Indonesia

Imelda Marcos a no-show in House after Sandiganbayan verdict

Mara Cepeda
Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos usually attends plenary sessions at the Batasang Pambansa, but was absent for 3 consecutive days this week

NO-SHOW. Ilocos Norte 2nd District  Representative Imelda Marcos usually attends House sessions, as seen in this file photo, but not from November 12 to 14, 2018. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos did not report to work at the House of Representatives the week after the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan convicted her of graft.

Marcos did not attend the plenary sessions held from Monday, November 12, to Wednesday, November 14, at the Batasang Pambansa. Her congressional staff also told Rappler that the congresswoman, who usually attends plenary sessions, did not go to her office. 

Lawmakers are expected to be at the House from Mondays to Wednesdays to attend the plenary sessions, where legislators debate on and approve bills. Committee hearings are mostly held on these days, too.

Legislators usually spend Thursdays and Fridays doing work in their respective legislative districts. 

On November 9, the anti-graft court found Marcos guilty of illegally creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland, where she earned at least $200 million from interest and investments for the “private benefit” of the former first family. (READ: Imee, Bongbong Marcos were beneficiaries of illegal Swiss foundations)

The 89-year-old wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was sentenced to prison for 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each of the 7 counts of graft. She is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office. (READ: ‘A taste of justice’ in Imelda Marcos’ guilty verdict – congressmen)

A warrant for her arrest has not been issued yet. The Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division is set to hear Marcos’ post-conviction remedies on November 16. (READ: Imelda Marcos’ post-conviction bail still undecided; trial bail forfeited

Majority Leader Rolando Andaya earlier said the House leadership “respects” and will “abide by” the decision of the Sandiganbayan. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remained mum on the issue. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.