Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos arrives at an anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to explain her side for not attending last week's promulgation of the graft charges against her Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. A Philippine court found Imelda Marcos guilty of graft and ordered her arrest last week in a rare conviction among many corruption cases that she's likely to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress.
AP/Maria S. Tan
Imelda changes tune on why she was unable to attend last week's promulgation
( - November 16, 2018 - 12:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos initially cited her health condition for missing the promulgation of her case last week but she has another excuse as she faced the court this Friday.

During a hearing on Friday, the widow of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos claimed that she did not know her cases were set for promulgation on November 9, according to a report from The STAR.

The 89-year-old former first lady further claimed that her cook received the notice of her promulgation and later on placed it in the office of her secretary, who was on leave.

"If I knew about it your honor, I would have been here. Even if I was sick, I would have come here," Imelda said when she took the witness stand.

On her testimony, the Ilocos Norte lawmaker further claimed that she only found out about the anti-graft court's decision on her cases last week upon watching television reports.

She said she woke up late last Friday because she was feeling ill.

Sandiganbayan 5th Division chairman Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, on the other hand, confronted Imelda about attending the birthday celebration of her daughter Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos hours after her conviction was issued.

Imelda told the court that Imee was "crying and begging" her to attend the party in San Juan City.

On Thursday, the Marcos camp said the convicted Ilocos Norte lawmaker missed the reading of her verdict as she was "suffering from multiple organ infirmities."

“The failure to appear was neither intentional nor meant to disrespect this Honorable Court but was solely because she was indisposed,” the Marcos camp said.

In her motion filed November 12, the Marcos camp attached a certification from Imelda's physician Joven Cuanang of St. Luke's Medical Center.

Cuanang indicated that the former first lady is under medical care for diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, static ministrokes, sensorineural hearing loss, chronic recurrent urinary tract infection, chronic recurrent gastritis and multiple colon polyps and recurrent respiratory tract infection. 

Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has allowed Imelda to post P150,000 bail for her provisional liberty. Last Friday, the court found her guilty of at least seven counts of graft. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with reports from Elizabeth Marcelo

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