Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the advanced age of Ilocos Nort Rep. Imelda Marcos, the widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, should be a non-issue in her conviction for seven counts of corruption by the Sandiganbayan.
Lagman said no law or jurisprudence exempted a felon like Marcos from arrest or incarceration due to old age.
He said an offender who was over 70 years old was only entitled to a mitigating circumstance under Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and a death sentence could not be inflicted on one over 70 years old pursuant to Article 83 of the RPC at the time when the death penalty was the capital punishment.
He said a House member could not be privileged from arrest even Congress was in session in offenses punishable for more than six years.
Marcos was sentenced to imprisonment of from six years and one month up to 11 years for each of the seven graft charges for stealing government funds and depositing these funds in Swiss foundations.
“The granting of bail pending appeal to an accused convicted for an offense not punishable by reclusion perpetuaor life imprisonment by a Regional Trial Court or the equivalent tribunal like the Sandiganbayan is discretionary,” said Lagman.
He cited the case of Leviste vs. Velasco (G.R. No. 189122, March 17, 2010) where the Supreme Court ruled that: “In the exercise of that discretion, the proper courts are to be guided by the fundamental principle that the allowance of bail pending appeal should be exercised not with laxity but with grave caution and only for strong reasons, considering that the accused has been in fact convicted by the trial court.”