Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos would have to admit guilt in the graft cases for which she was convicted by the Sandiganbayan before she is pardoned by President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Francis Escudero said Tuesday (November 13).
Escudero, an abogado, said the law is clear that convicts who have pending appeals cannot benefit from presidential pardon or parole.
In Marcos’ case, the senator said the lawmaker must withdraw any appeal she will make before a higher court in order to be pardoned by Duterte. This, he said, would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.
“By withdrawing your appeal, you are in fact embracing the conviction against you. You’re not questioning it anymore,” Escudero said.
The senator recalled that former President Joseph Estrada had to withdraw the appeal he made before the Supreme Court regarding his plunder conviction by the Sandiganbayan in order to be pardoned by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Marcos has said that she will appeal the Sandiganbayan’s decision convicting her of seven counts of graft for having financial interests in Swiss foundations when she was a government official during the presidency of her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Escudero said it is up to Marcos’ camp to decide on their next moves.
“Some people simply want the case the drag on and let whoever simply live it out during his or her lifetime,” he said.