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Imelda Marcos faces Philippines arrest after guilty verdict

09 November 2018

The ruling permanently barred Marcos, who is now a member of parliament, from holding public office.

On Friday, Associate Justice Rafael Lagos of the Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division, sentenced the wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos to imprisonment from six years and one month, up to 11 years for each count, for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act when she transferred around $200 million to seven Swiss foundations during her term as a member of the defunct Batasang Pambansa and as then Minister of Human Settlements.

This leaves her potentially facing decades in prison, however the exact length of the term was not immediately clear.

The family fled to Hawaii in 1986 when the army and the Philippine people turned against the president in a bloodless popular revolt.

Marcos died in 1989 while still in exile. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback. Imelda Marcos is now a congresswoman.

Marcos maintained accounts with the Swiss Bank Corporation for the said foundations "for the benefit of the accused and her late husband", according to the charge sheets.

"So this is not yet final and executory", assistant special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters.

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"He is presently studying the decision and has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration", she added.

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

"This points to how long and therefore frustrating the Philippine judicial system is", said opposition lawmaker Francis Pangilinan.

In 1993, the Sandiganbayan also convicted the former First Lady for graft in a separate case but the Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2003, saving her from a 12-year prison sentence. She is allowed to apply for bail.

An arrest warrant has been filed for Imelda Marcos after the former Philippines First Lady failed to appear in court at the end of her corruption trial, according to a court official.

The 89-year-old Marcos - known for her more than 1,000 pairs of designer shoes and eye-popping diamonds while millions of Filipinos suffered in poverty - said she would appeal her conviction.

Imelda Marcos faces Philippines arrest after guilty verdict