MANILA- Several opposition lawmakers on Friday slammed the Sandiganbayan's decision to allow former first lady Imelda Marcos to post bail.
The anti-graft court ordered Marcos to post a P150,000 bail bond while it deliberates on her petitions to reverse her graft convictions. She was found guilty earlier this month for 7 counts of graft for funneling public funds to Swiss accounts.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said the bail grant should not be taken lightly since Marcos' case is "no ordinary case." Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares meanwhile warned that justice would further be delayed.
"Filipinos want her arrested and mugshots taken. That move alone will be a very significant step in seeking historical justice," Villarin said.
"It is history judging her and this is no ordinary case that we just let pass without a whimper," he added.
"The special treatment for Imelda means that corrupt government officials can steal big and delay the case until they grow old and claim that they must not be sent to prison for health reasons," Colmenares said.
"This is not the message we wish to impart on our children. The message should be crime does not pay. And if you do the crime you do the time," he added.
Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago meanwhile criticized the amount set by the court for Marcos' temporary liberty, saying it was nothing compared to the billions stolen from national coffers.
"Insulto ito sa mga martial law victims, sa mga pamilya nila, at sa mamamayang Pilipino na matagal nang pinagkaitan ng hustisya sa krimen ng mga Marcos at ng nakaw na kapangyarihan," she said.
"Hindi tayo papayag na makatakas sila nang ganun ganun lang! Iselda si Imelda!” she added.
(This is an insult to martial law victims, their families, and the Filipino people who have long been waiting for justice for the crimes committed by the Marcoses. We will not allow them to escape justice just like that. Jail Imelda!)
While Marcos was granted temporary liberty, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said she would forever be condemned by history.
"The massive human rights atrocities and pillage during Marcos’ martial law will perpetually haunt the Marcoses and condemn them to the prison of history," he said.
Marcos appeared before the Sandiganbayan 5th Division for the first time Friday and told the court she had no idea that the promulgation of her case was scheduled Nov. 9.
She earlier said she was advised by her doctors to skip the hearing because she had "multiple organ infirmities." She however was spotted attending a party at the family mansion in San Juan.
-report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News