MANILA A Philippine court found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of graft and ordered her arrest Friday in a rare conviction among many corruption cases that she plans to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress.
Marcos, 89, faces imprisonment of between six and 11 years for each count of graft, according to the Sandiganbayan decision released to media today.
Alisuag told CNN that the court had ordered the arrest warrant but it had not been yet issued.
"We treat this decision by the anti-graft court as a good reminder to all public servants that public office is a public trust and that we are all accountable to the people we serve", Panelo said.
Mrs. Marcos served as the Minister of Human Settlements and was a member of the Interim Batasan Pambansa during her husband's presidency and subsequent dictatorial rule from 1965 to 1986. In 1998, the Supreme Court acquitted Imelda from allegations that she entered anomalous contracts during her husband's term, reversing the anti-court's ruling.
Her total prison sentence is 42 years and seven months minimum and 77 years maximum.
The case has been pending with the anti-graft court for 27 years.
As a government official in the Marcos administration, Imelda was barred by law from having any outside financial interests, including in the Swiss foundations.
Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro said that despite her conviction, Marcos will remain a member of the House of Representatives.
"As such, we manifest our respect to the decision of the Sandiganbayan finding former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos guilty of the seven out of the 10 cases filed against her", he added.
Imelda Marcos was the governor of metropolitan Manila during the 1970s when she committed the offenses she was sentenced for on Friday, a scheme that involved shifting about $200 million out of the Philippines and stashing the money in Swiss foundations.
Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came almost three decades after the case was filed in 1991. 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.
Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades, placing the country under martial law in 1972, during which time thousands of opponents were jailed, killed or disappeared.