In this Nov. 16, 2018 photo, former First Lady Imelda Marcos showed up in Sandiganbayan, where she posted bail while she pursues legal remedies to reverse her graft conviction for funneling public funds to overseas bank accounts.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, file
Sandiganbayan allows Imelda Marcos to post bail, avail of legal remedies
( - November 30, 2018 - 9:22am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 10:06 a.m.) — Sandiganbayan allowed Rep. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte) to post bail and avail of legal remedies after the anti-graft court convicted her on seven counts of graft.

News5 reported that the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has allowed Marcos to avail of post-conviction remedies, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration or a notice of appeal. The court put a cash bond of P300,000 for her case, the report added.

On November 9, the anti-graft court found Marcos guilty of graft and sentenced her to a maximum of 11 years in prison for each graft case. She was charged with making seven bank transfers totaling $200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Metro Manila governor.

Marcos did not appear on the date of the promulgation of the case.

A party is allowed to file a motion for reconsideration on a ruling, but Under Rule 120 of the Rules of Court: “If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to appear was without justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in these rules against the judgment and the court shall order his arrest.”

While the court ordered her arrest, a warrant was not immediately issued to law enforcement agencies. It deferred her arrest pending Marcos’ filing of motion to leave of court, saying that she was too ill to attend the promulgation.

A motion to leave for court is a pleading asking the court to deviate from an established rule or procedure of court.

READ: Imelda Marcos’ lawyer told to explain absences

The court held a hearing on November 16 on Marcos’ motion. During the hearing, however, the former first lady said that she was not aware of the date. This reasoning ran counter to what she cited on her filed motion.

Marcos was also allowed to post P150,000 as bail.

“Inconsistencies in her reason may have surfaced, ie. whether she was sick or she simply didn’t know, but Ms. Marcos clarified that ‘the real reason, Your Honor, was because I did not know, I did not really know, God knows that I did not know,” the court, as quoted in the News5 report, said in its resolution.

The court also noted Marcos’ statement where she said that she would have come to the promulgation even if she was sick.

“Such statements invite leniency on the part of the Court, considering that in the process, Ms. Marcos surrendered and place herself within the reach and arm of the law,” the Sandiganbayan also said.

Supreme Court for relief?

Last Tuesday, Marcos filed a notice of appeal informing the anti-graft court that she intends to seek relief from the Supreme Court.

The wife of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. asked the Sandiganbayan to forward the records of her case to the high court “for further proceedings.”

But the Sandiganbayan held that Marcos’ pleading was filed “premature,” as the court has yet to resolve her motion for leave.

The Supreme Court has earlier voted to allow the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. —  Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 30, 2018 - 9:09am

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.

November 30, 2018 - 9:09am

The Sandiganbayan has granted the request of Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos to post bail and file post-conviction remedies, which include elevating her graft conviction to the Supreme Court.

November 27, 2018 - 5:38pm

The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court rules it is premature of Rep. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte), former first lady of the Philippines, to appeal her graft conviction before the Supreme Court.

Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Marcos had filed a notice of appeal at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division asking it to forwards the records of her case to the Supreme Court.

This, despite her pending motion before the court for leave to avail of post-conviction remedies.

November 16, 2018 - 11:48am

Imelda Marcos and her children Imee and Bongbong refuse to answer media queries on the Sandiganbayan's finding that they benefited from the money traced in the private Swiss foundations used to funnel ill-gotten wealth.





November 16, 2018 - 10:22am

Associate Justice Lagos also grilled Imelda Marcos over the sudden change of her reasons for failing to attend the promulgation. Marcos initially claimed that she failed to attend the proceeding because she was "indisposed" due to "multiple organ infirmities."

In a sworn affidavit submitted to the court yesterday, however, Mrs. Marcos claimed that she failed to attend the promulgation as she was not aware of it. — Elizabeth Marcelo

November 16, 2018 - 10:18am

Imelda Marcos was confronted by Sandiganbayan 5th Division chairman Associate Justice Lagos about attending her daughter Imee's birthday party on the night after she was convicted. She said Imee was "crying and begging" her to attend the party. — Elizabeth Marcelo

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