However, the justices of the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division directed her to double the bail to P300,000 to enjoy temporary liberty while seeking a reversal of the decisions sentencing her to a maximum of 11 years in jail for each of the seven cases she was found guilty of.
Boy Santos/File
Sandiganbayan allows Imelda Marcos to run to Supreme Court
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has allowed former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos to reverse her convictions for graft – either through a motion for reconsideration before the anti-graft court or through a notice of appeal directly before the Supreme Court.

However, the justices of the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division directed her to double the bail to P300,000 to enjoy temporary liberty while seeking a reversal of the decisions sentencing her to a maximum of 11 years in jail for each of the seven cases she was found guilty of.

The cases stemmed from how she allegedly stole public funds from 1978 to 1984.

The Sandiganbayan, in a decision last Nov. 28, granted her motion seeking permission to avail herself of post-conviction remedies despite failure to attend the promulgation of judgment last Nov. 8. It accepted her reason that she honestly did not know the cases were up for decision.

“The aforecited reasons of Ms. Marcos in failing to attend the promulgation, coupled by her surrender in Court, negate an obstinate defiance on her part to the Court’s process,” it ruled.

A part of the ruling also read: “Inconsistencies in her reasons may have surfaced… whether she was sick or she simply didn’t know, but Ms. Marcos clarified firmly 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 Sandiganbayan acknowledged how the 89-year-old former first lady testified that “even if I was sick, I would have come here because this is the law,” leading the court to rule that “such statements invite leniency on the part of the Court, considering that in the process, Ms. Marcos surrendered and placed herself within the reach and arm of the law.”

Such explanations and circumstances, it added, necessitate that her standing in court be restored and her right to pursue legal remedies against the judgment of conviction be recognized.

Marcos was given 15 days to avail herself of post-conviction remedies, which would either be her filing of a motion for reconsideration or a notice of appeal. Last Wednesday, she filed a notice of appeal informing the Sandiganbayan that she intends to seek a reversal of her graft convictions before the Supreme Court.

“With due respect, the Accused submits that the Decision convicting her is contrary to facts, law and jurisprudence,” read her pleading, which was dubbed by the anti-graft court as premature at the time. 

Marcos was found guilty of involvement in the creation of seven private foundations in Switzerland from 1978 to 1984, which allowed her and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to funnel illegally amassed government funds during the martial law period. 

GRAFT IMELDA MARCOS SANDIGANBAYAN SUPREME COURT
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