Philippines' ex-first lady Imelda Marcos to appeal court's graft ruling

10 November, 2018, 06:15 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos said on Friday, November 9, that she will appeal the verdict of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan which found her guilty of 7 counts of graft.

She was sentenced in absentia to six to 11 years in prison on each count.

She can also elevate this latest case before the top court and post bail.

Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines, fled with his family to the United States after a people's uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.

Marcos said in a statement her lawyer is "studying the decision and he has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration". She was charged for making seven bank transfers totalling $200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Manila governor.

The court has previously undone at least one case against Imelda, overturning a 24 year jail sentence in 1993 on graft charges. She was acquitted on a further three counts of graft.

Quilala explained that the amounts involved with the foundations vary, and it is hard to give an exact number because they used different currencies, namely francs and dollars. Imelda Marcos is now a congresswoman.

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Rosales said the decision was a huge setback to efforts by the Marcos family to revise history by denying numerous atrocities under the dictatorship, and urged Filipinos to fight all threats against democracy and civil liberties.

However, she can still appeal the conviction. Imelda's son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr narrowly lost the vice-presidential election in 2016, a result he is now challenging, and many see him as the natural successor to President Duterte.

Marcos is the widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and served as First Lady from 1965 to 1986.

The case has been pending with the anti-graft court for 27 years.

"I was jumping up and down in joy in disbelief", said former Commission on Human Rights chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales, who was among many activists locked up after Imelda's husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, declared martial law in the Philippines in 1972.

"Duterte's spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said in a statement the ruling against Imelda Marcos was proof that the executive "is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence" on courts, and therefore respects the decision".

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