THE Sandiganbayan Special Division on Thursday, December 19, ordered the Marcos family to return more than 160 paintings and artworks that were unlawfully acquired, saying that they should be surrendered to the Philippine government.
Valued at millions of dollars, paintings by Matisse, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh — which were all listed by the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) as missing — were among the artworks in question.
Other artworks ruled unlawfully amassed by the family during former President Ferdinand Marcos’ two-decade reign, are included in “A Report on the Metropolitan Museum of Manila’s Art Collection” and additional valuable artworks.
In the anti-graft court’s 42-page decision, it ordered the Marcoses to “cease and desist from disposing, transferring and/or selling any of the above-mentioned paintings and artworks; render an accounting of the paintings and artworks that are still under their control and possession; render an accounting of paintings and artworks already sold and surrender the proceeds thereof to petitioner Republic; and surrender the paintings and/or divulge their current location.”
This decision stemmed from the civil case filed by Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) last December 1991.
“Petitioner (the government through the PCGG) contends that respondents former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Marcos spent over US$24 Million dollars in paintings and various artworks. Petitioner seeks the forfeiture of these properties as their costs are grossly and astronomically disproportionate to respondent spouses’ legitimate incomes,” the partial summary judgment said.
The Sandiganbayan’s recent judgment came after the PCGG lost another Marcos forfeiture civil case involving around P200 billion worth of alleged ill-gotten wealth. This specific case was the fourth victory of the Marcoses out five cases that the anti-graft court decided just in 2019.