Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

Blanche Robertson
November 9, 2018

Despite Sandiganbayan's guilty verdict against former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos, opposition lawmakers on Friday urged the public to remain "on the lookout" and continue demanding for accountability against the Marcos family.

It is thought the former First Lady can post bail while appealing the conviction.

Marcos, who is running for Ilocos Norte governor in the 2019 elections, was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

At the time, Marcos was Minister of Human Settlement and Environment Management, Metro Manila Governor, and a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa.

According to the decision made earlier today, Imelda will be facing six years and one month in prison and "up to 11 years for each count". 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.

"Nagkaroon po siya ng financial interests sa mga foundations na ito".

On the other hand, Marcos was acquitted in three of her other graft charges involving local corporations due to the insufficiency of evidence against her.

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Neither Marcos nor her lawyers were present when the Sandiganbayan justices promulgated the decision to convict her for seven counts of graft.

She is now a member of the House of Representatives for Ilocos Norte.

"I'm surprised but very pleasantly surprised, because two decades iyan". It has always been an uphill struggle, then all of a sudden, here it is after so much work.

She added, "It may have taken two decades and that is a bit too long".

"We treat this decision by the anti-graft court as a good reminder to all public servants that public office is a public trust and that we are all accountable to the people we serve", Panelo said in a statement on Friday.

Ombudsman prosecutor Rey Quilala explained in an interview after the promulgation 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. However, he believes Marcos should not be put to jail considering her old age.

"The law says if there is no final conviction, you can still run", Panelo told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

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