SC clears fake papers rap vs Marcos wealth accuser

Posted at 07/17/12 6:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court has dismissed the falsification raps the government filed against Australian investigator Reiner Jacobi, who had alleged that the Marcoses stashed billions of dollars in Switzerland.

In a 46-page decision penned by Associate Justice Arturo Brion, the second division of the appellate court saw nothing amiss in the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to clear Jacobi and his Filipino lawyer Crispin Reyes in the falsification and use of falsified document filed against them by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and its then chief, Magdangal Elma.

The high court noted that in preliminary investigations, the Executive department - or the DOJ - has the right to determine probable cause.

It said courts could not just interfere in such circumstances, unless the complainant has clearly shown that there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the prosecutor.

Jacobi was hired by the PCGG in 1989 to track down the billions supposedly squirreled away by the Marcoses.

He later claimed finding gold bullion deposits hidden at a bunker at the Kloten airport in Switzerland valued at US$14 billion, cash deposits valued in excess of US$14 billion under the name of “Irene Arenetta” and several accounts more.

The story became so controversial that some said the allegations came straight out of Hollywood vaults.

Elma alleged Jacobi a “forger,” who turned over to his office documents that could not be used in courts. Elma alleged Jacobi was only out to get his finder’s fee, which is 10% of what is to be recovered by the government.