Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Imelda Marcos arrest warrant issued after failing to appear in court

Imelda Marcos arrest warrant issued after failing to appear in court

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will arrest former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos once the court issues an arrest warrant.

According to a decision by the anti-graft court on Friday, Marcos is sentenced to imprisonment of from six years to one month, up to 11 years for each count.

She said former Court of Appeals justice Manuel "Lolong" Lazaro would act as her interim counsel as her other lawyer, Robert Sison, is confined at a hospital. "The president chose William Saunders and Imelda Marcos used Jane Ryan", special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters.

Under the rules of the Sandiganbayan, the former first lady has 15 days from promulgation of the ruling to file an appeal, and the anti-graft court has 30 days within which to decide on it. Marcos may also go straight to Supreme Court to seek relief. Imelda Marcos in particular was known for her flaunting her opulent lifestyle while the country languished in poverty and civil unrest.

Congressman Tom Villarin of the opposition Akbayan Party said Marcos "can't invoke her age nor humanitarian grounds for her not to serve the sentence".

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Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who was also jailed during the Marcos dictatorship, said it was up to voters in next year's May 13 local elections, where Marcos is a candidate, if they want "somebody who has a bad name representing them, that's your call".

She was first convicted by the anti-graft court in 1993, seven years after the popular revolution that ousted her husband and sent the family to exile in Hawaii. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback. She was charged for making seven bank transfers totalling US$200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Manila governor. Imelda and her children have always denied any wrongdoing.

Imelda Marcos was acquitted Friday in three other cases, which were filed in 1991 and took almost three decades of trial by several judges and prosecutors.

In a statement, Marcos said her attorney is studying the verdict and she intends to file a motion asking the court to reconsider.

President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys good ties with the Marcos family and has often praised the late strongman.

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