FILE PHOTO: Imelda Marcos
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Friday (November 9) ordered the arrest of former First Lady and Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos after she was found guilty of seven counts of graft.
The anti-graft court sentenced the 89-year-old former First Lady to a minimum of six years to a maximum prison term of 11 years for each count of graft with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The decision was in connection with a case filed in 1991 when Marcos was charged with 10 counts of graft for having financial interests in creating private institutions in Switzerland and maintaining Swiss bank accounts from 1978 to 1984 while still holding several positions in the government.
The case particularly referred to Marcos’ position as then Governor of Metro Manila and Minister of Human Settlements.
The anti-graft court, however, acquitted her in three graft cases.
Among the evidence presented by the prosecution was the sworn statement of former Solicitor General Frank Chavez detailing how the former First Lady utilized their Swiss foundations to amass millions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth.
The documents also included bank records and some hand-written letters of the Marcoses addressed to foreign banks.
“There were seven Swiss foundations that were created by the Marcoses. Doon pumapasok iyong mga foreign currencies. They’d close one, then they’d transfer doon sa isa. These seven foundations ay connected sa isa’t isa,” said prosecution member Atty. Rey Quilala.
The trial on the case is the longest in the anti-graft court’s history reaching nearly three decades or 26 years.
Marcos and her legal team did not attend the promulgation. The court said Marcos can post bail while appealing the conviction and has given her 30 days to explain her absence in the proceedings before the formal issuance of warrant of arrest.
“May remedies pa naman po si First Lady. If she avails for those remedies pwede pa rin siyang makatakbo..Pwede niyang iakyat sa Supreme Court kapag may nakita siyang grave abuse of discretion doon sa desisyon ng Sandiganbayan. Hindi pa ho siya final and executory,” Quilala explained.
“Kapag nagpakita naman siya sa court, pwedeng i-lift ang warrant of arrest,” he added.
In a statement issued later in the afternoon, Rep. Marcos confirmed that she received a copy of the anti-graft court’s decision.
She explained that her lawyer was in the hospital and so they were not able to attend the promulgation.
Nevertheless, she assured to appeal the decision by filing a motion for reconsideration.
“My Attorney of Record, Atty. Robert Sison, has been indisposed and is presently confined at the Asian Hospital. Justice Lolong Lazaro, who has previously appeared as counsel in this case, will act as my counsel in the interim. He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a Motion for Reconsideration,” the former First Lady said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)
‘Conviction is enough’ : Solons defend former first lady Imelda Marcos
FILE PHOTO: Philippines Former First Lady and Congresswoman Imelda Marcos waves to supporters as she takes part in the announcement of her son BongBong Marcos’ vice-presidential candidacy, in Manila Philippines October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
MANILA, Philippines — Minority Leader Danilo Suarez shares the same sentiment with known human rights lawyer Atty. Rene Saguisag in his recent statement in connection with the conviction of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos in 7 graft cases in Sandiganbayan.
Suarez is one of the congressmen who are against the arrest of Marcos.
“He [Atty. Rene Saguisag] said conviction is enough. It’s shameful enough that you are convicted already. He is somehow saying that there is no need to jail the former first lady. For me it’s … she is already 89 years old,” said Suarez.
According to Buhay party-list Rep Lito Atienza the age of congresswoman Marcos should be considered.
“If Sen. Enrile can be released on the basis of age and health then the former first lady is also an elderly person… she is 89 and she is not totally that healthy,” said Atienza.
But Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate opposed.
“Go to the National Bilibid Prison there are a lot of senior citizens and political prisoners there. Their cases have not been resolved until now. One of them died already inside the jail,” said Zarate.
Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan has deferred the issuance of a warrant of arrest against congresswoman Marcos.
This, after the Marcos camp filed a motion for leave of court to avail of possible remedies for the absence of Mrs. Marcos and her lawyer, Atty. Robert Sison, and further requested for a deferment of the issuance of a warrant.
The motion is set for hearing on Friday, November 16.
Zarate, expressed disappointment on the deferment of the issuance of the arrest warrant saying the victims of human rights violation under former President Ferdinand Marcos administration are waiting for this conviction for so long.
“We are calling to apply the law fairly we can see here that there are special treatment in the Marcos family,” said Zarate.
Congresswoman Marcos has not been attending any session in the House of Representatives since Monday. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Sandiganbayan orders issuance of arrest warrant vs Imelda Marcos
FILE PHOTO: Imelda Marcos
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest against former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imelda Marcos.
Last Friday, Marcos was found guilty of seven counts of graft over the creation of Swiss accounts while she was still in office.
The former first lady, however, failed to attend the promulgation of the decision.
The anti-graft court also forfeited her bail and required her to explain within thirty days why no judgment on the bond should be issued. — UNTV News & Rescue
Age, health of Imelda Marcos to be considered in her arrest — PNP
FILE PHOTO: Imelda Marcos
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center is prepared in case the court decides to place former first lady Imelda Marcos under PNP’s custody.
However, PNP chief PDG Oscar Albayalde said they have not been notified yet for advance coordination with the court regarding the release of the arrest warrant against Marcos.
Albayalde added that in consideration of Marcos’ age and health condition, they have not ordered personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to wait at the gates of Congress like in the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes.
Nevertheless, the PNP Chief has directed the CIDG director to lead the arrest upon release of the warrant.
At present, Marcos is facing minimum of 6 years in prison and perpetual disqualification from holding public office after the Sandiganbayan found her guilty on seven counts of graft.
However, the former first lady may still post bail for her provisional liberty as graft is a bailable case. — Lea Ylagan