Robredo: Imelda bail exposes disparity in justice system
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the granting of bail to former first lady Imelda Marcos, who was convicted for several counts of graft, only boosted the public perception that only the rich and powerful get justice.
In her weekly program “BISErbisyong LENI” aired over the Radio Mindanao Network, Robredo said allowing Marcos provisional liberty upon posting P150,000 bail only strengthened the belief that there was social class disparity in the country’s judicial system.
“It gives an impression to people that if you’re rich and of a high social standing, it’s that easy [to get out of jail]. If you’re poor, you suffer for many years for simple mistakes,” Robredo said.
Citing her previous work as a public interest lawyer, she said there was a stark difference on the treatment of poor Filipinos accused of crime and the leniency shown to the former first lady.
She questioned the Sandiganbayan’s decision to allow Marcos to post P150,000 bail, which she said was just “loose change” to the former first lady.
“The poor have to beg to raise P10,000 for bail money in a small offense. Then we have someone who has committed a grave crime and cannot even feel the difficulty of having to raise money for bail,” Robredo said.
The Vice President further pointed out that it was “insulting” for Marcos to cite poor health in failing to be at the promulgation of her case when she was able to attend a party on the same day.
“She even has a medical certificate with a long list of ailments to avoid the legal processes although she was previously able to run as governor and was even able to get into Congress,” she said.
Robredo contrasted this claim with Marcos’ plan to run for Ilocos Norte governor in the May 2019 elections and her attendance at the lavish birthday bash of her daughter Imee hours after missing the scheduled court hearing.
77 years in prison
“If we let her get away, what message will this send to the country’s poor? That justice is unfair?” she said in Filipino.
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division sentenced Marcos to 77 years in prison after finding her guilty of transferring over $200 million to bank accounts maintained by several private Swiss foundations whose beneficiaries include her family.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.