Ex-First Lady convicted, sentenced for graft

Ex-First Lady Imelda Marcos (KS Amonelo image)

The Sandiganbayan on Friday convicted former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos of seven counts of graft committed as a Cabinet official during her late husband’s term.

The anti-graft court also sentenced Marcos from six years and one month as minimum up to 11 years as maximum for each count of the graft case filed against her in connection with her “financial interests and participation in the management of private foundations in Switzerland” during the Marcos administration.

Further, the court perpetually disqualified Marcos from holding any public post and ordered her to explain why she was unable to attend the promulgation of the sentence. Neither she nor her lawyers were present during the promulgation.

The former First Lady can still file an appeal before the Supreme Court, PNA quoted Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Quilala as saying.

The promulgation of the sentence took so long because majority of the witnesses are already dead, Quilala said.

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division said the prosecution has proven that Marcos has “financial interest” in some private enterprises and is “guilty beyond reasonable doubt in seven counts of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”.

In the case information filed in 1991, Marcos was charged with 10 counts of graft for her alleged interests and participation in the management of the Vibur Foundation, Maler Establishment, Trinidad Foundation, Rayby Foundation, Palmy Foundation, Aguamina Foundation, and Avertina Foundation in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984.

However, as minister of Human Settlements, Metro Manila governor and member of the Interim Batasan Pambansa at the time, she was prohibited by law to take part in such businesses.

The Office of the Ombudsman also accused the wife of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos of depositing hidden wealth amounting to almost $30 million in a Banque Paribas bank.

p: wjg