Ex-First Lady guilty of 7 counts of graft: Sandiganbayan

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan on Friday convicted former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos of seven counts of graft due to her “financial interests and participation in the management of private foundations in Switzerland” when she served as a Cabinet official during her late husband’s term.

The anti-graft court also sentenced Marcos “to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of from six years and one month as minimum, up to 11 years as maximum for each count of the graft case filed against her.” She is also perpetually disqualified from holding any public post.

The Sandiganbayan, likewise, ordered her to explain why she was unable to attend the promulgation of the sentence as neither she nor her lawyers were present.

Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Quilala said the former First Lady would not be automatically imprisoned as she can still file an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The promulgation of the sentence took so long because majority of the witnesses are already dead, Quilala added.

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division said Marcos is “guilty beyond reasonable doubt in seven counts of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the ‘Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”.

The Sandiganbayan added that the prosecution has proven that she has “financial interest” in some private enterprises, in violation of RA 3019.

In the case information filed in 1991, Marcos was charged with 10 counts of graft for her alleged interests and participation in the management of some private foundations in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984.

The questionable foundations were the Vibur Foundation, Maler Establishment, Trinidad Foundation, Rayby Foundation, Palmy Foundation, Aguamina Foundation, and Avertina Foundation.

It was learned that Marcos, a former minister of Human Settlements, Metro Manila governor, and member of the Interim Batasan Pambansa, was prohibited by law to take part in such businesses.

The Office of the Ombudsman also accused the wife of the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos of depositing hidden wealth amounting to almost USD30 million in a Banque Paribas bank.

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