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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Gesmundo: Final court decisions can be reviewed

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Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said certain circumstances may permit the review of final court decisions.

“No decision of the court is written in stone,” Gesmundo said when asked to comment on the statement of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that he would like to reopen the estate tax case involving his family.

“First of all, the modification of a decision is dependent on the composition of the court. Similar to the United States, there are conservatives and liberals on the US Supreme Court. If the majority of the justices are conservative, it is difficult to reverse a decision. But if the majority is liberal, it will be easier,” the chief magistrate added.

In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the family of late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. owed P23 billion in estate tax. The decision became final and executory in 1999.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Marcos lamented his family did not have the opportunity to answer the estate tax issue since they were in the United States at the time.“Open the case and let us argue with it. So that all of the things that we should have been able to say in 1987, ’88, ’89 that we were not able to say…We will really go through each property one by one because the ownership of those properties they claim are ours is not clear. We have been saying those are not ours—do not tax us for those properties,” the President said.

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“In fact, I have signed a quit claim several times already. If they really want those properties, get them because those are not ours,” Mr. Marcos added.

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