Imelda Marcos conviction 'good reminder' to public officials - Malacañang

Former Philippines First Lady and current Congresswoman Imelda Marcos waves to supporters in Manila in October 2015                        Erik de Castro  REUTERS

Former Philippines First Lady and current Congresswoman Imelda Marcos waves to supporters in Manila in October 2015 Erik de Castro REUTERS

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.

It stems from private organisations Marcos, 89, created while holding a variety of posts in government.

Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said Mrs. Marcos offered to return a portion of their ill-gotten wealth.

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

"We presented former prime minister Cesar Virata, and according to his testimony eh hindi naman directly ma-pinpoint 'yun participation ni First Lady, so hindi ganun kasama ang loob namin as to the local corporations, (he can not directly pinpoint the participation of the First Lady, so we are not that dissatisfied with the results as to the local corporations)", he said. As to the amount, paiba-iba po kasi but it involves 7 Swiss foundations, tapos kinu-close yung ibang foundation, ita-transfer sa ibang foundation, and then close it again, transfer sa ibang foundation.

In finding her guilty of graft in seven of the 10 cases filed against her, Mrs. Marcos faces imprisonment of six years and one month up to 11 years for each count, as provided under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

While an arrest warrant will be issued, Quilala said that Marcos can still seek remedies because the decision is not yet "final and executory". Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said, "This legal victory is a two-decade struggle by the courageous Filipino people. You can see that the local courts somehow are trying to establish their independence", she told CNN Philippines on Friday. "But still, they did not give up and that is what counts". However, he believes Marcos should not be put to jail considering her old age.

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

"Hallelujah! About time, indeed, long past time".

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