Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars after being found guilty of £152m fraud
A PHILIPPINE court has found the country’s former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of corruption charges and ordered her arrest.
Marcos is to appeal against the conviction in a bid to avoid jail and losing her seat in congress.
A special Sandiganbayan court sentenced Marcos, 89, to serve six to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts of violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funnelled about £152 million to Swiss foundations in the
1970s as metropolitan Manila governor.
Neither Marcos nor anyone representing her attended yesterday’s court hearing.
Marcos said in a statement that the decision was being studied by one of her lawyers who notified the Marcos family that he intends to appeal against the decision. Anti-marcos activists and human rights victims welcomed the conviction as long overdue.
The court disqualified Marcos from holding public office, but she can remain a member of the powerful house of representatives while appealing against the decision. Her congressional term will end next year but she has registered to run to replace her daughter as governor of the northern Ilocos Norte province.
Imelda Marcos’ husband, ex-president Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted by an armybacked “people power” revolt in 1986. He died in self-exile in Hawaii in 1989 but his widow and children returned to the Philippines. Most have been elected to public office in an impressive political comeback.
Government prosecutor Ryan
Quilala told reporters that Marcos and her husband opened and managed Swiss foundations in violation of the Philippine Constitution, using aliases in a bid to hide stolen funds. The Marcoses have been accused of plundering the government’s coffers amid crushing poverty throughout the country.
They have denied any wrongdoing and have successfully fought many other corruption cases.
Imelda Marcos, an ally of President
Rodrigo Duterte was acquitted in three other cases, filed in 1991. She was once convicted of a corruption case in 1993, but the supreme court later cleared her.
Imelda Marcos, 89, was found guilty by court.