Source: GMA News

Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos has cited health reasons for her absence during the promulgation at the Sandiganbayan last week where she was found guilty for seven counts of graft.

In a motion filed at the Fifth Division on November 12, Marcos said she meant no disrespect to the Sandiganbayan but had to prevent herself from attending stressful conditions upon the orders of her doctor.

“The accused was suffering from multiple organ infirmities and was under strict orders from her physician to refrain from stressful conditions that will put her at risk for heart and brain attack and recurrence of seizure,” Marcos said.

Marcos attached a medical certificate signed by her neurologist, Dr. Joven Cuanang of St. Luke’s Medical Center, who said the 89-year-old former First Lady is suffering from seven illnesses.

These conditions include Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Hypertension and Atherosclerotic Cardio Vascular Disease, Static Ministrokes due to cerebral scars from a previous surgery, Moderately Severe Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Chronic Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection, Chronis Recurrent Gastritis and Multiple Colon Polyps, and Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infection.

The medical certificate also said Marcos, who filed her candidacy for Ilocos Norte governor in the 2019 elections, is having “many supplements to improve her immune system.”

Despite her health “infirmities,” Marcos, on the night of her conviction, found time to attend the birthday party of her daughter Imee, where her son and Imee’s brother Ferdinand “Bongbong” Jr, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and House Speaker Gloria Arroyo also showed up.

The party was held on the same day the Sandiganbayan convicted Marcos for violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, with subsidiary imprisonment of six to 11 years for each count and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The Sandiganbayan said the evidence showed Marcos created and managed seven foundations in Switzerland that earned interest for the benefit of her family. These transpired during her service as Metro Manila Governor, Minister of Human Settlements, and interim member of Batasan Pambansa.

The Sandiganbayan was forced to compel Marcos and her counsel, Robert Sison, to explain their “unjustified” absence during the promulgation within 30 days.

Having cited her health ailments, Marcos said this should be reason enough for the Sandiganbayan to allow her to challenge the conviction and defer the issuance of the warrant of arrest.

“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,” Marcos said.

She also appealed for the anti-graft court to grant her request for bail after the bond she posted during the trial stage was forfeited.

The Sandiganbayan will hear the motion of Marcos on Friday morning.

Ailing lawyer

Health concerns were also the same reason cited by Sison in his affidavit, explaining that he was rushed to the Asian Hospital Medical Center in Muntinlupa City on the same day of the promulgation.

Sison said he started experiencing dizziness on November 7 which persisted until the next day. He said he even had to seek assistance from another lawyer to attend to other cases he was handling.

Sison said his condition remained the same on November 9 and was only discharged late in the afternoon.

“The foregoing even which prevented me from attending the promulgation of judgment of the Sandiganbayan criminal cases against Mrs. Marcos on the same day was beyond my control. It was not of my own liking,” he said.

Marcos had informed the Sandiganbayan that she will change his counsel, replacing Sison with former Court of Appeals Associate Justice Manuel Lazaro.