Imelda Mar­cos sen­tenced to prison for cor­rup­tion

The Buffalo News - - PARK RECOMMENDATIONS - By Ja­son Gu­tier­rez NEW YORK TIMES

MANILA, Philip­pines – 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, 89, a 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.

Imelda 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 lengthy sen­tence drew praise from some lead­ing op­po­nents of Duterte, who has in the past praised the bru­tal dic­ta­tor­ship of Mar­cos’ de­ceased hus­band, Fer­di­nand Mar­cos.

Loretta Ann Ros­ales, the coun­try’s for­mer hu­man rights com­mis­sioner, who was tor­tured as an ac­tivist in the 1970s for op­pos­ing Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, called the sen­tence a sym­bolic vic­tory for the thou­sands who died re­sist­ing the dic­ta­tor­ship.

“I am lit­er­ally jump­ing with joy,” Ros­ales said in an in­ter­view. She said the rul­ing showed that there were still pub­lic cor­rup­tion judges “who have helped keep the can­dles lit through th­ese dark nights and pur­sued the truth.” She said the rul­ing also proved that the Mar­coses and their cronies were guilty of raid­ing gov­ern­ment cof­fers in or­der to en­joy a lav­ish life­style.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.