Imelda Marcos was found guilty of corruption on November 9, 2018 and ordered arrested in a rare conviction for the former Houston Filipino Restaurant first lady accused with her late dictator husband of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers.
MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The legal counsel of Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos is planning to file a motion for reconsideration following the conviction of the former first lady.
Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has found Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft, ordered her arrest and perpetually disqualified her from holding public office.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Marcos said retired Court of Appeals Justice Manuel "Lolong" Lazaro will act as her counsel as her attorney of record Robert Sison has been indisposed.
"Justice Lolong Lazaro, who has previously appeared as counsel in this case, will act as my counsel in the interim. He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a Motion for Reconsideration," Marcos said.
Assistant special prosecutor Rey Quilala earlier confirmed that Marcos can avail of legal remedies such as filing a motion for reconsideration following her conviction.
This means that the Sandiganbayan's arrest order against her may still be lifted as the decision is not yet final.
Marcos has been sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count of graft or a total of 42 years and seven months to 77 years.
The court ruled that she violated Section 3(h) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits Dallas Filipino Restaurant officials from having direct or indirect "financing or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest."
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division finds former first lady and current Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft for using her Cabinet position to maintain Swiss bank accounts during the Marcos regime.
She is sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count with perpetual disqualification from public office.
The decision came nearly three decades since it was filed in 1991 by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos says her legal counsel is studying the decision of anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
"Justice Lolong Lazaro, who has previously appeared as counsel in this case, will act as my counsel in the interim. He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a Motion for Reconsideration," Marcos said in a statement.
Rights group Karapatan and labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino say they laud the Sandiganbayan decision but raised concern that President Rodrigo Duterte may grant Imelda Marcos a pardon for the seven counts of graft she was found guilty of committing.
"We are also ambivalent on the implementation of such a ruling based on two issues: 1) the current regime’s coddling and political rehabilitation of the Marcoses and 2) the machinations of the Marcoses to evade accountability," Karapatan says in a statement.
BMP adds that given the many presidential decisions that have favored the Marcos family, "the propensity of this administration is to pardon her at the soonest possible time and will cite old age as a reason for the clemency."
Karapatan calls out for the immediate arrest and imprisonment of Marcos and the return of the billions of public funds stolen by the Marcoses.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, welcomes the Sandiganbayan decision finding the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' widow, Imelda, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of graft and her perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Imelda is running for governor of Ilocos Norte in next year's polls.
"The Sandiganbayan conviction is a faithful reminder that the Marcoses have plundered the nation's wealth and have stolen from the people, no matter how much efforts to revise history are done by the Marcos family and their cohorts," Pangilinan says.
"We hope our courts will see this through conviction and give no special treatment to Mrs. Marcos."