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Philippines hands Imelda Marcos lengthy prison term in graft case

Philippines hands Imelda Marcos lengthy prison term in graft case

Marcos was not present at the court but a warrant has now been issued for her arrest.

The anti-graft court found Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft related to private organizations created in Switzerland while she was a government official from 1968 to 1986.

In the 21 years that President Ferdinand Marcos was in power, he and his wife became infamous for amassing billions of dollars, with funds funnelled into Swiss bank accounts.

Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines, fled with his family to the USA after a people's uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.

"So this is not yet final and executory", assistant special prosecutor Ryan Quilala told reporters.

Marcos said in a statement her lawyer is "studying the decision and he has advised us that he intends to file a motion for reconsideration".

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Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came almost three decades after the case was filed in 1991. Imelda Marcos is now a congresswoman.

Pangiliinan said the long road to conviction shows "how long and therefore frustrating the Philippine judicial system is, and especially in relation to how powerful and powerfully entrenched the accused are".

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao hopes the Sandiganbayan's ruling would "become a precedent in running after the Marcoses with regards to their other graft cases, involving not only Imelda Marcos, but also the other Marcos siblings".

Imelda Marcos, the widow of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was ordered arrested by the anti-graft court and sentenced to at least six years in prison.

The 89-year-old Marcos - known for her more than 1,000 pairs of designer shoes and eye-popping diamonds while millions of Filipinos suffered in poverty - said she would appeal her conviction. That allowed him to shutter the legislature, muzzle the free press and jail or kill those who dared to oppose his dictatorship. Imelda's son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr narrowly lost the vice-presidential election in 2016, a result he is now challenging, and many see him as the natural successor to President Duterte.