Marcos, 89, gets long prison term
NO JAIL YET: PLANS TO APPEAL TO ANTIGRAFT COURT
Court orders her to serve a minimum of six years for each of seven charges.
Imelda Marcos was found guilty of corruption yesterday and handed a lengthy prison term in a rare conviction for the former Philippine first lady accused with her late dictator husband of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers.
However, it was unlikely 89-year-old Marcos would spend much time behind bars as she is allowed to appeal the ruling and can remain free on bail as long as the conviction is not final.
The verdict from the antigraft Sandiganbayan court ordered her to serve a minimum of six years behind bars for each of the seven charges that the Marcoses funnelled $200 million (about R2.8 billion) through Swiss foundations decades ago.
This leaves her potentially facing decades in prison, however the exact length of the term was not immediately clear.
Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines, fled with his family to the US after a people’s uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.
Marcos died in 1989 while still in exile. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback. Imelda Marcos is currently a congresswoman.
As a government official in the Marcos administration, Imelda was barred by law from having any outside financial interests, including in the Swiss foundations.
“The couple opened all those accounts in Switzerland, and they used pseudonyms to hide their ownership.
“The president chose William Saunders and Imelda Marcos used Jane Ryan,” special prosecutor Ryan Quilala said.
Marcos said her lawyer Manuel Lazaro plans to lodge an appeal with the antigraft court.
“He is studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration,” she added.
Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came nearly three decades after the case was filed in 1991.