NOVEMBER 9, 2018 – Former First Lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos can still pursue her gubernatorial bid in the 2019 midterm elections, an official from the Office of the Ombudsman said.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Ryan Quilala said Marcos has still legal remedies which she can avail of amid the guilty verdict of Sandiganbayan for seven counts of graft.
“Puwede niyang i-akyat sa Supreme Court kapag may nakita siyang grave abuse of discretion, hindi pa po siya final and executory,” Quilala told reporters in an ambush interview on Friday.
The arrest warrant ordered against the widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos may also be set aside if she appears before the anti-graft court. Quilala moved for the release of warrant following the absence of Mrs. Marcos in the reading of verdict.
“Binigyan siya ng 30 days to explain her absence… Pwede naman pong i-lift ang warrant of arrest kasi nga may remedies pa po siya na available,” the prosecutor said.
Quilala said there may be a possibility that the Marcos’ camp chose not to attend as they felt the court’s decision will be against them.
“I’m not saying alam na nila, baka may pakiramdam sila kasi hindi sila present. And the accuse was given several oppotunities to even deny the allegations against her, hindi sila nag-avail nun,” he added.
Amid this, the prosecution considers the Sandiganbayan decision a victory even if Marcos was acquitted in three counts of graft involving her financial ties with local foundations.
“We presented former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and according to his testimony, hindi naman directly ma-pinpoint ‘yung participation ni First Lady, so hindi ganoon kasama ang loob namin as to the local corporation,” Quilala said.