Imelda Marcos jailed at least 6 years for graft

Ex-Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos faces years behind bars

IMELDA Marcos was found guilty of corruption today and ordered arrested in a rare conviction for the former Philippine first lady accused with her late dictator husband of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers.

Former first lady Imelda Marcos waving to the crowd as she arrives for her son vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s "miting-de-avance" in Manila.

Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines, fled with his family to the U.S. after a people's uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.

Neither Marcos nor her lawyers were present at the promulgation of the decision. His family is said to have amassed an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while he was in power.

The court said Imelda, now a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, can have a provisional liberty if she posts a cash bond while appealing the conviction. Duterte said through a spokesman that his administration "is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence on courts, and therefore respects the decision".

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The charges relate to alleged illicit financial dealings with Swiss-based NGOs while serving in her husband's government in the 1970s and 80s.

The court's fifth division acquitted her in three counts of corruption.

Lawyer Ruben Carranza, meanwhile, was more guarded.

Imelda and Ferdinand's daughter Imee Marcos is the governor of the family's northern stronghold of Ilocos Norte province and helped bankroll the 2016 election campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to him.

But Carranza, who now works for the International Centre for Transitional Justice in NY, said that "even under authoritarian rulers - a Marcos, Duterte, (Donald) Trump or (Jair) Bolsonaro - there can be independent, self-respecting judges. But that means she accepts her guilt and returns the rest of the money - since a pardon will only remove punishment, not guilt", he said. Critics of the Marcos family quoted by the AP did not seem confident that Imelda will actually end up in jail, or even be banned from running for governor. He died in self-exile in Hawaii in 1989 but his widow and children returned to the Philippines. We will not interfere with the judiciary.

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