A Philippine court found the former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of transplantation and ordered her to arrest her Friday in a rare conviction of many corruption cases that she is likely to call to avoid prison and lose her seat in Congress.
The special anti-ent Sandiganbayan court sentenced Marcos, 89, to serving in prison for 6 to 11 years for each of the seven counts of violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally committed about $ 200 million in the years & # 39; to Swiss foundations collapsed as the governor of Metropolitan Manila. .
Neither Marcos nor anyone who represented her attended Friday's hearing. No one has responded on her behalf, although her lawyers were expected to appeal against the ruling, which welcomed anti-Marcos activists and human rights victims who had waited so long.
The court disqualified Marcos from holding public offices, but she can remain a member of the powerful House of Representatives while appealing to the decision. Her congress period will end next year, but she has registered to have her daughter replaced as governor of the northern province of Ilocos Norte.
Jump for joy
"I jumped up and down incredulously," said former chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Loretta Ann Rosales, who was one of the many activists after Imelda's husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, joined the The Philippines declared martial law.
Rosales said the decision was a huge setback for the efforts of the Marcos family to revise history by denying many of the atrocities under the dictatorship, and urged Filipinos to address all threats to democracy and civil liberties. to fight.
Millions in stolen funds
The man of Imelda Marcos was expelled in 1986 by an army-supported "people's power" revolt. He died in Hawaii in 1989, but his widow and children returned to the Philippines. Most have been elected to public offices in an impressive political comeback.
Government prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters that Marcos and her husband have opened and managed Swiss foundations in violation of the Philippine constitution, using aliases in an attempt to hide stolen money. The Marcoses have been accused of plundering the government's treasury amidst overwhelming poverty. They have denied every mistake and have successfully opposed many other corruption cases.
Imelda Marcos was acquitted on Friday in three other cases, which were filed in 1991 and seized almost three decades of trial by various judges and prosecutors. She was once convicted of a graft case in 1993, but the Supreme Court later acquitted her of possible offenses.
Duterte an ally
President Rodrigo Duterte, an ally of the Marcoses, said last year that the Marcos family had indicated willingness to return an undetermined amount of money and "a few gold bars" to reduce budget deficits. He indicated that the family still denied that the assets had been stolen as claimed by political opponents.
Ferdinand Marcos had imprisoned the Philippines a year before his term would expire. He captured Congress, ordered the arrest of political rivals and leftist activists and ruled by decree. His family would have accumulated an estimated $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion while in power.
A Hawaii court found Marcos liable for human rights violations and granted $ 2 billion to his estate to compensate more than 9,000 Filipinos who had filed a lawsuit against him for torture, incarceration, extra-judicial killings and disappearances.