Decades dictated by Imelda show that justice is "frustrating", "sacrifice"
MANILA, Philippines – Regardless of the verdict, Sandiganbayan's conviction about the former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos proves that justice is a clear sacrifice, said Panfilo Lacson.
The fifth division of the anti-graffiti Sandiganbayana found Marcos guilty beyond any doubt for seven transplant counts. She was sentenced to imprisonment for six years and from one month to 11 years, with perpetual disqualification for public office.
Dream. Francis Pangilinan from the Liberal Party pointed out that the case against the widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos had come from at least three decades earlier.
READ: The money path: Marcos billions and where to find them
"This shows how long and therefore frustrating the Filipino judicial system is, and especially with regard to how powerful and well-established the accused are," Pangilinan said in a statement.
Welcoming the court's decision, Pangilinan said that conviction is a reminder that Marcoses plundered the wealth of the nation.
"We hope that our judgments recognize this as a belief and do not subject Mrs Marcos to special concern," Pangilinan said.
Allegations against Marcos stemmed from her illegal creation of Swiss foundations and bank accounts during her term as Minister of Human Settlements and Governor of Metro Manila in 1976-1986 and a runaway member of the temporary Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984.
Triumph for the victims of martial law
Recognizing that the conviction lasted for a long time, the Human Rights Commission considered this decision as a triumph for the Philippine people, in particular for human rights victims at martial law.
"The Commission emphasizes the need for truth so that we can ultimately be held responsible for our crimes by the dictatorship and their cohorts, and we will continue to oversee this process in the interest of maintaining justice for victims of such offenses," said CHR spokeswoman Jacqueline de Guia.
In turn, the Karapatan law group demanded the immediate arrest and imprisonment of the Ilocos Norte legislator, as well as the return of public funds that Marcoses stole from the Filipinos.
"We demand that the Philippine people receive real justice for the violation of human rights, plunder, corruption and the lacuna of the Marcos regime," said Karapatan in a statement.
Duterte may pardon Marcos
The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino working group recognized belief as "an early Christmas gift".
The workers' group warned, however, that Malacañang could still pardon Marcos.
"The verdict provokes joy, the old prayer of people has been heard, but on the other hand it is safe to say that with the close connection between the administration of Duterte and Marcoses, Imelda will be unconditionally pardoned," said BFA chairman Leody de Guzman.
De Guzman noted that President Rodrigo Duterte was the only president who allowed Ferdinand Marcos to bury himself in Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"It is also most certain that Imelda will not be slapped," said De Guzman.
Special Assistant Attorney Rey Quilal admitted that the arrest warrant against Marcos could be lifted because the conviction is not yet final. The Marcos camp may still apply for reconsideration.
LATEST UPDATES: 9 November 2018 – 14:37
The 5th division in Sandiganbayan finds the former first lady and the current Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, who is guilty of seven charges for using the office's position to keep Swiss bank accounts during the Marcos regime.
She is sentenced to imprisonment for six years and from one month to 11 years for each case with perpetual disqualification from the public office.
The decision was taken almost three decades since it was filed in 1991 by the Office of the Ombudsman.
9 November 2018 – 14:37
The Karapatan legal group and the Bukluran working group of Manggagawang Pilipino say they have approved of the Sandiganbayan decision, but have expressed concerns that President Rodrigo Duterte may grant Imelda Marcos forgiveness for the seven crimes in which she was found guilty of committing.
"We are also ambivalent in implementing such a ruling based on two issues: 1) to spoil the current regime and the political rehabilitation of Marcoses, and 2) the machinations of Marcoses in order to avoid responsibility," states Karapatan in a statement.
BMP adds that, given the many presidential decisions that have favored the Marcos family, "the inclination of this administration is to forgive her in the earliest possible time and appoint old age as a reason for grace."
Karapatan calls for the immediate arrest and imprisonment of Marcos and the return of billions of public funds stolen by Marcosesa.
November 9, 2018 – 14:00
Senator Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, welcomes Sandiganbayan's decision to find a widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda, guilty of undoubtedly a transplant and her eternal disqualification from public office.
Imelda is running for Governor Ilocos Norte in next year's votes.
"Sandiganbayan's conviction is a faithful reminder that Marcoses plundered the nation's property and stole it from the people, no matter how much the members of the Marcos family and their cohorts are trying to revise history," says Pangilinan.
"We hope that our courts will accept this as a conviction and will not treat Marcos special treatment."