PNP’s stance on Imelda Marcos’ arrest ‘has no legal basis’ – Lagman
An Albay congressman on Tuesday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership’s resolve to consider the age and health of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos in her arrest “has no legal basis.”
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman debunked the remarks of PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde regarding the looming arrest of Mrs. Marcos, saying the former First Lady’s old age and health are “non-issue” on her conviction for seven counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan.
READ: Albayalde on Marcos’ arrest: We have to take into consideration her age
“No law or jurisprudence exempts a felon from arrest or incarceration due to old age,” Lagman said in a press briefing at the House of Representatives.
Last November 9, the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division found the 89-year-old widow of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos guilty of violating Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Sandiganbayan ruled on seven cases concerning Swiss accounts where around $200 million were channeled by Mrs. Marcos while holding various positions in government during her husband’s reign.
Mrs. Marcos, who has been known to own 3,000 pairs of luxurious shoes, was sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month up to 11 years for each count of graft.
READ: Imelda Marcos guilty of graft, ordered arrested | Imelda Marcos to appeal graft conviction
Lagman explained that an offender, who is over 70 years old, is only entitled to a “mitigating circumstance under Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC)” and that a “death sentence cannot be inflicted on one over 70 years old pursuant to Article 83 of the RPC at the time when the death penalty was the capital punishment.”
He also said the granting of bail pending appeal to an accused convicted for an offense not punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment by a Regional Trial Court or the equivalent tribunal like the Sandiganbayan is “discretionary.”
Lagman then cited Leviste vs. Velasco (G.R. No. 189122, March 17, 2010), wherein the Supreme Court ruled that: “In the exercise of that discretion, the proper courts are to be guided by the fundamental principle that the allowance of bail pending appeal should be exercised not with laxity but with grave caution and only for strong reasons, considering that the accused has been in fact convicted by the trial court.”
READ: Sandiganbayan forfeits Imelda Marcos’ bail
Just hours after her conviction, Mrs. Marcos attended her daughter Imee’s birthday party along with House Speaker Gloria Arroyo, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Solicitor General Jose Calida, former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, and presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
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