Bandera (Mindanao) - - NEWS -

Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft, and was sentenced to imprisonment from six years and one month, up to 11 years for each count of graft.

In the 70-page decision, penned by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, found the 89yearold Mrs. Marcos guilty beyond reasonable doubt in criminal case numbers 17287, 17288, 17289, 17290, 22867, 22868, and 22869 for violating Republic Act 3019 or the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act when she transferred around $200 million to seven Swiss foundations during her term as governor of Metro Manila in 1975, member of the Batasang Pambansa, and Minister of Human Settlement.

The court has also ordered the arrest of Marcos, whose camp did not attend the legal proceedings. She was given 30 days by the anti-graft court to explain her absence. She can still post bail for her temporary liberty as graft is a bailable case, the amount however, has yet to be set by the court.

Should the court’s decision is ruled with finality, she will be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, although she can still continue her gubernatorial bid in Ilocos Norte as her camp can still file a motion for reconsideration.

“Pwede niyang i-akyat sa Supreme Court kung may nakita siyang grave abuse of discretion sa desisyon ng Sandiganbayan so hindi pa ho siya final and executory,” Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters after the promulgation.

According to Quilala, Mrs. Marcos, along with her late husband former President Ferdinand Marcos, allegedly took part in managing Swiss foundations which was disallowed by the 1973 Constitution.

“Lahat po ‘yon, do’n binuksan sa Switzerland, actually silang mag-asawa ang nag-bukas. And makikita ninyo, para itago ‘yong account nang hindi natin makita, gumamit sila ng mga pseudonyms, si Presidente (Marcos) ang ginamit niya parang William Saunders, si Imelda Marcos ang ginamit niya Jane Ryan,” Quilala said.

“But ‘yong mga pagopen ng accounts, lahat ng documents, pumipirma siya ng as Imelda Marcos,” he added.

These were the last 10 pending criminal cases in Sandiganbayan against the former First Lady who was acquitted in three other cases involving local foundations, due to lack of concrete evidence.

PNP to arrest Imelda

The Philippine National Police would arrest Mrs. Marcos once the court issues an arrest warrant, according to its chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde.

“We will wait for the order of the court. Kung talagang may utos ang court to arrest [her], then we will gladly abide by the order of the court,” Albayalde told reporters during his visit to the PNP Academy in Silang, Cavite on Friday.

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