Palace respects Sandiganbayan decision vs Imelda Marcos

10 November, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Carlos George
  • Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

Former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda R. Marcos was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on seven counts of graft due to her financial interests in several foundations created in Switzerland during the Marcos administration.

Former first lady Imelda Marcos waving to the crowd as she arrives for her son vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s "miting-de-avance" in Manila.

Marcos and her representatives did not attend the legal hearing on Friday.

She said former Court of Appeals justice Manuel "Lolong" Lazaro would act as her interim counsel as her other lawyer, Robert Sison, is confined at a hospital.

In the 21 years that President Ferdinand Marcos was in power, he and his wife became infamous for amassing billions of dollars, with funds funnelled into Swiss bank accounts. She was acquitted on a further three counts of graft.

Lawyer Ruben Carranza, meanwhile, was more guarded.

The Marcos family is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte. The court has form - having reversed Imelda's 1993 graft conviction in 1998, he said. "If we don't, we always lose". "But that means she accepts her guilt and returns the rest of the money - since a pardon will only remove punishment, not guilt", he said.

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The Marcos family has yet to issue a statement on the conviction.

Imee is running for the Philippine Senate in 2019.

"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.

The Marcoses were forced to flee to Hawaii where the elder Marcos died in 1989.

The Marcos family remains highly influential in the Philippines.

He allowed Marcos' embalmed body to be buried at a special heroes' cemetery in 2016, and is often accompanied at official events by Imee.

"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", Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement. We will not interfere with the judiciary.

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