurance that the account had enough funds to satisfy the judgment cost against the former first lady.
On July 25, 2012, the court’s sheriff requested the PVB through Rydely Valmores of the bank’s legal and documentation division, to deliver to the Sandiganbayan within four days a check amounting to P36.55 million in the name of the PCGG but to no avail,
Despite the garnishment, the PVB allowed the reduction of the amount deposited in the Marcos account from P36.55 million as of June 21, 2012, to only over P1 million as of Aug. 13, 2012, the state lawyers said.
The garnishment order was based on the Sept. 9, 2010 decision of the Fifth Division holding former President Ferdinand Marcos liable for siphoning off P10 million from the National Food Authority (NFA) in 1983.
The judgment cost swelled to P36.55 million after the court also included interests and penalties over 28 years from the time the NFA funds were taken.
It then ordered Imelda to pay up as her husband’s legal heir and substitute.
Valmores and PVB Chief Legal Counsel Roel Costuna, earlier invoked Rule 39 Section 13 (l) of the Revised Rules of Court stating that the said account was the veterans pension of Marcos and was thus exempt from garnishment, execution, forfeiture or retention under any legal proceedings.
Under the said rule, any pension or gratuity from the government is exempt from execution, it said.
The account was in the name of Imelda as the surviving spouse of her husband who was a World War II veteran.
But government lawyers objected to the exemption on the ground that funds in the PVB account could not have gone up to more than P36.55 million if there were no deposits from other sources.
“The exemption is not sweeping and absolute as to encompass and include funds from sources other than the pension. Obviously, not all money in her (Representative Marcos’) account can be said to have come from pension alone,” the government lawyers said.
To trace the whereabouts of the money, they asked the Sandiganbayan to issue an order directing PVB to produce records of transactions undertaken on the Marcos account for 2012.
Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer