Imelda walks free after Sandigan OKs P150T bail

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Former first lady Imelda Marcos has posted bail for provisional liberty after she was found guilty of graft and ordered imprisoned for illegally funneling $200 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s when she served as Metropolitan Manila governor while her husband, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, placed the Philippines under martial law. The Sandiganbayan accepted the bond while it decides on her motion to remain free while she appeals the conviction. AP

MANILA – Former First Lady and current Ilocos Norte 2nd District congresswoman Imelda Marcos walks free, for now, after the Sandiganbayan allowed her to post bail for her graft charges for allegedly transferring around $200 million to seven Swiss foundations in 1975.

The anti-graft court’s Fifth Division chairperson Associate Justice Rafael Lagos said that Marcos posted another P150,000 after the original bond she posted in 1991 was forfeited with the court’s conviction last week.

Lagos, however, clarified that the temporary bond posted by Marcos will only be applicable until after the Sandiganbayan decides on the former First Lady’s motion for leave.

“She will only await two rulings from the Sandiganbayan,” Lagos said. “If we approve (Marcos’ motion), we will order her to post bail double the amount. If we deny, then wala na, we will issue a warrant.”

Prior to the grant of the bail, Marcos was quizzed by Lagos for her absence during last week’s promulgation where the former said that she did not know that it was scheduled on that day.

“Are you saying that if you knew of the promulgation, you would have attended?” Lagos asked Marcos.

“I would have attended if I knew about it, I would do,” Marcos answered.

The former First Lady was also quizzed for conflicting reasons as the explanation sent by her legal counsel Atty. Manuel Lazaro stated that she was absent from the promulgation due to “multiple organ infirmities.”

“The motion says that you did not attend because you were indisposed […] I’m asking you, you said you did not know the promulgation, it says you apologize for attending because you were indisposed?” Lagos said.

“The real reason is I did not really know.  If I knew about it, even if I was sick, I would have come here,” Marcos replied.

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division found Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft over her alleged management of foundations in Switzerland that were supposedly created for the benefit of her family.

However, the anti-graft court has deferred issuing arrest warrant against the former first lady due to the latter’s pending plea for its consent to her pursuit of an appeal./PN

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