Imelda Marcos to appeal Sandiganbayan verdict

Hugh Fox
November 11, 2018

Former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos was convicted on seven charges of graft related to the theft of up to $200 million from her almost two decades in office.

She was sentenced to a minimum of six years to a maximum of 11 years and a month imprisonment.

She was first convicted by the anti-graft court in 1993, seven years after the popular revolution that ousted her husband and sent the family to exile in Hawaii.

The court ruling could prevent Marcos, who is running for governor in Ilocos Norte province in next year's mid-term elections, from holding public office.

The Sandiganbayan said the former first lady can have provisional liberty if she posts a cash bond while appealing the conviction.

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However, neither Imelda nor any of her lawyers were present during the promulgation of the decision.

Neither Marcos nor anyone representing her attended Friday's court hearing.

Further complicating the political situation is that Marcos managed to win a seat in the House of Representatives four times despite these long-standing legal complaints, and is running for governor of the Ilocos Norte province, a position now held by her daughter Imee.

Marcos, in a written statement to reporters, said her lawyer Manuel Lazaro plans to lodge an appeal with the anti-graft court.

The Ombudsman prosecutor said the Marcos family had "financial interest" in the seven Swiss foundations they created, which is pegged to amount to $200 million. She has the right to appeal her conviction to the Supreme Court.

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President Duterte "can pardon Imelda".

The Marcos family has yet to issue a statement on the conviction. Duterte said through a spokesman that his administration "is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence on courts, and therefore respects the decision".

During her time as the President's wife, and also after that, Marcos made a flamboyant life-style of talk, among other things, a collection of several Thousand shoes.

The Supreme Court in June junked a case that alleged the Marcos widow accumulated ill-gotten wealth.

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