By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has put on hold the highly-anticipated warrant of arrest against former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos because her lawyers are seeking legal remedies to appeal her graft conviction.
This is what Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang revealed when asked when the anti-graft court would finally enforce her conviction.
“I just learned that the Court has deferred release of the warrant of arrest because the lawyer of Mrs. Marcos filed a motion [Monday] asking leave of court to avail of remedies and deferment of issuance of warrant. The motion is set for hearing on Friday, November 16,” she said in a text message.
“Ordinarily, an accused who has been convicted of a bailable offense may still be granted bail pending appeal which is addressed to the sound discretion of the court,” Cabotaje-Tang added.
Her graft charges, filed in 1991, stemmed from her “direct and indirect financial or pecuniary interest” in the management of several non-government organizations created in Switzerland from 1968 to 1984.
Marcos maintained accounts with the Swiss Bank Corporation for the said foundations “for the benefit of the accused and her late husband,” according to the charge sheets.
At the time, Marcos was minister of human settlement and environment management, Metro Manila governor, and a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa.
Marcos, 89, is the wife of former president Ferdinand Marcos and the mother of Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is contesting his loss in the 2016 vice presidential race.
She is planning to run as governor of Ilocos Norte in 2019. Despite her conviction, she is still free to run because the decision is not yet final and executory. Marcos can also elevate her conviction to the Supreme Court.