Imelda Marcos faces Philippines arrest after guilty verdict

Former Philippines First Lady and current Congresswoman Imelda Marcos waves to supporters in Manila in October 2015                        Erik de Castro  REUTERS

Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos on Friday said her camp "intends to file a motion for reconsideration" on the Sandiganbayan's guilty verdict against her on seven counts of graft.

The ruling permanently barred Marcos, who is now a member of parliament, from holding public office.

The conviction also perpetually disqualified her from holding public office, meaning she will have to step down from her current position in the House of Representatives, where she is serving a third term.

Her graft charges filed back in 1991, stemmed from her "direct and indirect financial or pecuniary interest" in the management of several non-government organizations created in Switzerland from 1968 to 1984. She is infamous for her extravagant lifestyle during the reign of her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Marcos was sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of six years to 11 years and a month maximum.

The family matriarch seeks to replace her daughter Imee Marcos as provincial governor, while Imee is gunning for a Senate seat. Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said, "This legal victory is a two-decade struggle by the courageous Filipino people".

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Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said Mrs. Marcos offered to return a portion of their ill-gotten wealth. It has always been an uphill struggle, then all of a sudden, here it is after so much work.

Ombudsman prosecutor Rey Quilala explained in an interview after the promulgation that the amounts involved with the foundations vary, and it is hard to give an exact number because they used different currencies, namely francs and dollars.

Neither Marcos nor her lawyers were present when the Sandiganbayan justices promulgated the decision to convict her for seven counts of graft.

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao hopes the Sandiganbayan's ruling would "become a precedent in running after the Marcoses with regards to their other graft cases, involving not only Imelda Marcos, but also the other Marcos siblings".

"Hallelujah! About time, indeed, long past time".

"The law says if there is no final conviction, you can still run", Panelo told ANC's Dateline Philippines.

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