By Benjamin Pulta
MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the Sandiganbayan decision lifting the sequestration of a prime real estate in Baguio City belonging to the late businessman Ramon Cojuangco, founder of telecommunications company PLDT, and his wife, Imelda.
The SC Third Division turned down the petition filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) seeking the reversal of the March 13, 2020 decision of the Sandiganbayan.
“As correctly held by the Sandiganbayan, the subject property could not have been acquired by the Spouses Cojuangco through any illegal or improper use of funds belonging to the government, and thus is not a proper object of sequestration,” the SC stated in a 10-page decision promulgated August but published online just recently.
The anti-graft court granted the petition filed by C&O Investment and Realty Corp and its chair and president Miguel Cojuangco, one of the heirs.
The court said the “property was not validly placed under sequestration” and cannot be considered as ill-gotten wealth because it was acquired by the spouses Cojuangcos on Dec. 12, 1955.
Further, the anti-graft court said the respondents presented a deed of absolute sale dated Dec. 23, 1976 between spouses Cojuangco and C&O showing that even before the sequestration letter was issued, the property has long been sold by the Cojuangcos and should not have been considered part of their assets. (PNA)