Sandiganbayan orders Marcoses to surrender ill-gotten $24M art collection to gov’t

The Sandiganbayan has forfeited in favor of the government the $24.33-million art collection of the family of late dictator and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos, declaring it to be unlawfully acquired and disproportionate to his and his wife’s total salaries of $304,372.43.

In a recent 42-page partial summary judgment on Civil Case No. 0141, the court’s 1st Division ordered the Marcos family to “surrender the paintings and/or divulge their current location.”

The court directed the family and their representatives 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.”

The court said the Marcoses failed to explain how they could have had the means to acquire the paintings and if they had legitimate sources of income other than their government salaries.

“Petitioner Republic was able to establish the prima facie presumption that the paintings and artworks valued at US$24,325,500 acquired by the respondent spouses were significantly out of proportion to their aggregate salaries of $304,372.43 as public officials,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Efren de la Cruz.

“Respondents failed to present evidence to overturn the presumption that the paintings and artworks were unlawfully acquired. Hence, the forfeiture of said properties in favor of petitioner Republic is warranted,” it added.

The artworks were acquired through the associates of First Lady Imelda Marcos, as well as her personal secretary Fe Roa Gimenez.

The collection of over 800 artworks included Van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, Goya, Manet, Gobillard, Cezanne, and Grandma Moses paintings.

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