The Philippines’ anti-corruption court has ordered the arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos after finding her guilty on seven counts of graft during the two-decade rule of her husband and former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos, 89, famous for a huge collection of shoes, jewellery and artwork, is facing dozens of protracted graft cases that have hounded her since her family was toppled in an army-backed popular uprising in 1986.
The court ordered Marcos, a congresswoman, to serve six to 11 years in jail for each of the seven counts of graft. She was charged for making seven bank transfers totalling $US200 million ($A275 million) to Swiss foundations during her term as Manila governor.
Marcos and her representatives did not attend the legal hearing on Friday.
The arrest warrant may not be executed immediately because Marcos can appeal Friday’s ruling by the Sandiganbayan court, a prosecutor said.
“She can elevate it to the Supreme Court if she sees grave abuse of discretion in the Sandiganbayan’s decision. So this is not yet final and executory,” assistant special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters, adding she can also file for an application for bail.
Under the rules of the Sandiganbayan, the former first lady has 15 days from promulgation of the ruling to file an appeal, and the anti-graft court has 30 days within which to decide on it. Marcos may also go straight to Supreme Court to seek relief.
Marcos, who is serving her third straight term as a member of congress, has registered to contest an election to succeed her daughter, Imee Marcos, 62, as governor of Ilocos Norte, the stronghold of the still powerful Marcos family.
Imee is running for the Philippine Senate in 2019.
Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades, placing the country under martial law in 1972, during which time thousands of opponents were jailed, killed or disappeared.
He was accused of amassing more than $10 billion while in office and died in exile in 1989.
Australian Associated Press