Martial law victims seek immediate arrest of Imelda Marcos

Published November 13, 2018, 4:13 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Czarina Nicole Ong

Victims of martial law trooped to the Sandiganbayan on Tuesday to call for the arrest of former First Lady Imelda Marcos after she was convicted last Friday of seven counts of graft.

(photo courtesy of SELDA Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
(photo courtesy of SELDA Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

“On motion of the prosecution and considering that the absence of the accused and her counsel appears to be unjustified, the bonds posted by the accused in the cases where she was convicted are ordered forfeited…” the order from the Fifth Division read. “Let a warrant of arrest be issued against the accused.”

But while the nation waited for her arrest warrant to be issued, Marcos’ lawyers filed a motion for leave of court to avail of post-conviction remedies just this Monday.

Marcos has yet to set foot in the Sandiganbayan, so members of the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) are urging the anti-graft court to remain firm in its decision and carry out the arrest.

“While we welcome the guilty verdict against Imelda, justice should come in full circle. Imelda should be arrested and be put behind bars,” SELDA Chairperson Trinidad Herrera-Repuno said.

She also questioned the statement made by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who said that Marcos’ age should be a factor in her conviction.

“Albayalde’s statement should have been no surprise for us, but seriously? You have the gall to say that while the nation saw that Imelda was partying at Sara Duterte’s birthday on the day of this case’s promulgation? You say she’s frail and old?” she said.

Marcos was found guilty due to her financial interests in several foundations created in Switzerland during the Marcos administration. On the other hand, Marcos was acquitted in three of her other graft charges involving local corporations due to the insufficiency of evidence against her.

She was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six years and one month, as minimum, to 11 years, as maximum for each of her graft charges. She was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

However, she is planning to run as Ilocos Norte Governor this 2019. Her bid for a seat in the government will not be affected by her conviction as of now, since she can still post bail. Marcos can also elevate her conviction before the Supreme Court before it becomes final and executory.

Marcos, 89, is the wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos and the mother of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former Senator and vice presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.