An Act Defining and Penalizing
the Crime of Plunder
Ill-Gotten Wealth: Any asset, property,
business enterprise or material possession of any person acquired by him
directly or indirectly through dummies, nominees, agents, subordinates,
and/or business associates by any combination or series of the
following means or similar schemes:
A. Through misappropriation, conversion, misuse or malversation of
public funds or raids on the public treasury.
B. By receiving, directly or indirectly, any commission, gift, share,
percentage, kickbacks or any other form of pecuniary benefit from
any person and/or entity in connection with any government contract
or project or by reason of the office or position of the public
C. By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets
belonging to the National Government or any of its subdivisions,
agencies or instrumentalities or government-owned or controlled
corporations and their subsidiaries;
D. By obtaining, receiving or accepting, directly or indirectly,
any shares of stock, equity or any other form of interest or
participation, including the promise of future employment in any
business enterprise or undertaking.
E. By establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies
or other combinations, and/or implementation of decrees and orders
intended to benefit particular persons or special interests;
F. By taking undue advantage of official position, authority,
relationship, connection or influence to unjustly enrich himself or
themselves at the expense and to the damage or prejudice of the
Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.
A. Any public officer who, by himself or in with members of his family,
relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates and
subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates, or acquires
ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal
acts as described under above in the aggregate amount or total value
of at least 50 million pesos, shall be guilty of the crime
of plunder (as amended by RA 7659).
B. Any person who participated with the said public officer in the
commission of plunder.
RULE OF EVIDENCE: For purposes of establishing the crime of plunder,
it shall not be necessary to prove each and every criminal act done
by the accused in furtherance of the scheme and conspiracy to amass,
accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being sufficient to
establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal
acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy.
PRESCRIPTION: 20 years. However, the right of the State to recover
properties unlawfully acquired by public officers from them or from
their nominees or transferees shall not be barred by prescription,
laches or estoppel.
ESTRADA VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, GR NO. 148560, NOVEMBER 21, 2001
what is meant by “combination” and “series” of overt or criminal
acts under the plunder law?
When the plunder law speaks of “combination”, it is referring
to at least two (2) acts falling under different categories of
enumeration provided in sec. 1, par. (d). example: raids on the
public treasury in sec. 1, par. (d), subpar. (1), and
fraudulent conveyance of assets belonging to the national
government under sec. 1 par. (d), subpar. (3). On the other
hand, to constitute a “series” there must be two (2) or more
overt or criminal acts falling under the same category of
enumeration found in sec. 1, par. (d), say, misappropriation,
malversation and raids on the public treasury, all of which falls
under sec. 1, par. (d), subpar. (1). verily, had the legislature
intended a technical or distinctive meaning for “combination”
and “series”, it would have taken greater pains in specially
providing for it in the law.
Joseph Ejercito Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560,
November 21, 2001
Is the crime of plunder malum in se or malum prohibitum?
Plunder is a crime of malum in se because the constitutive
crimes are mala in se. the elements of mens rea must be proven
in a prosecution for plunder. moreover, any doubt as to whether
the crime of plunder is malum in se must be deemed to have been
resolved in the affirmative decision of congress in 1993 to
include it among the heinous crimes punishable by reclusion
perpetua to death. the legislative declaration in r.a. 7659
that plunder is a heinous offense implies that it is malum in
se for when the acts punished are inherently immoral or
inherently wrong, they are mala in se and it does not matter
that such acts are punished in a special law, especially since in
the case of plunder the predicate crimes are
mainly mala in se.
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan
The Supreme Court held that the means and schemes to acquire ill-
gotten wealth should be committed by a combination or through a
series of acts. There should be at least two acts otherwise the
accused should be charged with the particular crime committed and
not with plunder. A combination means at least two acts of a
different category while a series means at least two acts of the