Senators say delay in Imelda’s arrest ‘normal,’ ‘ugly’ side of due process

Published November 14, 2018, 3:45 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Delays in the arrest of former First Lady and Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos may be frustrating for some, but senators believe that these are “normal” parts of the country’s judicial process.

Senator Francis Escudero (Francis (Chiz) Escudero Official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Francis Escudero
(Francis (Chiz) Escudero Official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Francis Escudero on Wednesday recognized the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division’s deferment on the issuance of an arrest order against Marcos, as her camp seeks legal remedies for her conviction for graft over the creation of several non-government organizations in Switzerland during the administration of her late husband, the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

The Sandiganbayan scheduled on Friday, November 16, the motion of Marcos’ camp.

“Yes. Any party aggrieved by a ruling of a court can seek remedies from the court itself, i.e. motion for reconsideration, or from a higher court, appeal or certiorari,” Escudero, a lawyer, told reporters in a text message Wednesday.

Escudero particularly said that Marcos can seek redress from the Supreme Court should the Sandiganbayan deny or find unacceptable her reasons for deferring the release of the arrest warrant.

“Kaya nga nagtagal ng ganyan, eh. Kada incident, meron remedies ang akusado. (That’s why it took that long. The accused can always avail of remedies in any incident),” he said.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also said there was nothing unusual with the delay in the Marcos’ arrest.

“Normal lang po ‘yan (It is normal), what is happening in the Imelda case. If [the] reason for ordering arrest is absence from hearing then the subject person is always allowed and s given the chance to explain the absence,” Pimentel, also a lawyer, said.

But in the event that the Sandiganbayan issue an arrest warrant, Pimentel said the arrest should be enforced since the court has already forfeited Marcos’ bail for her absence during the promulgation of her cases.

“If bail is cancelled then the temporary liberty made possible by the bail is nullified and the original arrest warrant/order now stands and should be enforced,” he said.

“HOWEVER, those subject to the arrest order will be given the chance to explain and or justify their absence from the event (promulgation),” he stressed.

While the scenario may be different for “ordinary” Filipinos, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, for his part, said the court’s decision should be observed.

“While that could be the ugly side of due process, nevertheless, it is enshrined in our Constitution and must be observed,” he said.

“Having said that, if it were an ordinary Juan or Juana de la Cruz without access to pricey lawyers, he or she would have been hauled to prison upon conviction and while awaiting appeal. It happens all the time. While we may not like it, that is how justice is served in our country,” Lacson said.