The Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of the Sandiganbayan in Civil Case Nos. 0096-0099 which had declared null and void and of no legal effect the writs of sequestration issued by the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) over the shares of stock of Lucio C. Tan, et al. in Allied Banking Corporation, Foremost Farms, Inc., Fortune Tobacco Corporation, and Shareholdings, Inc.
In a 19-page decision penned by Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, the High Court’s First Division found no prima facie evidence sufficient to warrant the sequestration of the shares of stock of Tan, et al. for allegedly being ill-gotten wealth. It noted that under sec. 26, Art. XVIII of the Constitution, an order of sequestration may only issue upon a showing “of a prima facie case” that the properties are ill-gotten wealth under EO Nos. 1 and 2. The Court found no proof that Tan, et al. took undue advantage of their relationship or connection with former President Ferdinand Marcos or his family and associates. Finding no factual basis for the sequestration of the stocks, the Supreme Court denied the PCGG’s petition assailing the Sandiganbayan’s decision.
From June 1986 to January 1987, or prior to the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, the PCGG issued orders sequestering the said shares of stock of Tan, et al. in the corporations. Tan, et al. then filed petitions for certiorari, prohibition, and injunction in the Supreme Court to nullify the PCGG’s orders of sequestration, which the Court in turn referred to the Sandiganbayan. In its “Joint Decision,” dated February 14, 2006, the Sandiganbayan declared the assailed writs null and void for lack of the prima facie factual foundation that the properties covered are ill-gotten. The Sandiganbayan, among others, invoked EO Nos 2 and 14 issued by then President Corazon Aquino, which state that former President Marcos and his family and associates should be afforded fair opportunity to contest before the appropriate authorities allegations of corruption against them and that there be due regard to the requirements of fairness and due process. (GR Nos. 17353-56, PCGG v. Tan, December 7, 2007)