DOJ independence upheld

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Latest News Philippines: DOJ independence upheld –

REMEMBER Reiner Jacobi, the Australian “hunter” of the Marcoses’ alleged ill-gotten wealth?

The Supreme Court junked the petition filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) questioning two resolutions by then Justice Undersecretary Merceditas Gutierrez which  found no probable cause to indict Jacobi for falsification and use of falsified document.

In a 46-page decision, the SC said there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the DoJ when it came up with the resolutions.

The SC explained the determination of probable cause is an executive function of the DoJ, and the Court has consistently adopted the policy of non-interference in the justice department’s preliminary investigations.

The high court’s non-interference is meant to give the investigating prosecutor sufficient latitude of discretion in determining what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish probable cause.

“As a rule, the courts cannot substitute their own judgment for that of the Executive. To justify judicial intrusion, one must clearly show that the prosecutor gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in making his determination,” the SC said.

Jacobi and his attorney, Crispin Reyes were accused of submitting two falsified letters as evidence in a petition for mandamus against the PCGG with the Sandiganbayan for the commission’s failure to perform its mandated duty to recover ill-gotten wealth and unexplained or hidden deposits and assets of the former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Jacobi became famous in the 1990s for tracking down the alleged Marcos wealth and war treasures.


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