HomeCommentaryChatGPT’s triumphant ‘report’ on Marcoses’ court victories

ChatGPT’s triumphant ‘report’ on Marcoses’ court victories

The million Filipinos who thronged to EDSA ’86 must have been disheartened weeks ago. Same with millions more elsewhere who cheered them on. On June 23 and 27 the Marcos-Romualdez clan that they ousted by People Power scored two court victories.

The Sandiganbayan dismissed the forfeiture case against the late Alfredo Romualdez, brother of ex-first lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos. Reason: slow justice. Alfredo’s heirs are to keep 42 parcels of land that government previously sequestered.

Also trashed was the forfeiture of P581.3 million from Imelda and children Imee, Bongbong, Irene. Reason: weak evidence and testimony from the Office of the Solicitor General and Presidential Commission on Good Government. The Marcoses can keep the alleged ill-gotten wealth.

That the cases took this long to resolve blares loud against Philippine justice. “Justice delayed, justice denied, cuts both ways.” It can afflict the accused or the accuser. Thirty-six years since their fall the Marcoses-Romualdezes have regained power. Bongbong as President got to name the new OSG and PCGG chiefs.

I asked ChatGPT to report triumphantly on the Marcos win. Here it goes, with apologies to The STAR reporters and editors who prepared the original balanced, impartial report:

“Another Major Victory as Sandiganbayan Dismisses I’ll-Gotten Wealth Case Against Marcos Family

“In a stunning triumph for the Marcos family, the Sandiganbayan has once again dismissed a forfeiture case seeking the recovery of P581.3 million worth of alleged ill-gotten properties and assets acquired during the martial law regime of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

- Newsletter -

“In a decisive 45-page decision, the anti-graft court’s Second Division declared that the Presidential Commission on Good Government, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, failed to present substantial evidence of ill-gotten wealth. The court emphatically stated that without sufficient evidence to prove the nature of the properties, it could not order their return to the national treasury.

“Associate Justice Arthur Malabaguio authored the decision, concurred by Associate Justices Oscar Herrera Jr. and Edgardo Caldona.

“The civil suit, filed by the PCGG in 1987 and docketed as Civil Case 0014, aimed to forfeit P581.304 million worth of properties and shares of stocks allegedly acquired through unlawful means by Marcos Sr., his wife Imelda Marcos, and their supposed associates and dummies.

“President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., with sisters, Sen. Imee Marcos and Irene Marcos-Araneta, were included as defendants in their capacity as heirs of Marcos Sr., while Imelda was among original defendants.

“The case centered around the alleged acquisition of corporations and properties by the Marcoses through their associates. The PCGG claimed that the Panlilio and Enriquez couples acted as dummies for the Marcoses in acquiring ownership or control of 11 corporations, including Ternate Development Corp., Monte Sol Development Corp., Olas del Mar Development Corp., Philroad Construction Corp., Ocean Villas Condominium Corp., Fantasia Filipina Resort Inc., Sulo Dobbs Food Services Inc., Philippine Village Hotel Inc., Puerto Azul Beach and Country Club Inc., Silahis International Hotel Inc., Hotel Properties Inc.

“The PCGG further alleged that unreasonable loans and financial assistance were extended to the Panlilio and Enriquez couples, with terms disadvantageous to the government.

“However, the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division found the sole witness presented by the PCGG, Maria Lourdes Magno, the records custodian, lacking personal knowledge regarding the authenticity and veracity of the documentary evidence. The court deemed her testimony and the PCGG’s documentary exhibits as hearsay evidence.

“The court noted that majority of the documents presented by the PCGG were mere photocopies, many barely legible. The PCGG failed to prove the existence or execution of the original documents.

“The court emphasized that none of the documents presented showed any interest or control of the subject corporations by the Marcos spouses. There was no evidence to support claim that the corporations or the funds used to acquire their stocks came from the government or were acquired illegally through their relationship with the Marcoses.

“This victory adds to the series of dismissals of wealth forfeiture cases against the Marcos family and their associates due to insufficient evidence and lack of credible witnesses. The Sandiganbayan has already dismissed several cases seeking to recover ill-gotten wealth amounting to billions of pesos.

“Since 1987, the PCGG filed a total of 43 civil forfeiture cases against the Marcos family and their cronies, with over 20 cases already dismissed. Although some cases remain pending, the government has secured victories in three cases, including those involving coco levy assets, jewelry collections, artworks, and shares of stocks.

“The latest dismissal reinforces the Marcos family’s steadfast position that they have been unjustly accused and targeted for their alleged ill-gotten wealth. With each case’s dismissal, their vindication grows stronger, further solidifying their reputation and legacy.”

Jarius Bondoc is an award-winning Filipino journalist and author based in Manila. He writes opinion pieces for The Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon and hosts a radio program on DWIZ 882 every Saturday. Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8 to 10 a.m., DWIZ (882-AM).

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