Court keeps Imelda Marcos free while deciding post-conviction bail
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Friday, November 16, asked Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos to post a bail bond amounting to P150,000 while the court decides with finality on her post-conviction bail. (READ: Imelda Marcos shows up at Sandiganbayan)
While that is being decided, she remains free in the meantime.
Associate Justice Rafael Lagos ordered Marcos to post the new amount of P150,000 which she needs to settle by the end of Friday.
Marcos is ordered to stay in the premises while the paper work is processed, “but that shouldn’t take long,” said Lagos.
When Lagos asked the Marcos camp if they are ready to pay on Friday, Marcos’ lawyer Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro said “yes.”
Lagos reminded Lazaro that should the court deny post-conviction bail, “you have no more remedies.”
So until the court decides whether or not to grant Marcos post-conviction bail, the former first lady has temporary freedom. Marcos finished bail requirements on Friday at about 11:30 am and went home afterwards.
When asked for their reaction to the verdict that Swiss foundations were used for the benefit of their family, the Marcos family kept mum.
Lagos explained that Imelda Marcos’ appeals for post-conviction remedies held the court from issuing an arrest warrant despite ordering her arrest on November 9.
“Even though we declared in open court the issuance of a warrant of arrest, that was overtaken by your motion,” said Lagos.
Convicted for graft
Bail while appealing a conviction is provided for under Rule 114 of the Rules Of Court depending on the discretion of the court.
Marcos was convicted for 7 counts of graft for illegally creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland. She was sentenced to 6 to 11 years for each count.
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division said in its decision that the private foundations were used to earn interest and investments for the "private benefit" of the Marcos family, where Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, and youngest daughter Irene were specified as beneficiaries.
Lead Ombudsman Prosecutor Rey Quilala said the Marcoses earned at least US$200 million or P10.6 billion from what the court called the former first family's "entrepreneurial activities."
Quilala did not attend on Friday.
This is Marcos' 2nd conviction. She was convicted for two counts of graft in 1993 but was acquitted by the Supreme Court in 1998.
A 31-year-old civil case against Marcos and the Marcos children is up for decision at the 4th Division, where the government seeks to recover P200 billion or US$3.8 billion in ill-gotten wealth. – Rappler.com