Conclusion of Imelda graft trial delayed anew
The Sandiganbayan couldn’t close the trial stage in the 26-year old graft case of former First Lady Imelda Marcos just yet, as both the prosecution and her defense sought more time to sum up their arguments.
In separate resolutions on July 28 and Aug. 4, the court’s Fifth Division granted the extension for the filing of their respective case memoranda and pushed the deadline to August 26.
But since the trial already ended back in February, the court issued an ultimatum because it had been delayed for months in submitting the case for decision.
“With or without memorandum these cases will be deemed submitted for decision,” the resolutions said.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman had cited the sheer volume of “the documentary evidence and the lengthy transcripts of stenographic notes” in seeking more time to file its memorandum.
Marcos, through her lawyer Robert A.C. Sison, likewise cited the “voluminous records of these cases” in asking for an extension.
The Sandiganbayan criminal cases have crept slowly since they were filed from 1991 to 1995. (Special Prosecution Officer Teresita V. Diaz-Baldos, who filed the 1991 charges, would even finish a 13-year stint as Sandiganbayan justice in July without seeing the conclusion of Marcos’ trial.)
Marcos, who lent her name to the word “imeldific” for her extravagance, was accused of violating Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which bars public officials from having financial interest in transactions prohibited by the Constitution.
While serving as a member of the interim Batasang Pambansa and later the Minister of Human Settlements, she was allegedly involved in several foundations and business establishments set up to accumulate ill-gotten wealth, some of which was stowed away in Swiss bank accounts.
The Duterte administration in November allowed the sneak burial of the remains of her husband, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
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