By Jillian Marielle Tiraña

PHOTO: Philippine Presidential Museum and Library/ABS-CBN News

The Sandiganbayan Second Division has granted permission for the descendants of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to present defense against an ongoing ill-gotten wealth case.

In a resolution for Civil Case No. 0014 written by Associate Justice Arthur O. Malabaguio, the motion to waive the family of defendant Marcos Sr.'s right to present evidence has been denied, while the defendant’s motion for reconsideration is partially granted.

Earlier this year, President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the namesake of the late dictator and one of the heirs, contended that the pending motion for reconsideration they filed back in 1996 has prevented them from participating in the trial.

The prosecution has previously reasoned that the defendants have lost their legal standing due to a resolution issued on September 30, 1996. The same resolution has now been reversed and set aside according to Civil Case No. 0014.

Furthermore, Malabaguio also mentioned in the court ruling that under Section 3, Rule 18 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the defendant may file a motion to set aside the order of default should his failure to answer be due to “fraud, accident, mistake or excusable neglect, and that he has meritorious defenses.” 

The defendants reasoned that their failure to answer can be classified the same as they were in forced exile in Hawaii when they were called upon.

It can be remembered that the Marcoses left the country following the 1986 People Power Revolution, which ended the more than 20-year regime of Marcos Sr. 

Meanwhile, the initial presentation of the defendants’ evidence is scheduled on July 7.

Edited by Audrei Jeremy A. Mendador