Supreme Court urged to uphold Imelda Marcos' graft conviction

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — Martial law survivors urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to affirm the graft conviction of former first lady Imelda Marcos, who continues to enjoy her freedom three years into her conviction.

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) and the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang and Martial Law (CARMMA) said there has been no update on her case since she appealed her conviction at the Sandiganbayan and the notice was forwarded to the high court in 2018.

“We suffered during the Marcos conjugal dictatorship, and we continue to suffer as we continue to see that Imelda is out of jail, out of accountability. The dictator’s widow continues to live the life, not sickly and dirt-poor, as she receives all the geriatric care she wants and needs using all the wealth from the people’s pockets accumulated in their more than two decades of power and might,” SELDA vice-chairperson and CARMMA convener Danilo dela Fuente said in a statement.

The widow of ousted dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos was convicted of seven counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan in 2018 for illegally funneling at least $352 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s when she was governor of Metropolitan Manila. She was also sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count of graft, which is equivalent to a minimum of 42 years in prison.

However, she was allowed by Sandiganbayan to post bail partly because of then 89-year-old Marcos' old age and state of health. She later posted bail amounting to P300,000.

"We urge the Supreme Court not to be accessory to the Marcoses’ continuing grand deception and escape from accountability," the groups told Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.