The Sandiganbayan ordered the arrest of former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos after she was found guilty on Friday for seven counts of graft and corruption.
The anti-graft court's Fifth Division said Marcos was found "guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, Section 3(h) in relation to Article IX, Section 8 of the 1973 Constitution in Criminal Cases Nos.17287, 17288, 17289, 172890, 22867, 22868, and 22869."
"She is sentenced, in each of these cases, to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment from six years and one month as minimum to 11 years as maximum, with perpetual disqualification to hold public office," the decision said.
These cases are related to the alleged transfer of around $200 milllion in seven Swiss bank accounts while she was a member of the defunct "Interim Batasang Pambansa" and minister of human settlements.
"She was guilty for the seven Swiss foundations. She had financial interest on these foundations. They'd close one, then they'd transfer on the other, we traced the flow of money," Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Rey Quilala said in a TV interview.
Quilala said the Marcos couple used pseudonyms in creating these accounts.
On her part, Marcos said her camp intends to file motion for reconsideration and explained that her lawyer is "presently confined" in a hospital after being absent in the hearing.
She said her lawyer, Robert Sison, is sick but sformer Justice Lolong Lazaro
She however, was acquitted for cases no. 17291, 22870 and 19225 for failure of the information to charge an offense and insufficiency of evidence.
The decision was in connection with the cases filed against Marcos in 1991, 1993 and 1995.
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said they will "gladly abide" once the court orders the arrest of Marcos.
"We will wait for the order of the court," Albayalde said in an ambush interview in Silang, Cavite. "If they will tell us to bring her to custody, we have a ready custodial facility for her," he said.
He assured that the former First Lady will be treated as a normal detainee.
"We don't give special attention," he added.
Quilala said Marcos can appeal to the Supreme Court if there is grave of abuse of discretion on the decision of Sandiganbayan.
"The First Lady has remedies. If she avails for those remedies she can still run. She can bring the case up to the Supreme Court if she sees grave of abuse of discretion on the decision of the Sandiganbayan. It's not yet final and executory," he said.
He said because the Marcos camp failed to appear on today's hearing, the prosecution give her camp 30 days to explain her absence.
"If she presents herself to the court, the warrant of arrest can be lifted," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS