Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

Sergio Conner
November 9, 2018

The anti-graft court found Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft related to private organizations created in Switzerland while she was a government official from 1968 to 1986.

She was sentenced to between six and 11 years in prison for each count. Imelda's son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr narrowly lost the vice-presidential election in 2016, a result he is now challenging, and many see him as the natural successor to President Duterte. The widow of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos served as the Minister of Human Settlement, Metro Manila Governor, and a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa, the legislature during the Marcos regime. However, she will be allowed to remain free on bail while she appeals the conviction.

"Nagkaroon po siya ng financial interests sa mga foundations na ito. Na-trace po 'yung flow ng pera", he said in an ambush interview on Friday.

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

The Sandiganbayan, the Philippines' specialist anti-corruption court, ordered that Marcos, 89, be arrested after sentencing her to at least 42 years in prison for hiding stolen public money in several Swiss foundations in the 1970s.

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Opposition congressmen lauded the Sandiganbayan's conviction of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos for graft on Friday, November 9. Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said, "This legal victory is a two-decade struggle by the courageous Filipino people". It has always been an uphill struggle, then all of a sudden, here it is after so much work.

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao hopes the Sandiganbayan's ruling would "become a precedent in running after the Marcoses with regards to their other graft cases, involving not only Imelda Marcos, but also the other Marcos siblings".

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

Former Senator Rene Saguisag also welcomed the decision of the anti-graft court. 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. But, I am not certain Imelda should be jailed.

Quilala said that he considers her Swiss account convictions as a "victory" despite her acquittal in three other graft charges.

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