Marcos found guilty of corruption
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 anticorruption 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 the court hearing.
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 selfexile in Hawaii in 1989 but his widow and children re- turned 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 was acquitted yesterday in three other cases, which were filed in 1991 and took nearly three decades of trial by several judges and prosecutors.
She was once convicted of a corruption case in 1993, but the supreme court later cleared her of any wrongdoing.
President Rodrigo Du terte, an ally of the Marcos es, said last year that the family had indicated a willingness to return an unspecified amount of money and “a few gold bars” to help ease Philippine budget deficits.
He indicated the family still denies that the assets had been stolen, as alleged by their political opponents.
Ferdinand Marcos placed the Philippines under martial rule a year before his term in office was to expire. He padlocked congress, ordered the arrest of political rivals and left-wing activists and ruled by decree. His family is said to have amassed an estimated £4-8 billion dollars while he was in power.
Imelda Marcos: Denies charges.