The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has deferred to release an arrest warrant against former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos despite its earlier decision calling for its issuance.
In a text message, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang said the previous order was put on hold due to the appeal filed by the camp of the Marcos matriarch who was declared guilty of seven counts of graft.
“I just learned that the Court has deferred release of the warrant of arrest because the lawyer of Mrs. Marcos filed a motion yesterday asking leave of court to avail of remedies and deferment of issuance of warrant. The motion is set for hearing on Friday, November 16,” Cabotaje-Tang said.
She added that Marcos can still post bail while awaiting the court’s decision on her appeal.
“Ordinarily, an accused who has been convicted of a bailable offense may still be granted bail pending appeal which is addressed to the sound discretion of the court.”
If Marcos wishes to do so, she is required to appear in Sandiganbayan to process her bail.
Sandiganbayan previously forfeited the bail bonds posted by Marcos due to her “unjustified absence” during the promulgation of her case. She is given 30 days since November 9 to explain why no judgement on the bonds should be issued.
Marcos is facing an imprisonment sentence of 42 years and seven months up to 77 years. She was accused of having unlawful financial interests in Swiss-based foundations while holding public office.
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, vowed they will serve the arrest warrant should the order come.
Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr. clarified that age and health will not be factors in the arrest of the 89-year-old Marcos, but will only be considered on how police will carry out her apprehension.