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Sandiganbayan affirms dropping Enrile in behest loans case

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 4/21/2017 Jimenez, Raffy
Saying that “old politicians never die, they will just fade away,” Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile thanks his colleagues during his valedictory speech on Monday, June 6, 2016. Enrile is retiring from government after having served the country’s executive department for 20 years where he served as justice and defense secretary, and 27 years in the legislative department with four terms in the Senate and three years in the House of Representatives. Joe Arazas © Joe Arazas Saying that “old politicians never die, they will just fade away,” Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile thanks his colleagues during his valedictory speech on Monday, June 6, 2016. Enrile is retiring from government after having served the country’s executive department for 20 years where he served as justice and defense secretary, and 27 years in the legislative department with four terms in the Senate and three years in the House of Representatives. Joe Arazas

Twelve years after it was contested, the Sandiganbayan has affirmed the dropping of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile's name in a 1987 civil case related to the behest loans and contracts allegedly entered into during the Marcos regime.

In a five-page resolution promulgated on April 17, the anti-graft court's Second Division denied the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration to the court's resolution on Dec. 20, 2004 dropping Enrile as a defendant in the case.

The plaintiff, "Republic of the Philippines" in this case, was presented by the Presidential Commission on Good Government through the Solicitor General.

In its January 2005 motion for reconsideration, the plaintiff insisted that Enrile was part of the alleged conspiracy in the behest loans and contracts, so the "special averments" in relation to the other defendants should also be applied to him.

The plaintiff also urged the court to "take judicial notice of the defendant Enrile's complicity in the Marcos dictatorship because the same is well-known and part of recent history."

But the court, in its resolution, said there was no statement of the acts or omissions committed by Enrile in the behest loans and contracts found in the complaint against him.

Instead, the court said the complaint only stated a "broad allegation" that Enrile and his co-defendants conspired with one another in committing "misappropriation and theft of public funds, plunder of the nation's wealth, extortion, blackmail, bribery, embezzlement and other acts of corruption, betrayal of public trust and brazen abuse of power..."

The court restated its findings in its earlier resolution, saying the complaint only "contains mere inferences and conclusion of law, which are not statements of fact sufficient to implicate defendant Enrile."

The civil case stemmed from the following transactions allegedly made by Enrile along with former President Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., a crony of the Marcoses:

  • Loans and credit privileges granted by the Development Bank of the Philippines worth P603 million in favor of Northern Cement Corporation,
  • Acquisition of the plant, machineries and facilities of Alpha Integrated Textile Mills Inc. in favor of Southern Textile Mills Inc., and
  • Loans and payment from the Philippine Tourism Authority in favor of Holiday Villages, Philippines, Inc. and Coral Island Resort and Development Corporation worth P70 million to finance a ghost village resort complex project

In 2012, the Supreme Court also cleared Enrile and Cojuangco of graft charges stemming from their alleged behest loans as board of directors of United Coconut Planters Bank during the Marcos regime. — RSJ, GMA News

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