The Fifth Division of Sandiganbayan has allowed former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos not only to post bail but also to avail herself of other legal remedies to appeal her conviction on seven graft charges for allegedly funneling $200 million to Swish bank accounts.
According to the Clerk of Court of the Fifth Division, Marcos’ Motion for Leave to Avail Post-Conviction Remedies was granted by Sandiganbayan and that she was ordered to post a bail “double the amount” of her P150,000 original bond, or P300,000.
Last 16 November, Marcos presented herself before the special anti-graft court to explain her absence during the promulgation of the decision on 9 November.
Imelda claimed she was not aware of the scheduled promulgation and she only knew about her conviction when she was watching the television.
Her testimony was contrary to her motion for leave to avail herself of post-conviction remedies where she claimed she was suffering from “multiple organ infirmities.”
However, the Sandiganbayan said Marcos’ reasons in her “unjustified” absence during the promulgation coupled with her surrender in court, “negate an obstinate defiance on her part of the court’s process.”
Noting Marcos’ statement that she would have attended the promulgation had she known about it and that she actually surrendered and placed herself within the reach of the law, the court said these factors “invite leniency.”
Her surrender in court, negates an obstinate defiance on her part of the court’s process.
“Penal laws being favorable to the accused, substantive justice necessitates that Mrs. Marcos be restored in her standing in Court and be recognized to her right to pursue legal remedies against the judgment of conviction,” the court said.
Marcos was given 15 days to file legal remedies to petition her conviction. Under the rules, she may file a Motion for Reconsideration or a Notice of Appeal to elevate her case to the Supreme Court (SC).
On Monday, Marcos had filed a Notice of Appeal before the Sandiganbayan through her lawyer, former Court of Appeals Justice Manuel Lazaro.
In her appeal, Mrs. Marcos argued that her conviction was “contrary to facts, law and jurisprudence” and requested to forward the records of her cases to the SC.
The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division Clerk of Court said the Notice of Appeal was “premature.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Marcos also withdrew her bid in the Ilocos Norte’s gubernatorial race on Thursday but was substituted by her grandson, Matthew Marcos Manotoc.
Manotoc, the youngest son of incumbent Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, will go against former House Majority Floor Leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas.