Bank told to pay gov’t P96 M, $5.4M in Marcos ill-gotten wealth

QUEZON CITY – The ill-gotten wealth issue continues to hound the Marcoses.
This as the Sandiganbayan ordered a bank  that was initially suspected to be owned by the Marcoses, to pay the government around P96 million and $5.4 million in ill-gotten wealth.

In a decision promulgated Sept. 24, the Sandiganbayan Second Division required Traders Royal Bank (TRB, now Royal Traders Holding Co., Inc.) to pay the face value of peso-denominated bank certificates amounting to P30 million and P65.98 million issued in 1974, and 1975 to 1978, respectively.

The bank is also ordered to pay another set of bank certificates, this time amounting to $5.435 million, issued from 1975 to 1979.

The bank certificates were recovered from the Marcoses when they landed in Hawaii in 1986, following dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ ouster through the People Power revolution. They were held by the US government and became the subject of an interpleader case to determine who were their rightful owners.

When Marcos died in 1989, his wife Imelda entered into an agreement with the Philippine government that she would assign to it the Marcoses’ interest over the merchandise seized by US authorities, in exchange for dropping of legal actions against them.

A Hawaii District court, in December 1992, honored the settlement and awarded the merchandise seized from the Marcoses to the Philippine government.

But when the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) tried to encash the bank certificates from TRB in 1993, the bank refused.

The PCGG filed a case against TRB in 1997.

In ordering TRB to pay the Philippine government the face value of the bank certificates with a 12% yearly interest from February 1993 until fully paid, the Sandiganbayan relied on a procedural rule recognizing the validity of foreign judgments in the Philippines.
Section 48 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court allows the enforcement of judgments rendered by foreign courts in the Philippines subject to certain exceptions.