By Raïssa Robles
If you still don’t believe that behind the handsome faces of the Marcos family lurks a dark cynical secret, please read my latest piece on how the long arm of the law finally caught up with Imelda Marcos.
Sometimes, I get it. To many millennials who do not know what she and her husband did to the country, Imelda comes across as some wacky, lovable lola who dotes on her children and apo.
She has long played on people’s emotions. That is her skill.
But please, start asking yourself how billions of dollars—including those in Swiss accounts —ended up with the family when:
1) Not one of them has ever been a businessman;
2) Not one of them has ever been a professional boxer or movie star;
3) Not one of them has ever been CEO/owner of a top 1,000 corporation: and
3) Neither Imelda nor Ferdinand Marcos inherited great wealth;
4) Both Ferdinand and Imelda were employed by the government all of their working life and you know how measly the government salary is.
In my piece on Imelda which South China Morning Post (HK) published this weekend, I try to explain the evidence that was used to convict Imelda Marcos of graft. Ok GRAND THEFT. And why this is not just some hate thing by the dilawans.
The SCMP feature is but a fraction of the entire story of how a couple stole our very future, because a large part of that money was actually stolen from the Philippine Treasury.
And how the very trustees who helped the Marcos couple set up their secret Swiss accounts eventually ratted on them to Swiss authorities.
At the end of the piece, I quote what former Presidential Commission on Good Government Commissioner (PCGG) Ruben Carranza said about the need to investigate Imee Marcos for helping to conceal the loot.
Carranza was once sued by Imelda Marcos for libel for calling Ferdinand a thief and a dictator. He also called them “a family of thieves”. The conviction shows he was right.
Here’s how my SCMP piece starts:
HOW THE LAW CAUGHT UP WITH THE PHILIPPINES’ IMELDA MARCOS AND HER STOLEN MILLIONS
♦ Marcos’s conviction on of seven counts of graft for laundering US$231m is unprecedented and provides a glimpse into the gilded lives of the former Philippine first lady and her husband, Ferdinand
♦ During their time in power, the couple was raiding the treasury, collecting kickbacks and earning from secretly owned private corporations, then laundering funds into Swiss bank accounts
BY RAISSA ROBLES
17 NOV 2018
When a Philippine court sentenced former First Lady Imelda Marcos to 77 years in jail for corruption, her lawyer was taken ill, but not Imelda. She simply shrugged off the verdict handed down on November 9 and went partying that night. Her daughter Imee was holding her 63rd birthday party with guests that included President Rodrigo Duterte’s politically powerful daughter, Sara, who is also the mayor of Davao, and former presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo.
None of the guests hesitated to be photographed with the 89-year-old felon, Imelda. In fact, Senator Cynthia Villar quipped that the verdict was “bad timing” indeed, coinciding with Imee’s birthday. Villar, spouse of the second-wealthiest man in the country, had reason to complain. After all, the couple’s Nacionalista Party had just fielded Imee to run for the Senate next year.
The fact that she partied but violated court rules by not appearing during her sentencing was not lost on Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, whose division will now have to decide whether she goes directly to jail or continues to enjoy “provisional liberty” while she appeals the unanimous decision.
That Marcos was convicted of seven counts of graft for laundering over US$231 million through her secret Swiss accounts is unprecedented. It yanks wide open a window into the alternative world that Imelda and her husband, Ferdinand, once inhabited.
While Ferdinand was busy building “a New Society”, giving the military free rein to torture and kill thousands to keep him in power (according to an equally historic decision penned by Judge Manuel Real of the US District Court of Hawaii awarding damages to the regime’s human rights victims), Imelda bewitched the masses with her statuesque beauty and arts and culture projects evoking “the true, the good and the beautiful”.
Unknown to the nation then, the conjugal dictatorship was busy raiding the treasury, collecting kickbacks and earning from secretly owned private corporations, then laundering funds into numbered Swiss bank accounts. As Imelda Marcos once bragged to the Daily Inquirer newspaper: “We practically own everything in the Philippines.”
In court, she has refused to give any proof of ownership yet insisted everything was legally acquired.
The seven criminal cases that led to Imelda’s conviction are but a fraction of the 38 civil lawsuits, 78 criminal lawsuits and one forfeiture case filed against her in 1991 before the Sandiganbayan court. She has a total of 415 co-defendants in these cases, according to Associate Justice Mary-Ann Corpus-Manalac, who wrote the 70-page ruling.
HOW THE ACCOUNTS WERE SET UP
The problem facing prosecutors then was how to pin charges on Imelda for funneling money to Switzerland and diverting part of that to buy prime properties in New York, when these had nothing to do with her official acts as the second most powerful person in the country. Ferdinand had created a Cabinet post for her as Minister of Human Settlements and also made her Governor of Metro Manila.
So that you can more clearly understand how Imelda did it, I have provided copies of bank documents that Imelda signed, for the story.
This is a shot in the dark which probably may not hit the target.
Phillipines’ corruptions in and out of government by public officials is NADA when it comes to catching the corrupts, filing charges against the corrupts, GRANTING bail to corrupts, giving trials via due process of law to corrupt and FINALLY, finding it impossible [ not difficult] to convict the corrupts
because of the law or laws or Constitutional protection to the corrupts. Like what protection?
In the recent case of the former First lady, no plunder case – that is: No Bail, can be filed against her BECAUSE that would be the principle or doctrine of Ex Post Facto law, meaning: that one cannot be charge and be prosecuted for something that WAS not a crime at the time of the ACT.
Why or how did this principle/doctrine come about? One source goes like this:
Latin for “after the fact,” which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal although it was legal when done, or increases the penalty for a crime after it is committed. Such laws are specifically prohibited by the U. S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9. Therefore, if a state legislature or Congress enact new rules of proof or longer sentences, those new rules or sentences do not apply to crimes committed before the new law was adopted.
. . . ‘although it was LEGAL when done’ to adopt a later law to make it illegal is ILLEGAL.
But, in a sense, legal or otherwise, and factually, the LEGAL act continues IN TIME hence to become ILLEGAL under new or later laws. The PLUNDER LAW was NOT yet in existence way back in 1973. Like when [ not if ] the criminal act was illegal way back in ‘1973’ under the 1973 Constitution, an accused cannot be prosecuted under the PLUNDER LAW as this law was not in existence at the time.
Yet, the criminal act involved hundreds of millions in US dollars: $200 million plus and continues the act into years thereafter. This is one example.
Another example: Public official G.T. stole, plundered and benefited hundreds of millions in Ph Pesos from gov’t funds, or the source is suspicious compared to the salary or other legit income but at the time of the act no law criminalize it like Plunder Law until this law came into life later while the stolen money has not been recovered, returned or brought back to its owner(s). Under that principle or doctrine, Mr./Miss G.T. cannot be prosecuted.
How did we, the Philippines, got into applying this principle/doctrine? By adapting US principles/doctrine since US occupation after Spain was booted out here and our courts pattered from US courts to include the latter’s way of administering justice to COPY for our justice system. Where and why did the US get to adopt this principle or doctrine? It is explained in a lengthy discussion of a US case, like COLLINS v. YOUNGBLOOD, (1990) No. 89-742
Argued: March 19, 1990 Decided: June 21, 1990 where accused YOUNGBLOOD’s objection based on Ex Post Facto law was DENIED by the US Court.
Again, going back to our main own case here for acts committed under the 1973 Constitution or laws on this matter on this principle/doctrine involved, can we not, through Congress or by Constitutional revision or amendment for future criminal acts of stealing money, or even civil cases if it matters, apply future criminal laws on act or crimes committed before such laws came into effect without violating Ex Post Facto law or even totally DISREGARDING it, as regards to plunder or other laws to stop or at least MINIMIZE corruptions by public officials?
This is, as I said, a shot in the dark against corruption that should always be hit and stopped for always.
Porsiyento ng piyansa sa nakaw na yaman: 0.001% by An economist-statistician on Twitter pointed out that the bail—while larger than in most cases—is minuscule compared to the estimated $200 million or P10.5 billion in earnings from the illegal scheme.
Anyone like to laugh or to cry. . . or both?
Go ahead for those who can stop this ??? keep on doing this protection for her a LOW BLOW to the people and justice system of ours.
no crying from me. aging widow and original plunder queen is even made richer, receiving 20thousand pesos monthly pension from veterans. fake hero husband now interned in libingan got military’s medal of valor though not an awardee himself, his name not on the list of awardees. her daughter got fake law degree too, attended law school but did not graduate. pameke runs in this family.
so how did fake hero got the medal of valor? uhm, bought it off from an awardee that has fallen on hard times and in dire need of money? medal for money, sold the only thing that mattered. so instead of helping the awardee, his medal was divested.
heard once a pinoy veteran that recently received posthumous medal from uncle sam, sabi he would rather have money than medal, his health was poorly and his medical bills higher than usual.
yes indeed, medals can be bought and sold, memento bought and sold. what cannot be bought is the insertion of name in the list of awardees. set in concrete yang list of awardees, signed and sealed. no person comes asunder.
. . . Strange is her immediate release, because the order was signed solely by Lagos (the two Division members, Maria Theresa V. Mendoza-Arcega and Mañalac did not sign) . . .
. . . Strange also why the prosecution did not object to, and meekly accepted, the grant of bail. . .
27 Years ago and still so many STRANGE happens thereafter. . .
lazy lawyers and equally lazy prosecutors makes an imelda free! the less they use their legal minds, the duller they would be. use it or lose it, and they lose it.
free on bail, imelda is back to congress na. may sakit kuno, weak kuno. porbida, at 83 she cannot be expected to be climbing mountains and running marathons! aba back to sitting in congress na lang po siya. easy enough to do sitting among like-minded dinosaurs as arroyo et al, and doing what harm they could to the country. you dont have to be strong to do harm. it can be as effortless as just one word from imelda and she can surely make up the number needed to pass shonky bills!
also, her medical report with 7ailments gives me the huff! so incomplete a report. did not go the standard medical reporting of patient ID, diseases diagnosed, treatments taken and finally, management and long term health goals. imelda reported only her diseases, omitting and deleting the treatments taken and management hereafter.
it’s an old report pa, it’s been years since the term diabetes mellitus was used, roughly 10yrs. these days with the advent of technology and advances in medical science and discoveries, the term diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus ay outdated na. old hat na ang mga iyan. it’s now type one diabetes and type two diabetes.
unlike law na findings stay, medical report is continually updated, people’s health changes overtime, they recover and get better, or get worse.
and I say, imelda’s health is as well as can be expected of one her age. she’s functional, can eat on her own and dresses herself, and she’s been seen eating at parties, laughing and joking.
she’s ambulant too and can go from a to b, at cognitive pa siya, dili buang, he, he, he.
and if she’s out on bail because of poor health, I say, the prosecutors did not know what constitute poor health, and did not know the ins and outs of a true medical report. they should have asked for an updated or recent medical report, one that is 2weeks old, not one that is 10yrs old!
surely, the prosecutors can call on health experts to give expert opinion on imelda’s condition. but did not sila, the lazy buggers!
pardon my language po, hic.
They have the money, people’s money!
have no fear po, a shot in the dark may not hit its target, but. bihirang silent yang shot in the dark for it disturbs the air around it and make people sit up. and it may even hit a collateral. an effort is never in vain, part of the journey po yan. you win some, you lose some, and in the meantime, wisdom is begot. you wise up, ika. a shot in the dark might be counterproductive feedback, but shot anyway. dont be silent for there are eyes in the dark and ears on the wall, watching and observing. big things come from small things. a giant tree start with a seed. a nudge is all that’s needed.
complain if you can, let off steam. it makes one feel good too. and it makes the other party think they’re put on notice. that they’ve done something less than satisfactory, outrageous even.
a shot in the dark is okay. that is not okay is when people stops shooting in the dark and become accepting of anything and everything.
there was something almost equivalent to plunder law in 1973. we just need creative legal minds willing to argue the point.