Source: The Daily Guardian
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt…” said the 5th Division of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
The court convicted the other half of the conjugal dictatorship, Imelda Romualdez Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft late last week. Finally, the long arms of the law have caught up with the partner in crime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Finding Imelda Marcos guilty of graft beyond reasonable doubt is a historic moment for the Filipino people who are losing hope of finding justice to the massive theft of public funds during the reign of greed of the Marcos family. The cases were filed in 1991 and it took twenty-seven years, almost three decades for the cases to be resolved. This is justice in the Philippines!
Contrast Imelda Marcos’ case with that of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
She was ousted from office in June 2017 and April 2018 was found guilty of corruption and abuse of power. Park was sentenced to twenty-years in prison. It only took South Korea less than a year to convict a former president.
Nevertheless, Filipinos can truly rejoice and celebrate that finally Imelda Marcos is convicted of graft. The court sentenced her to prison for six years and one month to eleven years in each case. In total, Imelda Marcos gets seventy-seven years jail time.
The court found Imelda Marcos guilty in seven of the ten cases filed against her. The cases involved seven Swiss foundations established by Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos to illegally stash at least US$200 million.
This was the modus of the corrupt couple. They funnel stolen money from the Philippines to a foundation in Switzerland, close it then transfer the amount to another foundation. They will again the close foundation where the money is moved and transfer it to another foundation. The money end in their secret Swiss bank accounts.
Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos used fictitious names when they created the seven foundations. Imelda Marcos was Jane Ryan and Ferdinand Marcos used the alias William Sanders. The foundations were the conduits of the Marcoses to move and hide the hundreds of millions of dollars they have stolen from the Filipino people.
The stolen money of the Imelda and Ferdinand discovered in several Swiss accounts were declared ill-gotten by the Supreme Court (when it had decent justices) in July 2003. The Court ruled that the total legal income of the Marcos couple from1966 to 1986 was around $304,000. The $683 million in their Swiss accounts was stolen money the Court said. The money was returned to the Philippines by the Swiss government.
Imelda Marcos’ conviction of graft by the Sandiganbayan is the latest evidence that the Marcoses are thieves. For years the Marcoses are peddling outright lies that they never robbed the Filipino people. Their paid trolls in social media usually challenge the allegations by asking, where is the conviction against the Marcoses? The Sandiganbayan decision punctured the lies of the Marcoses and exposed their deceit.
This is not the first time the Marcoses are found guilty of ill-gotten wealth. In 2014, Singapore’s Court of Appeals ruled that the $ 23 million Marcos money hidden in the city-state is ill-gotten and ordered the money returned to the Philippines. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court in 1997 issued a decision returning $683 million of Marcos stolen money to the Philippines. These cases blasted the claim the of Marcoses that they are not a family of thieves.
While the conviction of Imelda Marcos was universally hailed both here and abroad (it made front pages in newspapers worldwide), social media was ablaze with how she will escape punishment for her crime. It is generally agreed that Imelda Marcos will never see jail and this reflects the sorry state of justice in the country.
Netizens point out that Du30 is a “muchacho” of the Marcoses. He will see to it that his patroness will not serve her jail term and will play around with the loopholes of the legal system to prevent justice from being served to Imelda Marcos. Du30 can always grant her pardon if her case is decided with finality within his term.
The harshest reaction is on the question what happens when the case is elevated to the Supreme Court (lawyers of Imelda Marcos said they will appeal the decision all the way to the High Court). There is a public consensus that the Supreme Court will reverse the decision and acquit Imelda Marcos. (Recall the unjust and detestable Enrile ruling.)
It is widely believed that majority of the Supreme Court justices who are servants of Mammon instead of Lady Justice will do their trick again, conjuring the most absurd, ghastly, stupid and silly reason to absolve Imelda Marcos. Right now, they are even drafting the ruling how Imelda Marcos can escape and give a finger to justice.
That Filipinos are resigned to the conclusion that the present Supreme Court, packed with fanatics of Du30 will side with Imelda Marcos indicates how low the people regard the institution. People have lost their faith in the High Court as a citadel of justice.
Filipinos look at the current Court as the stooge of the high and mighty, the refuge of the corrupt and morally bankrupt, an institution devoid of credibility and integrity. That the High Tribunal is viewed as protector of criminals and scum bugs should make the justices cringed and ashamed of themselves. But delicadeza – the sense of shame and propriety, is dead in the highest court of the land.
Supreme Court and Du30 notwithstanding, the guilty verdict is a tremendous moral and legal victory for the Filipino people. The conviction of Imelda Marcos of graft will make it more difficult and hard for the Marcoses to revise history. The ruling of the Sandiganbayan is the best antidote to the fake news the army of trolls the Marcoses are using to cover up their crimes and deceive people. They are thieves, period!