Imelda Marcos, Philippines ex-first lady, faces jail over graft

Imelda Marcos, Philippines ex-first lady, faces jail over graft

She ran for congress and won while her appeal was underway.

In the 21 years that President Ferdinand Marcos was in power, he and his wife became infamous for amassing billions of dollars, with funds funnelled into Swiss bank accounts.

The family fled to Hawaii in 1986 when the army and the Philippine people turned against the president in a bloodless popular revolt. Imelda Marcos is now a congresswoman.

In 1993, the Sandiganbayan also convicted the former First Lady for graft in a separate case but the Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2003, saving her from a 12-year prison sentence.

The charges relate to alleged illicit financial dealings with Swiss-based NGOs while serving in her husband's government in the 1970s and 80s.

The Marcoses have been accused of plundering the government's coffers amid crushing poverty.

The court's decision came almost three decades after the case was filed.

She was given 30 days by the anti-graft court to explain her absence during the promulgation.

Is Duterte targeting corruption watchdog investigators?

The Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth "is estimated between US$5 billion to US$10 billion, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden overseas", according to the the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin said the guilty verdict handed down to Marcos "rejects" the clan's attempt to revise the history of the Martial Law years, which was marred by killings, torture, disappearances, media oppression, and corruption that has left the Philippine economy reeling to this day.

A Hawaii court found Marcos liable for human rights violations and awarded $2bn from his estate to compensate more than 9,000 Filipinos who filed a lawsuit against him for torture, incarceration, extrajudicial killings and disappearances.

Duterte has acknowledged that Imee Marcos, the couple's daughter and a provincial governor, backed his presidential candidacy, and she is running for senator under Duterte's political alliance.

Duterte allowed Marcos' embalmed body to be buried at a special heroes' cemetery in 2016, and the president is often accompanied at official events by Imee Marcos.

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