Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division on Friday found former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos guilty in 7 counts of graft for using her Cabinet position to maintain Swiss bank accounts during the Marcos regime.

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

Her graft charges filed back in 1991, stemmed from her "direct and indirect financial or pecuniary interest" in the management of several non-government organizations created in Switzerland from 1968 to 1984.

Marcos, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, is running for a governor post in next year's general election.

The 89-year-old was sentenced to 6 years and 1 month to 11 years in jail for every case.

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

Prosecutor Ryan Quilala told local media she would still be able to run in elections until she has exhausted the appeals process.

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

"These 7 Swiss foundations, connected sa isa't isa. Doon pumapasok yung foreign currencies, and then they will close one tapos ita-transfer nila doon sa isa", he said. "Na-trace po 'yung flow ng pera", he said in an ambush interview on Friday.

Neither Marcos nor her lawyers were present when the Sandiganbayan justices promulgated the decision to convict her for seven counts of graft. Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said, "This legal victory is a two-decade struggle by the courageous Filipino people".

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

The court gave Marcos and her counsel 30 days to explain their absence during the promulgation.

The case has been pending with the anti-graft court for 27 years. "Conviction is enough humiliation", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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