Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos convicted of graft

Imelda Marcos. Jonathan Cellona ABS-CBN News Imelda Marcos. Jonathan Cellona ABS-CBN News
Ellis Copeland | 09 November, 2018, 20:56

She said former Court of Appeals justice Manuel "Lolong" Lazaro would act as her interim counsel as her other lawyer, Robert Sison, is confined at a hospital.

MANILA A Philippine court found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of graft and ordered her arrest Friday in a rare conviction among many corruption cases that she plans to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress.

Marcos, 89, faces imprisonment of between six and 11 years for each count of graft, according to the Sandiganbayan decision released to media today.

As well as being first lady, she was the minister of human settlements from 1976 to 1986 and governor of Manila from 1978 to 1984. Marcos, who is running for Ilocos Norte governor, is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

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

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Marcos was not present at the court but a warrant has now been issued for her arrest. His family is said to have amassed an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while he was in power. After they left, Marcos's collection of 1,100 shoes was put on display in the presidential palace to show people the extent of the riches she had accumulated while in office.

"(This is still a victory because as to the local companies, we presented former Prime Minister Cesar Virata and according to his testimony, the former first lady's participation can not be directly pinpointed so we do not feel that bad as to the local corporation)".

In a brief statement sent to reporters on Friday afternoon, Marcos said she had received a copy of the decision and that she would file a motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division.

The verdict is a blow to the Marcos family, who despite the opprobrium heaped on their dictatorship, have established themselves as a rich and powerful political dynasty. The Marcos family is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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