ML victims’ lawyers hail ruling – The Manila Times Online

Tamayo, B.E. (2018, November 10). ML victims’ lawyers hail ruling. The Manila Times Online. Retrieved November 12, 2018 from

ML victims’ lawyers hail ruling
NOVEMBER 10, 2018

The Filipino lawyers for victims of martial law, which Ferdinand Marcos declared in 1972, hailed the Sandiganbayan’s decision to convict Imelda Marcos of graft.

“The conviction of Imelda [Romualdez] Marcos for seven counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan is a welcome development in our justice system. This is one time where justice was delayed but not denied. The decision confirms the independence of the judiciary. It shows that there are still members thereof who have the courage to convict the guilty, despite influence that the prominent accused exude[s]. Power is not forever,” Ruben
Fruto, Maria Theresa Leonardo and Rodrigo Domingo Jr. said in a statement.

The three lawyers were co-counsels of Robert Swift, lead counsel, all four of whom won in a Hawaiian court $2 billion for the 9,539 victims of martial law.

The “happy days are here again” slogan of the martial law implementors and beneficiaries has, for the moment, come to an end. Hopefully, it will end forever. This conviction belie[s] the Marcoses’ pretension that the martial law regime was free of graft and corruption,” lawyers said.

The court’s ruling was also hailed by several sectors and organizations, including Makabayan lawmakers in the House of Representatives, who called on the government to hold the rest of the Marcoses accountable for allegations of corruption; Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesman Jacqueline de Guia, who said the decision is a victory for victims of human rights violations; former CHR chairman Loretta Rosales, who described the court’s decision as a clear proof that there is an end for corrupt government officials; and the Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, which welcomed the news although it expressed dismay with the 22 years that it took the case to be resolved.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption said that despite a two-decade wait, “justice lives in our justice system despite its flaws and weaknesses.”

It called on President Rodrigo Duterte to look into the “rotten” justice system, as “The slow grind of justice is the major cause of injustice for victims.”

Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th and Francis Pangilinan said the Sandiganbayan ruling was “a faithful reminder” that the Marcoses plundered the nation’s wealth.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, however, noted that Mrs. Marcos is already 89 years old.

“Her cases were first investigated more than three decades ago. Her conviction is still subject to appeal. Regardless of the verdict, justice is the clear victim,” he said.

Published in Top Stories | The Manila Times Online

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