Mar­cos faces 6-year prison term in graft case

National Post (Latest Edition) - - WORLD - ANDREO CALONZO

Imelda Mar­cos, the widow of Philip­pine dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, has been found guilty of graft and is fac­ing ar­rest and a prison term of at least six years.

The in­cum­bent law­maker — known for her col­lec­tion of more than 1,000 pairs of shoes — was found guilty of seven counts of graft for al­legedly main­tain­ing Swiss ac­counts as a cab­i­net mem­ber dur­ing her hus­band’s rule, the coun­try’s anti-cor­rup­tion court de­cided on Fri­day. Mar­cos plans to ap­peal the rul­ing.

The court’s de­ci­sion came 27 years af­ter the case was first filed. Mar­cos, 89, faces im­pris­on­ment of be­tween six and 11 years for each count of graft — the sec­ond time she’s been con­victed out of dozens of cases filed against the fam­ily.

She was first con­victed by the anti-graft court in 1993, seven years af­ter the pop­u­lar rev­o­lu­tion that ousted her hus­band and sent the fam­ily to ex­ile in Hawaii. In 1998, the Supreme Court ac­quit­ted Imelda from al­le­ga­tions that she en­tered anoma­lous con­tracts dur­ing her hus­band’s term, re­vers­ing the anti-graft court’s rul­ing. She can also el­e­vate this lat­est case be­fore the top court and post bail.

Her lawyer is study­ing the de­ci­sion “and has ad­vised us that he in­tends to file a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion,” Mar­cos said in a state­ment.

The Mar­cos fam­ily is a known sup­porter of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. The Philip­pine leader had said that he wants to be suc­ceeded by the late dic­ta­tor’s son, Fer­di­nand (Bong­bong) Mar­cos, who has a pend­ing elec­toral protest af­ter los­ing the vice-pres­i­den­tial vote in 2016. Duterte also has the power to par­don Mar­cos af­ter a fi­nal court rul­ing.

Imelda Mar­cos re­turned to the Philip­pines in 1991, dur­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Co­ra­zon Aquino, to face more than 100 crim­i­nal and civil cases on charges that she and her hus­band si­phoned off $5 to $10 bil­lion and com­mit­ted hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions dur­ing the 20-year dic­ta­tor­ship. In­stead, she and two chil­dren — Bong­bong and Imee — were later elected to of­fice. Bong­bong be­came a sen­a­tor in 2010. Imelda and her chil­dren have al­ways de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

Imelda Mar­cos

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