Imelda seeks acquittal in corruption charges | Malaya Business Insight

Reference:
Tabingo, P. (2017, September 21). Imelda seeks acquittal in corruption charges. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved September 21, 2017 from http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/imelda-seeks-acquittal-corruption-charges

Imelda seeks acquittal in corruption charges
By PETER J. G. TABINGO
September 21, 2017

INVOKING legal loopholes, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos has asked the Sandiganbayan to acquit her on 10 graft charges filed against her concerning alleged unlawful interests in 11 foreign foundations and “establishments” and one local company.

In a 12-page memorandum filed last September 19 through counsel Robert Sison, the widow of former President Ferdinand Marcos also submitted an alternative prayer for the dismissal of the charges by the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division.The cases, filed in 1991, alleged that she held “direct or indirect financial interest” in the foundations and firms as the minister of Human Settlements and concurrently Metro Manila governor from June 1976 to February 1986 and as member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa representing Metro Manila from 1978 to 1984. Prosecutors earlier identified the Swiss foundations as Maler, Rayby, Palmy, Vibur (also called Verzo and Azio), Aguamina, and Avertina. The last one was the result of the consolidation of the Xandy and Wintrop Foundations with the Charis, Scolari, Valamo, and Spinus Foundations.One foundation, Trinidad, was traced to have been created in Liechtenstein but had an address listed in Treisenberg, Switzerland.Based on a breakdown provided by prosecutors, Avertina was found to have maintained two accounts with deposits amounting to $231.367 million and $8.647 million. Aguamina held $80.566 million while Vibur had $3.598 million both kept in Schweizeresche Kreditanstalt,Various bank accounts were also found in Banque Paribas holding millions of dollars identifying the Marcos couple and their children, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, losing vice presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Irene Marcos-Araneta as beneficiaries.

These were the Pretorien Establishment with $13.577 million, Gladiator Establishment with $9.201 million, Cesar Establishment with $3.601 million, and ESG Establishment with $1.811 million.Two of the cases involved allegations that Mrs. Marcos intervened directly or indirectly in the management of Asian Reliability Corp., Inc. (ARCI) and had   financial interests in the same firm and in Dynetics, also a private entity, headed by businessman Vicente Chuidian. Prosecutors said ARCI was able to draw a $25 million loan that was guaranteed by the national government through state-run Philippine Export and Foreign Loan Guarantee Corp (Philguarantee) which was forced to assume the obligation when ARCI defaulted.Without denying connections to the foundations, Rep. Marcos argued that the prohibition against a Cabinet member having pecuniary or financial interest in a private enterprise was only applicable under the 1973 Constitution but was not covered by Section 11, Article VIII of the 1987 Charter.“The prohibition against a cabinet member from intervening in any matter before a government office for his pecuniary benefit …was deleted in the 1987 Constitution. The result is that it is no longer a crime …for a cabinet member to intervene in any matter before a government office for his pecuniary benefit,” the defense said. By such deletion in the new Constitution, Sison claimed the previously unlawful act was effectively repealed.

Category: National| Malaya Business Insight

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