PH court finds Imelda Marcos guilty on 7 counts of graft

Photo: Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Photo: Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

It’s been a long time coming.

Former first lady and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos has been found guilty on seven counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division earlier today.

GMA News reported that the 89-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum of 11 years in prison. She was found guilty on seven counts, making her total jail time a minimum of 42 years and 7 months and a maximum of 77 years.

She is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Rappler reported that today’s decision is on the 1991 case that charged Imelda for creating private, non-government organizations in Switzerland as she held government posts from 1968 to 1986, when her husband the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was in power.

She used her cabinet position to maintain Swiss bank accounts that contained over US$863 million.

President Marcos and his family were found to have stolen millions from the Filipino people during his regime. According to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth is estimated at US$10 billion but only US$3.1 billion has been recovered in 30 years.

Apart from the corruption, though, his years in power also saw thousands of human rights violations.

According to reports, at least 3,257 people were reportedly killed and some 35,000 others were tortured when the Philippines was under Marcos’ martial law.

The court today has also ordered the issuance of warrants of arrest against Imelda.

But that does not mean she’ll immediately be behind bars.

Imelda can post a cash bond since graft is a bailable case when she appeals the conviction, CNN Philippines reported. The warrants of arrest can also be lifted once the bond is paid.

More than just a First Lady, Imelda was believed to have greatly influenced her husband’s presidency. In fact, government positions, like becoming the governor of Metro Manila, were created especially for her.

She’s infamous for her lavish lifestyle, having owned over 3,000 pairs of shoes at one point — many of them with designer brands.

It was also rumored that she once had a plane do a U-turn back to Rome because she forgot to buy cheese.

Editor’s Note: We have amended the story to clarify that Imelda Marcos was found guilty on seven counts of graft, making her total jail time a minimum of 42 years and 7 months and a maximum of 77 years.

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