Court orders arrest of Imelda Marcos for graft
— A Philippine court on Friday sentenced Imelda Marcos, the country’s flamboyant former first lady, to a minimum of 42 years in prison for creating private foundations to hide her unexplained wealth.
But it is unlikely that Marcos, a 89-year-old widow, will see any jail time. The court, which handles graft and public corruption cases, said the ruling could be appealed, and legal experts have said Marcos could fight a prison sentence because of her advanced age.
The sentence comes as Marcos and her family have seen a political resurgence in the Philippines, having gained favor under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.
The court found Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft, with each count punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. The ruling also automatically disqualifies Marcos, who is a congresswoman, from holding any public office.
Marcos did not appear in court for the sentencing, and a warrant was issued for her arrest. In a statement later Friday, Marcos said her lawyer was studying the ruling and intended to file a motion asking the court to reconsider it.
The sentence drew praise from some leading opponents of Duterte, who has in the past praised the brutal dictatorship of Marcos’ deceased husband, Ferdinand Marcos.
The charges against Marcos took more than a quarter-century to proseMANILA cute, largely because many people who could have been witnesses had died or were too old to testify.
The charges were filed in 1991, when state prosecutors accused her of creating private foundations in Switzerland and having financial interests in several companies when she was governor of Manila between 1978 and 1984. Prosecutors said the fake firms hid money that her family stole from the government.
A Manila protester holds a photo of ex-first lady Imelda Marcos to mark her corruption conviction.