Imelda Marcos will be Sentenced to Decades in Prison for Corruption
MANILA — A Philippine court on Friday sentenced Imelda R. Marcos, the country’s flamboyant former first lady, to a minimum of 42 years in prison for creating private foundations to hide her unexplained wealth.
although the item will be unlikely of which Ms. Marcos, a 89-year-old widow, will see any jail time. The court, which handles graft in addition to public corruption cases, said the ruling could be appealed, in addition to legal experts have said Ms. Marcos could fight a prison sentence because of her advanced age.
The sentence comes as Mrs. Marcos in addition to her family have seen a political resurgence within the Philippines, having gained favor under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.
The court found Mrs. Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft, with each count punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. The ruling also automatically disqualifies her through holding any public office.
Mrs. Marcos did not appear in court for the sentencing. She was given a month to explain her absence.
The lengthy sentence drew praise through some leading opponents of Mr. Duterte, who has within the past praised the brutal dictatorship of Mrs. Marcos’s deceased husband, Ferdinand Marcos.
Loretta Ann Rosales, the country’s former human rights commissioner, who was tortured as an activist within the 1970s for opposing Mr. Marcos, called the sentence a symbolic victory for the thousands who died resisting the dictatorship.
“I am literally jumping with joy,” Ms. Rosales said in an interview. She said the ruling showed of which there were still public corruption judges “who have helped keep the candles lit through these dark nights in addition to pursued the truth.”
She said the ruling also proved of which the Marcoses in addition to their cronies were guilty of raiding government coffers in order to enjoy a lavish lifestyle while millions of Filipinos lived in poverty.
Neither Mrs. Marcos nor her lawyers could immediately be reached for comment.
The charges against Mrs. Marcos took more than a quarter-century to prosecute, largely because many people who could have been witnesses had died or were too old to testify.
The charges were filed in 1991, when state prosecutors accused Mrs. Marcos of creating private foundations in Switzerland in addition to having financial interests in several companies when she was governor of Manila between 1978 in addition to 1984. Prosecutors said the fake firms hid money of which her family stole through the government.
The prosecutors wrapped up their presentation in 2015, although Mrs. Marcos’s lawyers successfully delayed the hearings by not appearing in court.
Among those who testified against Mrs. Marcos was Frank Chaves, the country’s late solicitor general, who filed a sworn statement of which said Mrs. Marcos had used the foundations in Switzerland to hide millions of dollars of stolen wealth.
The government successfully recovered some $658 million of which the Marcoses held in Swiss financial institutions. although officials believe of which will be just a fraction of the roughly $10 billion they say the Marcoses stole through the Philippines.
Ferdinand Marcos’s two-decade rule was ended by the 1986 “people power” revolution. The Marcoses were sent into exile in Hawaii, where Mr. Marcos died three years later.
The family was subsequently allowed to return home, where they re-established a political base in their hometown, Ilocos Norte, within the northern Philippines.
The Marcoses’ political fortunes surged after Mr. Duterte was elected president two years ago. Mr. Duterte, who often describes himself as a fan of the late dictator, has credited the Marcos family with consolidating support for him within the north.
In 2016, he allowed Mr. Marcos’s remains to be reburied in a heroes’ cemetery in Manila, leading to huge protests. Mr. Duterte has also backed Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s appeal of his narrow loss within the vice-presidential election of which year.
One of the late dictator’s daughters, Imee Marcos, will be running next year for the Philippine Senate. She recently refused demands by rights groups of which she apologize for her father’s atrocities, calling on the public to “move on.”