Imelda Cites Poor Health for Absence at Graft Case Promulgation
MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:42 p.m.) — Rep. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte), former first lady, said she missed the promulgation of her conviction for graft last week because of her health.
In a motion filed before the Sandiganbayan, the camp of the graft convict claimed she was “suffering from multiple organ infirmities.”
Marcos also claimed to be “under strict orders from her physician to refrain from stressful conditions that will put her at risk for heart and brain attack and recurrence of seizure.”
“The failure to appear was neither intentional nor meant to disrespect this Honorable Court but was solely because she was indisposed,” he camp said.
Her lawyer Robert Singson did not attend the promulgation either. The camp of the former first lady said her legal counsel was confined due to high blood pressure.
“Considering that the absence of the accused was due to a justifiable reason, she respectfully prays of this Honorable Court that her standing be restored and that she be given leave to avail of the remedies provided under the Rules of Criminal Procedure against her judgment of conviction,” her camp said.
Despite her supposed infirmities, the widow of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos was seen attending the birthday party of her daughter Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos in San Juan hours after her conviction last Friday.
The anti-graft court found Marcos guilty on seven counts of graft over the creation of several foundations in Switzerland during the administration of her husband.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to issue a warrant for her arrest.
But the former first lady received no sympathy from critics.
“The former first lady seems to have forgotten that on this same Friday, she had the energy to go to party, smile for the cameras and socialize. This is not a picture of an aged woman who is ‘indisposed’ or ‘suffering multiple organ infirmities’,” senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, who was arrested and tortured during martial law, said.
Campaign Against the Return of the Marcos and Martial Law, a group that describes itself as being “composed of martial law victims, civil libertarians, peace and freedom advocates and militant groups” called Marcos as “seasoned liar.”
“This is indicative that Imelda Marcos is not only a convicted criminal, but also a seasoned liar, conveniently using her old age and health as excuses to exempt herself from the law,” CARMMA said.
“The series of events involving the conviction of Imelda Marcos and the delays on her arrest are indicative of a climate of impunity that is complicit to the crimes of criminal masterminds in the government.” CARMMA also said.
The group had previously said the “the delay of the issuance of an arrest order against Marcos is dilly-dallying justice that should have been served quickly and decisively.”
The Philippine National Police has said that it will arrest Marcos once a warrant is issued, but has also said it will take into account the former first lady’s health and her advanced age.
But CARMMA has pointed out that “if this was about age and gender, hundred of political prisoners and poor inmates would be given the same humanitarian consideration.” (www.philstar.com)
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