By: Perfecto Raymundo
MANILA — The Sandiganbayan on Friday allowed former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos to post a PHP150,000 bailbond for each count of the seven counts of her graft conviction, for a total of PHP1.05 million.
In its decision, Sandiganbayan Fifth Division Chairman Associate Justice Rafael Lagos allowed Marcos to be temporarily released while her motion seeking to appeal the guilty verdict is being heard.
Marcos told the anti-graft court that she had no idea that the promulgation of the sentence was Friday last week.
She informed the Sandiganbayan that her housemaid received the “notice of promulgation” and put it in the office of her secretary, who was then “on-leave” at that day.
Earlier, the Sandiganbayan ordered the convicted former First Lady to remain in the court premises while her motion is being resolved.
Marcos arrived around 8 a.m. at the Sandiganbayan to attend the hearing on her motion to allow her to post bail and file legal remedies on her conviction.
She was accompanied by her children — incumbent Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and grandson, Borgy Manotoc.
In her motion, she asked the Sandiganbayan to defer the issuance of a warrant of arrest, as well as the suspension of its implementation if ever the anti-graft issues such an order.
“Considering that the absence of the accused was due to a justifiable reason, she respectfully prays of this Honorable Court that her standing be restored and that she be given leave to avail of the remedies provided under the Rules of Criminal Procedure against her judgment of conviction,” she said in her motion.
In its decision, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division sentenced Marcos to suffer the penalty of imprisonment from six years to 11 years for each count of the seven counts of graft cases.
The cases involved her alleged hidden wealth in the Swiss bank accounts during her husband’s time, while she was the sitting Minister of Human Settlements, concurrent Metro Manila governor and Member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa.
The anti-graft court forfeited her bailbond because of her non-appearance during the promulgation of the decision Friday last week.
However, the Sandiganbayan said: “the failure to appear was neither intentional nor meant to disrespect this Honorable Court but was solely because she was indisposed.”
Marcos, in her motion, also argued that she was strictly advised by her doctor to avoid being “stressed” because of her illnesses, which may result in heart and brain attack, presenting to the Sandiganbayan medical certificates showing that she was suffering from various health conditions.