A group of former political prisoners and martial law survivors appealed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 9 — the fourth anniversary of Imelda Marcos’ 2018 conviction on seven counts of graft — to deny her appeal and affirm her conviction.
Marcos’ graft conviction by the Sandiganbayan stemmed from her creation of private foundations in Switzerland while serving as Metro Manila governor and concurrent Minister of Human Settlements and member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa.
The foundations allegedly enabled the Marcos family to funnel government funds for their personal benefit.
Marcos was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan to serve a total of 42 years in prison, but she lodged an appeal before the Supreme Court and posted bail of PhP300,000 for her temporary liberty.
In a letter addressed to Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, the former political detainees, said, “We tremble with indignation as we witness Mrs. Marcos, the principal conspirator of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. still out of jail, despite her conviction by the Sandiganbayan.”
Dennise Velasco of the national secretariat of the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto said it is the third time since Marcos’ conviction that martial law survivors made such an appeal to the Supreme Court, but they have yet to receive a reply to their previous inquiries.
The petitioners also aired “grave concern” over the possible reopening by the Supreme Court of the Marcos family’s estate tax case, which had been ruled final and executory as far back as March 1999.
Initially owing PhP23 billion, the Marcoses’ estate tax obligations have ballooned to PhP203.8 billion due to penalties and surcharges.
Velasco said reopening this case would mock the judiciary’s own principle of final judgment.
“It would also be violative of the principle of equal protection of the law as it would give undue favor to the Marcoses even as others who commit the same infraction would not be entitled to such privilege,” said Velasco.