Can the Marcoses be charged in court using their dad’s “Anti-Fencing” decree?
By Raïssa Robles
That’s the spin the first family of crime wants the public to believe. That Baby Marcos is not running for the presidency, but the spare tire position underneath.
Ho hum. Nothing to worry about. Let Baby Marcos be.
The Marcoses are clever at running national campaigns and they don’t do things halfway.
If Marcos junior DOES win the vice-presidency he will be in a very powerful position. To start off, he would be able to take advantage of political developments no matter who becomes president. If Binay runs and wins the presidency and gets impeached or overthrown, guess who’d replace him? If Poe wins and gets overwhelmed by citizenship considerations, guess who’s waiting in the wings.
Binay, Joseph Estrada Noli de Castro have shown the tremendous propaganda potential of the vice-president’s office. Just by occupying the post and doing feel-good things, a vice-president can outshine the sitting president in popularity polls.
Which is why the office is considered a launching pad for the presidency.
To win the vice-presidency, Marcos Jr can easily do what Binay did in 2010. Bongbong Marcos can graft himself to two of the leading presidential contenders – Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. Both Poe and Binay are on very friendly terms with Marcos Jr.
And even to a third – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte – if the latter again changes his mind and runs for president. Even if Duterte doesn’t run, the mayor has already dropped the word that BBM is welcome to campaign in his city. Which should make people wonder at Duterte’s set of values – for instance, he said he would also go after “corrupt” officials but here he is happily backing the son of the most corrupt leader this country has ever had.
It is no sweat for Bongbong Marcos to print sample ballots and plaster the nation with stickers and campaign posters saying – “Poe-Marcos” and “Binay-Marcos”. There is no election law against it.
It’s probably cynical and unethical, but it isn’t illegal. And the Marcoses have the money to do this nationwide. After all, everybody knows they stole at least US$10 billion when they were in power. Who knows what that plunder is worth after interest?
Of course, at the last moment if Bongbong Marcos’ numbers do not improve, he might opt to just run again for the Senate and ask supporters to back one of the presidential candidates. That is what Imelda Marcos did in 1998. She started by running for the presidency, then backed out and supported Estrada. When Estrada won, Ate Imee gushed that they were “over the moon” with Erap’s victory.
The nation soon found out why, when Estrada tried to bury daddy big bucks Marcos’ corpse in Libingan ng mga Bayani. Failing that, Estrada still tried to forge a compromise deal with the Marcos family but was stopped cold by his ouster from office.
Senator Bongbong has to make up his mind about running for which post by December – the deadline the Comelec gave to candidates to ensure their names will be printed on the ballots.
Pro-Marcos loyalists have slammed me for heaping the sins of the father on the son, which they said Senator Bongbong Marcos should not be blamed for.
Ganito yon. (It’s like this.)
Bongbong Marcos’ dictator-father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., signed Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the “Anti-Fencing Law of 1979.” I have printed out the entire decree at the end of this piece.
PD 1612 defines fencing as “the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.”
Notice in particular the words “possess”, “keep”, “acquire” and “conceal” as the elements of the crime of fencing.
Isn’t what the Marcoses doing fencing when they insist on continuing to keep “the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft” – but in this case, grand theft?
Please recall that in the year 2012, I asked Senator Marcos during a foreign correspondents forum (Focap) whether he still intended to pursue a compromise settlement on the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth cases and the wealth still out there hidden in various bank vaults from the government.
Senator Bongbong Marcos replied to me: “We’ve been pursuing a compromise settlement since 1986. We will continue to do so.”
His mother Imelda herself has publicly claimed on various TV interviews that so much Marcos “gold” and other assets are still out there, hidden. She has shown gold certificates as proof to the BBC and other media outlets.
These pronouncements suggest that the Marcoses themselves are acknowledging they have assets out there, assets concealed from the Filipino people. There is already a final and definitive ruling by the Supreme Court on the Marcos loot – that any earnings beyond what the conjugal dictatorship did not pay taxes on are considered stolen.
A forensic analysis of the various Statements of Assets and Liabilities (SALNs) filed by Imelda, Imee and Bongbong as public officials through the years could help establish what the children earned legitimately.
If you read the Anti-Fencing Marcos decree, the Marcoses could each be looking at up to 20 years in jail, if they are found guilty of fencing goods stolen from the Filipino people.
This is in Section 3 (a) of PD 1612 which states that “if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum (of P22,000) the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years.”
Please also recall that a year ago, some paintings were seized from Congresswoman Imelda Marcos. Can’t she be charged with fencing on this matter? You can read about the seizure here.
Interestingly, the Marcos decree expanded the definition of fencing. Instead of punishing only those who buy stolen goods the mere act of receiving, possessing, concealing and/or acquiring stolen goods now constitute fencing.
Will anyone dare to file a lawsuit against the entire Marcos family using the Anti-Fencing Law?
Here below is the Anti-Fencing Law:
Presidential Decree No. 1612
ANTI-FENCING LAW OF 1979
WHEREAS, reports from law enforcement agencies reveal that there is rampant robbery and thievery of government and private properties;
WHEREAS, such robbery and thievery have become profitable on the part of the lawless elements because of the existence of ready buyers, commonly known as fence, of stolen properties;
WHEREAS, under existing law, a fence can be prosecuted only as an accessory after the fact and punished lightly;
WHEREAS, is imperative to impose heavy penalties on persons who profit by the effects of the crimes of robbery and theft.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree as part of the law of the land the following:
SECTION 1. Title. — This decree shall be known as the Anti-Fencing Law.
SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. — The following terms shall mean as follows:
a. “Fencing” is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.
b. “Fence” includes any person, firm, association corporation or partnership or other organization who/which commits the act of fencing.
SECTION 3. Penalties. — Any person guilty of fencing shall be punished as hereunder indicated:
a) The penalty of prision mayor, if the value of the property involved is more than 12,000 pesos but not exceeding 22,000 pesos; if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, the penalty shall be termed reclusion temporal and the accessory penalty pertaining thereto provided in the Revised Penal Code shall also be imposed.
b) The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the property robbed or stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but not exceeding 12,000 pesos.
c) The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property involved is more than 200 pesos but not exceeding 6,000 pesos.
d) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the property involved is over 50 pesos but not exceeding 200 pesos.
e) The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period if such value is over five (5) pesos but not exceeding 50 pesos.
f) The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period if such value does not exceed 5 pesos.
SECTION 4. Liability of Officials of Juridical Persons. — If the fence is a partnership, firm, corporation or association, the president or the manager or any officer thereof who knows or should have known the commission of the offense shall be liable.
SECTION 5. Presumption of Fencing. — Mere possession of any good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.
SECTION 6. Clearance/Permit to Sell/Used Second Hand Articles.
For purposes of this Act, all stores, establishments or entities dealing in the buy and sell of any good, article, item, object of anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier thereof, shall before offering the same for sale to the public, secure the necessary clearance or permit from the station commander of the Integrated National Police in the town or city where such store, establishment or entity is located. The Chief of Constabulary/Director General, Integrated National Police shall promulgate such rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section. Any person who fails to secure the clearance or permit required by this section or who violates any of the provisions of the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall upon conviction be punished as a fence.
SECTION 7. Repealing Clause. — All laws or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Decree are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SECTION 8. Effectivity. — This Decree shall take effect upon
Done in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of March, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.