Thursday, November 8, 2018

Imelda Marcos found guilty of 7 counts of graft; court to order her arrest




Imelda Marcos / photo from ABS CBN News




Manila, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan anti-graft convicted Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos of 7 counts of graft related to private organizations created in Switzerland when she was a government official from 1968 to 1986.

The former first lady was sentenced to a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum prison sentence of 11 years "for each count" of graft.


30 days to explain absence

Neither Marcos nor any of her lawyers were present during the promulgation of decision. She was also perpetually disqualified from holding a public office position.

"Judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused, Imelda R. Marcos, guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of R.A. No. 3019, Section 3(h)," Division clerk of court Liezel de Leon said, reading the dispositive portion of the decision.

"Whereby she is sentenced in each case to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six years and one month, as minimum, to 11 years, as maximum, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office," she added

Marcos, on the other hand, was acquitted for three counts of graft involving the Philippine-based foundations she supposedly had financial ties with.

The Sandiganbayan court gave Marcos and her legal counsel, Robert Sison, to explain their absence within 30 days, noting that the lawyer’s office had received the notice of promulgation before the end of October.

According to lead prosecutor Ryan Quilala, the ballpark figure of the public money involved in the private organization amounts to US$200 million.

For issuance of warrant

By the end of the hearing, as reported by Rappler, 5th Division Chairman Associate Justice Rafael Lagos also ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the 89-year old, Marcos.*

Meanwhile, Ombudsman lead prosecutor, and also the 5th Division, clarified that graft case is bailable, thus, Marcos can have provisional liberty while she is appealing the conviction. Upon settlement of bonds, the warrants of arrest will be lifted.

The widow of late President Ferdinand Marcos and mother of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., is said to be running for Ilocos Norte governor in the 2019 elections.

Quilala said that Marcos can still run until the decision of the Sandiganbayan is final and executory.

Based on the case details filed in 1991, Marcos was charged with 10 counts of graft for allegedly having pecuniary interests and participation in the management of several non-government organizations in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984, in which, under the law is prohibited.


Imelda Marcos with Bongbong and Imee Marcos / photo from Google



Source: GMA News, Rappler