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Imelda Marcos says she’ll go straight to SC

/ 05:34 AM November 28, 2018

Former first lady Imelda Marcos has told the Sandiganbayan she would challenge her conviction for seven counts of graft directly before the Supreme Court and skip steps in the appeals process.

Marcos on Monday filed a notice of appeal, released to reporters on Tuesday, which requested that the antigraft court’s Fifth Division forward the records of her cases to the high court.

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Apparently, she could not wait for the Fifth Division to first resolve the “motion for leave to avail of postconviction remedies” that she filed barely two weeks ago, on Nov. 12.

“To date, motion for leave filed by the accused has not yet been resolved,” the notice read.

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She also argued, without elaborating for now, that “the decision convicting her is contrary to facts, law and jurisprudence.”

Premature

The Fifth Division, however, said in a statement to reporters that it “cannot take action” on Marcos’ notice of appeal.

It said Marcos’ move was “premature, as the court has not yet resolved” her pending motion.

In order to appeal a conviction by the Sandiganbayan, the accused would have to first file a motion for reconsideration before the same court.

Should the appeal be denied, the accused could then elevate the case to the high court.

Because Marcos failed to attend the Nov. 9 promulgation of her verdict, Rule No. 120 of the Rules of Court required her to first file a motion for leave justifying her absence so she could resort to her legal remedies.

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The court allowed Marcos to post a P150,000 bail while she awaited its resolution.

Beneficiaries

The graft cases, first filed in 1991, concerned her transactions with Swiss foundations set up to maintain bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of dollars for the benefit of the Marcos family.

The transactions were said to be illegal because Marcos was serving as a member of the then National Assembly representing the National Capital Region from 1978 to 1984, and was minister of human settlements and concurrent Metro Manila governor from June 1976 to February 1986.

Section 11 of the 1973 Constitution bars members of the National Assembly from having direct or indirect interest in transactions involving the government.

Conflict

Likewise, members of the Cabinet were not allowed to “participate in the management of any business” under Section 8 of the same charter.

Aside from the unconstitutionality of Marcos’ business transactions, the Sandiganbayan decision showed that her children, Imee and defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong, were beneficiaries of the foundations.

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TAGS: graft conviction, Imelda Marcos, Sandiganbayan, Supreme Court
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