Imelda Marcos faces arrest for graft

10 November, 2018, 06:20 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Imelda Marcos is assisted to her car after visiting her husband's tomb

The former first lady of the Philippines, who became renowned for her lavish collection of shoes, has been found guilty of seven counts of corruption during her twenty years in office.

She was sentenced to between six and 11 years in prison for each count.

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

Marcos, who is serving her third straight term as a member of congress, has registered to contest an election to succeed her daughter, Imee Marcos, 62, as governor of Ilocos Norte, the stronghold of the still powerful Marcos family. After an appeal the convictions were eventually quashed in the Supreme Court in 1998.

Marcos maintained accounts with the Swiss Bank Corporation for the said foundations "for the benefit of the accused and her late husband", according to the charge sheets.

This was the assurance of PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde after the Sandiganbayan found Mrs. Marcos guilty beyond reasonable doubt on seven counts of graft on Friday.

Because of her position in the government, she was "prohibited by the Constitution from having any interest during her term of office" in these businesses. "As a sitting member of the House of Representatives and now running for governor in Ilocos Norte, she can't have the best of all worlds".

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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".

The Marcos family is a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"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".

In this October 16, 2018, file photo, former Philippines first lady and widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Congresswoman Imelda Marcos arrives at the Commission on Elections.

The family's notoriety stems back to Ferdinand Marcos declaring martial law in 1972.

"The Executive Branch is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence in the affairs of another separate and independent branch of the government", Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The guilty verdict against Imelda is the first to hold her criminally liable for hiding stolen wealth in Switzerland using shell foundations.

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