Sandiganbayan orders Marcos crony to return ill-gotten wealth

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Alfonso Lim Sr. is accused of conniving with the late dictator and his wife, then first lady Imelda Marcos to obtain timber concessions beyond the 100,000 hectares of land allowed under the 1973 Constitution.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – A division of the Sandiganbayan ordered a crony of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to return to the government properties he illegally acquired.

In a ruling promulgated on December 14, the Sandiganbayan Special Second Division ordered Alfonso Lim Sr., owner of Taggat Industries, to return to the state several tracts of land in Manila, Cagayan, Batangas, Tagaytay, and Rizal.

The lands, which had a total appraised value of about P511 million in 2006, were said to have been sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

Also awarded to the state were two Cessna planes that had been grounded since 1994 and a sea vessel owned by Sierra Madre Wood Industries Incorporated.

The Sandiganbayan, however, denied the government's claim to damages.

The ruling also did not mention the liability of Marcos' heirs.

Lim is accused of conniving with the late dictator and his wife, then first lady Imelda Marcos to obtain timber concessions beyond the 100,000 hectares of land allowed under the 1973 Constitution.

The PCGG filed the case before the anti-graft court in 1987.

Malacañang: Sandiganbayan ruling a ‘significant win’ for Filipinos

Malacañang hailed the Sandiganbayan ruling on Tuesday (January 5).

"The judgment rendered by the Sandiganbayan is a significant win for the Filipino people in the long-term effort to recover assets that had been illegally acquired during the dictatorship by known cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message.

Coloma added the PCGG will implement the decision once it attains finality.

CNN Philippines’ AC Nicholls contributed to this report.