Hours after former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos was found guilty of graft, she went to the birthday party of her daughter Imee.
In a Facebook post by Mike Acebedo Lopez on Saturday, Marcos, 89, was seen in photos with government officials, among them House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile.
Lopez, who claims to be “a Romualdez relative,” confirmed to The Manila Times that the photos were taken at Imee’s birthday celebration at the old residence of the Marcoses in San Juan.
He said “Marcos seemed unperturbed” by the bad news on the night of the party.
“Happy to see Auntie Meldy [Imelda’s nickname] unperturbed by the bad news of yesterday, a judgment issued by Noynoy Aquino appointees in the same Sandiganbayan Division that exonerated an LP [Liberal Party] congressman, Teddy Baguilat, because he was supposedly denied his right to speedy disposition cases,” Lopez said in his post.
Noynoy is former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“[Baguilat’s] case was filed in 2009 [ten years ago]. Auntie Meldy’s was filed in 1991–27 years ago–and yet the same Sandiganbayan Division with majority Noynoy Aquino appointees convicted her. What of her right to speedy disposition of cases, a right they extended to Baguilat when they acquitted him?” he said.
Some lawmakers castigated the former first lady for not showing up in court during the promulgation of the decision.
“She [Mrs. Marcos] should have instead prepared for her promulgation day instead of partying. Perhaps she was confident that she will be acquitted of her crime [against] the Filipino people? Mahiya naman ang pamilyang Marcos sa mga Pilipino [The Marcoses should be ashamed]!” ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro told reporters in a text message.
“Despite the Sandiganbayan’s guilty verdict and issuance of a warrant of arrest against her, Imelda Marcos has the gall to attend her daughter’s birthday celebration and go partying. This is a mockery of the Filipino people who had fought a decades-long uphill battle to bring the Marcoses to account for their crimes,” Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao said.
The anti-graft court had ordered Mrs. Marcos to explain why she did not show up on promulgation day.
Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo echoed the sentiments of most government officials, especially against her political rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who, along with the rest of the Marcos family, has repeatedly denied allegations of corruption under his father’s regime.
“Patunay lang naman ito na unang una, marami talagang krimen na naganap noong panahong ng rehimeng Marcos. Ito kasi, lalo na kapag eleksyon, parati itong dine-deny [This only proves that first and foremost, there really were crimes committed under the Marcos regime. Especially during election season, they would always deny this],” Robredo said on Sunday in her weekly radio show.
Bongbong Marcos had filed a poll protest against Robredo and questioned results in three provinces after losing the race for vice president in the 2016 elections.
“Kahit may mga conviction sa labas ng bansa, parating sinasabing walang conviction. Ito mayroong conviction sa Sandiganbayan [Even if there is conviction outside the country, they always said that there’s no conviction, this time, there is a conviction from the Sandiganbayan],” Robredo said.
The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division on Friday convicted Mrs. Marcos in seven out of 10 graft cases and sentenced her to six years and a month up to 11 years in prison with perpetual disqualification to hold public office in each case.
The former First Lady was convicted for participating in the management of several Swiss foundations while she was a member of the interim Batasang Pambansa and when she was minister of the Ministry of Human Settlements from 1968 to 1986.
The Marcos camp had said it will file a motion for reconsideration of the verdict.
GLEE JALEA AND RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA