CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 12 January 2019

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Imelda Marcos found guilty of graft charges

MANILA (UCAN): The Sandiganbayan 5th Division (the special appellate collegial court) of the Philippines has ordered the arrest of Imelda Marcos, widow of late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, after she was found guilty on seven counts of graft.
 
The 89-year-old was found guilty of corruption for using her cabinet position during the rule of her husband to maintain Swiss bank accounts.
 
She was minister of Human Settlements, governor of Metro Manila, as well as a member of parliament during her husband’s presidency and dictatorship from 1965 to 1986.
 
Marcos, who was not in court, was sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of six years to a maximum of 11 years and a month. She can post bail while appealing her conviction. 
 
The court ruling could prevent Marcos, who is running for governor in Ilocos Norte province in next year’s mid-term elections, from holding public office. 
 
Presently a member of Congress, she will be disqualified from running if the court ruling becomes final after her appeal.
 
The political party, Akbayan, welcomed the court decision. 
 
“This is a victory against historical revisionism,” Etta Rosales, chairperson of the party and a former political detainee, said.
 
She said the court’s decision came at a time when the Marcos family was “desperately trying to revise history and clear their name of the crimes they committed.”
 
Trinidad Herrera-Repuno, chairperson of Selda, the organisation that has been demanding the courts issue an arrest warrant for Marcos said,  “While we welcome the guilty verdict against Imelda, justice should come full circle. Imelda should be arrested and be put behind bars.” 
 
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, welcomed the conviction, although he said it was “sad” that it took about 30 years. 
 
“We hope that this will serve as a lesson to politicians that justice will come and hopefully they will answer for it,” Bishop Pabillo, head of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said.

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