Philippine court finds Imelda Marcos guilty of graft


Imelda Marcos, the widow of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has been found guilty of graft and is facing arrest and a jail term of at least six-years.

Imelda Marcos' husband was ousted by an army-backed "people power" revolt in 1986. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback.

Marcos, who is now a member of the House of Representatives, is running for a governor post in next year's general election.

Because of her position in the government, she was "prohibited by the Constitution from having any interest during her term of office" in these businesses.

Imelda has registered as a candidate next May to succeed her daughter, Imee Marcos, 62, as governor of Ilocos Norte, the stronghold of the still powerful Marcos family.

The court's fifth division acquitted her in three counts of corruption.

Her lawyer is studying the decision "and has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration", Marcos said in a statement.

The court's decision came almost three decades after the case was filed.

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

"We will wait for the order of the court".

Court officials said Marcos, who was not at Friday's hearing, would be able to avoid incarceration by posting an as yet undetermined bail.

Quilala said that he considers her Swiss account convictions as a "victory" despite her acquittal in three other graft charges.

"I was jumping up and down in joy in disbelief", said former Commission on Human Rights chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales, who was among many activists locked up after Imelda's husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, declared martial law in the Philippines in 1972. That allowed him to shutter the legislature, muzzle the free press and jail or kill those who dared to oppose his dictatorship. The Marcoses have been accused of plundering the government's coffers amid crushing poverty.

President Rodrigo Duterte enjoys good ties with the Marcos family and has often praised the late strongman.

Bank documents left behind in the couple's haste to flee the presidential palace were used to build the case against Imelda, which has been ongoing since 1991.

"As such, we manifest our respect to the decision of the Sandiganbayan finding former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos guilty of the seven out of the ten cases filed against her", he added.