MANILA -- (3RD UPDATE) Former First Lady Imelda Marcos on Friday posted bail while she pursues legal remedies to reverse her graft conviction for funneling public funds to overseas bank accounts.
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division initially said Mrs. Marcos could not leave the court until the bail is paid. It was her first time in court since she was convicted of graft on Nov. 9.
The 89-year-old widow of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos earlier asked for a "leave of court" to allow her to exhaust post-conviction remedies, including posting bail while she appeals the ruling.
Mrs. Marcos skipped the promulgation of her case last week. She later cited "multiple organ infirmities" for her absence.
She was accompanied at the Sandiganbayan by her children, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., and Irene Marcos and grandsons Borgy and Mike Manotoc.
During the hearing, Justice Rafael Lagos, chairperson of the Sandiganbayan 5th division, pointed out that the statement of Mrs. Marcos as she took the witness stand contradicted the medical certificate submitted by St Luke's Medical Center neurologist Dr. Joven Cuanang.
Mrs. Marcos said she did not know of the promulgation last Friday as did not receive the notice from the Sandiganbayan and only learned about the verdict on television.
Lagos also pointed out that Marcos was able to attend the birthday party of her daughter Imee on the same day.
Mrs. Marcos said she got a call from Imee who "crying," informing her that "all the guests are already here."
The Sandiganbayan found her guilty of 7 counts of graft, but did not specify how many years Mrs. Marcos would serve in prison. Each conviction carries a minimum 6-year prison term.
The late former president Marcos and his associates were accused of pilfering $10 billion from the Philippines. He fled with his family to the US after a people's uprising ended his 20-year rule in 1986.
Marcos died in 1989 while still in exile. But his heirs later returned to Manila and have since staged a political comeback. Imee Marcos is running for senator while Bongbong Marcos is contesting his narrow defeat to Vice President Leni Robredo in 2016. - with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News