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Like Enrile, ‘old age’ also applied in Imelda’s case

/ 05:36 AM December 04, 2018

The Sandiganbayan allowed former first lady Imelda Marcos to post bail pending her appeal because of old age and frail health—taking a cue from the precedent set by the Supreme Court in the case of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

“Taking into account primarily the fact that she is of advanced age and for health reasons, consistent with the doctrine in Enrile vs. Sandiganbayan, bail is allowed for these seven cases,” read the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division’s Nov. 28 order shown to reporters on Monday.

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The Supreme Court’s controversial August 2015 decision — penned by now Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin — allowed Enrile to walk out of detention while awaiting trial for the nonbailable case of plunder, due to “special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances.”

The high court cited “the fragile health and advanced age of Enrile,” who was then 91. Now 94, Enrile is running for senator while his P172.8-million plunder case has yet to reach the trial stage.

The 89-year-old Marcos, in her Nov. 12 “motion for leave of court to avail herself of postconviction remedies,” invoked the excuse of old age and frail health in seeking the restoration of her right to appeal and asking to be allowed to post bail.

Stressful conditions

Marcos was required by Rule 120 of the Rules of Court to file the motion to justify her absence from the Nov. 9 promulgation of her verdict.

She claimed to be “under strict orders from her physician to refrain from stressful conditions” due to the risk of “heart and brain attack and recurrence of seizure.” Yet, she later said she was unaware of the hearing.

In allowing Marcos to post a P300,000 bail, the court said her statements, although inconsistent, “invite leniency” since she “placed herself within the reach and arm of the law” by attending a Nov. 16 hearing.

Marcos was found guilty of seven counts of graft for creating Swiss foundations to stash about $200 million cash while serving as an assemblywoman, minister of human settlements and Metro Manila governor.

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TAGS: graft conviction, Imelda Marcos, Juan Ponce Enrile, Lucas Bersamin, Marcos hidden wealth, Supreme Court
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