Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Imelda Marcos, widow of Philippine dictator, facing jail for corruption

Imelda Marcos is assisted to her car after visiting her husband's tomb Imelda Marcos is assisted to her car after visiting her husband's tomb
Faye Gross | 10 November, 2018, 06:16

The 89-year-old widow of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos was not present in court Friday when it was announced that she had been found guilty of seven counts of graft.

But under the rules of the court, the former first lady has 15 days from promulgation of the ruling to file an appeal, and the court has 30 days within which to decide on it. Marcos may also go straight to Supreme Court to seek relief - and while the case is on appeal, she can run for office and possibly post bail.

The charges, filed in the 1990s, stem from companies set up by the family in Switzerland prior to her husband's ouster in 1986, CNN Philippines says. She has the right to appeal her conviction to the Supreme Court.

As a government official in the Marcos administration, Imelda was barred by law from having any outside financial interests, including in the Swiss foundations.

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.

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

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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.

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". Her congressional term will end next year but she has registered to run to replace her daughter as governor of northern Ilocos Norte province.

This is not the first time that the former first lady has faced corruption charges.

"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".

"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".

"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.

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