MANILA, Philippines – The decision of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos to withdraw her bid for Ilocos Norte governor has nothing to do with her graft conviction.
This was the assertion of her daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, who spoke to reporters on Monday, December 3.
The younger Marcos claimed her mother had planned "from the start" to withdraw her candidacy and be substituted by a younger member of their family.
"Ah talaga naman plano 'yan kasi ang tanda na niya eh. Binibiro nga kami, 'Pambihira naman kayo eh, 100 years of service na ako,' so talagang balak naman niya talaga," said Governor Marcos on the sidelines of a Hugpong ng Pagbabago event in Manila.
(It was really her plan because she's already very old. She was even joking, "I've done 100 years of service already," so it was really her intention.)
Governor Marcos added that her mother had only been waiting for the younger Marcoses to finally decide if they could be fielded for the gubernatorial race.
"Naglagay lang siya ng pangalan kasi 'yung mga bata wala nga masyadong gusto sa politika kaya kinukumbinse pa noon," said the governor.
(She just put her name there because the kids, no one wanted to get into politics so they were still being convinced.)
Running for governor in Imelda's place is her grandson, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc. He had originally filed his candidacy for vice governor.
Asked if Imelda's withdrawal had anything to do with her graft conviction, Marcos said, "Wala naman, talagang plano mula't sapul (No connection, that was the plan from the start)."
The older Marcos, former first lady of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, had withdrawn her gubernatorial bid in late November, weeks after the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found her guilty of illegally creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland.
She had allegedly 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)
She was sentenced to prison for 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each of the 7 counts of graft. She was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Imelda has since filed a notice of appeal with the Sandiganbayan, saying she wants to go straight to the Supreme Court to appeal her guilty verdict. But the court said her appeal is premature.
The former first lady has since been ordered to pay an additional P300,000 bail, separate from the P150,000 bond that the court required her to pay while waiting for the final decision. (READ: Like Enrile, 'advanced age' helps Imelda Marcos get bail) – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.