Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Imelda Marcos faces arrest, jail time for graft

Imelda Marcos faces arrest, jail time for graft

The former first lady and an incumbent lawmaker known for her collection of more than 1,000 pairs of shoes was found guilty of seven counts of graft for allegedly maintaining Swiss accounts as a cabinet member during her husband's rule three decades ago. She was a no-show at her case's promulgation so she will be given 30 days to give a reason as to why.

However, it was unlikely 89-year-old Marcos would spend much time behind bars as she is allowed to appeal the ruling and can remain free on bail as long as the conviction is not final.

"He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration", she added.

Marcos was sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of six years to 11 years and a month maximum.

Marcos was, however, acquitted in three of her other graft charges involving local corporations due to insufficiency of evidence.

As a government official in the Marcos administration, Imelda was barred by law from having any outside financial interests, including in the Swiss foundations. However, they estimate the total to be around $200 million.

Congressman Tom Villarin of the opposition Akbayan Party said Marcos "can't invoke her age nor humanitarian grounds for her not to serve the sentence". She ran for congress and won while her appeal was underway.

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"We presented former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and according to his testimony eh hindinaman directly ma-pinpoint 'yung participation ni First Lady, so hindi ganun kasama ang loob namin as to the local corporations, (he can not directly pinpoint the participation of the First Lady, so we are not that dissatisfied with the results as to the local corporations)", he said. President Rodrigo Duterte counts the family among his supporters and has expressed admiration for Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came almost three decades after the case was filed in 1991.

A spokesman for the Philippine president indicated on Friday that Duterte will not intervene with the court on Imelda Marcos' behalf.

Former Philippines first lady and widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, arrives at the Commission on Elections to lend her support for her daughter Governor Imee Marcos in filing her Certificate of Candidacy or COC for a Senate seat in the May 2019 midterm elections in Manila, Philippines.

"While we note that there are still legal remedies available to Congresswoman Marcos, this latest development underscores that our country now has a working and impartial justice system", Duterte's spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"The Executive Branch is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence in the affairs of another separate and independent branch of the government", he said.

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