MANILA, Philippines – Opposition congressmen lauded the Sandiganbayan's conviction of Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos for graft on Friday, November 9.
ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio said that while some may argue that the conviction of Marcos may be a little too late, a “guilty verdict is still a guilty verdict.”
“The verdict, which should see her jailed for a long time and perpetually disqualify her from holding public office, shows us how Imelda Marcos can be held accountable for her role in the worst plunder in the nation's history. It gives us a taste of justice,” said Tinio.
The anti-graft court found Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft related to private organizations created in Switzerland while she was a government official from 1968 to 1986. She is infamous for her extravagant lifestyle during the reign of her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (READ: Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history)
Marcos, who is 89 years old, was sentenced to prison for 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each case. She is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
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.
“The conviction by the Sandiganbayan of Imelda Marcos of graft is a clear and unequivocal proof that they deserve history’s judgment of a conjugal dictatorship that plunged our country in darkness more than 3 decades ago,” said Villarin.
“It is lady justice catching up with history. The decision is a welcome relief and mitigates the pain of the past but only a full and voluntary acknowledgment by the Marcoses of their deeds can we say that closure is coming,” he added.
Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao hopes the Sandiganbayan’s ruling would “become a precedent in running after the Marcoses with regards to their other graft cases, involving not only Imelda Marcos, but also the other Marcos siblings.”
Three generations of the Marcos clan are once again running for office in Ilocos Norte, the family’s stronghold, in the 2019 elections.
The family matriarch seeks to replace her daughter Imee Marcos as provincial governor, while Imee is gunning for a Senate seat.
Imee’s son, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, will be running for vice governor.