MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos claimed that she was unable to attend the promulgation of the guilty verdict against her on November 9 because she was “suffering from multiple organ infirmities” and was “under strict orders to refrain from stressful conditions.”
Complying with the order of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to explain her absence, Marcos said in a pleading that “the accused was suffering from multiple organ infirmities and was under strict orders from her physician to refrain from stressful conditions that will put her at risk for heart and brain attack and recurrence of seizure.”
The 89-year-old former first lady is running for governor of Ilocos Norte for the 2019 mid-term elections. (READ: Imee, Bongbong Marcos were beneficiaries of illegal Swiss foundations)
“The failure to appear was neither intentional nor meant to disrespect this Honorable Court but was solely because she was indisposed,” said the pleading, although Marcos attended the birthday party of daughter Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos that same night on November 9.
Marcos attached to the pleading a medical certificate from St. Luke’s Medical Center neurologist Joven Cuanang dated November 12, or 3 days after the promulgation.
Cuanang said he “coordinates her medical care with her nurses and doctors” for conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Hypertension and Atherosclerotic Cardio Vascular Disease, Status Mini Strokes, Moderately Severe Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Chronic Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection, Chronic Recurrent Gastritis and Multiple Colon Polyps, and Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection.
“For these multiple organ infirmities, she is under periodic surveillance in cooperation with her nurses to keep her on optimal health at her age,” said Cuanang, adding that “under my strict orders, she is urged to avoid stressful condition that will put her at risk for heart and brain attack and recurrence of seizure.”
The pleading is formally called the motion for leave of court to avail of post-conviction remedies, which starts off the process of seeking post-conviction bail.
In the pleading, Marcos requested the Court to “defer the issuance of a warrant of arrest or suspend its implementation if one has been issued; and reinstate her bail or allow her to post bail for her provisional liberty.”
The pleading will undergo a hearing on Friday, November 16 at 8:30 am but the Court has already effectively deferred the issuance of a warrant because despite ordering it on November 9, no warrant has been released yet.
The Court must now decide whether Marcos will be granted post-conviction bail. Post-conviction bail is for the discretion of the Court following certain conditions like flight-risk.
The Rules of Court also says that if a convicted person snubs the promulgation, he or she shall lose remedies usually available to him or her, among them post-conviction bail.
The 5th Division already said in its November 9 order that Marcos’ absence “appears to be unjustified” and because of that, the Court forfeited her trial bail.
Marcos’ lawyer Robert Sison was also absent, allegedly because on November 9, the lawyer was treated at the Asian Hospital “due to high blood pressure and was advised to rest for 3 days.”
Marcos loyalist and former government corporate counsel Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro now stands as the former first lady’s lawyer. – Rappler.com