Ombudsman panel urges Sandiganbayan to convict Imelda Marcos for graft
MANILA, Philippines – Ombudsman prosecutors asked the Sandiganbayan to convict former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos for graft, over a corruption case that has spanned 26 years.
In a 28-page memorandum filed on August 29, the prosecution pointed out to the anti-graft court that evidence has been admitted without comment from the Marcos camp in relation to 10 counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Based on the charges filed in 1991, Marcos was accused of unlawful financial interests in non-governmental organizations in Switzerland and various local business enterprises from 1968 to 1986, the period where she held various government positions.
The widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos served as minister of human settlements and Metro Manila governor from June 1976 to February 1986 and as member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984.
The graft case is one of the oldest pending cases at the Sandiganbayan. (READ: What are the Sandiganbayan's oldest pending cases?)
Those who testified against Marcos include former solicitor general Francisco Chavez, former central bank governor Jaime Laya, former Philguarantee chairman Cesar Virata, and former Philguarantee president Victor Macalincag.
The prosecution panel, in the memorandum, told the anti-graft court that it had "successfully discharged its duty of proving the guilt" of the former First Lady "beyond reasonable doubt."
"Hence, a verdict of conviction for the aforementioned crimes is sought against the accused," the prosecution panel said.
The submission date of the memorandum coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement that an emissary of the Marcos family offered to return some of their ill-gotten wealth.
The Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth has been the subject of numerous cases both here and abroad. It reached an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion during the Martial Law years, a period also marred by human rights abuses. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has so far recovered P170 billion since 1986. Duterte, however, has threatened to abolish the PCGG.
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos later denied that talks have been initiated, but said they trust Duterte will "end decades of cases" against their family. – Rappler.com