By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Convicted former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos cannot use her old age as an excuse to evade an impending arrest following her graft conviction, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.
Lagman said there was no law or jurisprudence from the Supreme Court (SC) stating that an accused could not be arrested due to old age.
“No law or jurisprudence exempts a felon from arrest or incarceration due to old age,” said Lagman.
The Sandiganbayan has convicted Marcos of seven counts of graft and sentenced her to prison between six years and one month to 11 years for each count.
Lagman explained that “an offender who is over 70 years old is only entitled to a mitigating circumstance under Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and a death sentence cannot 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.”
“The advanced age of Rep. Imelda Marcos, the widow of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is a non-issue consequent to her conviction for seven counts of corruption by the Sandiganbayan. No law or jurisprudence exempts a felon from arrest or incarceration due to old age,” he said.
He also stressed that the Ilocos Norte legislator can’t invoked parliamentary immunity while Congress is in session since her offense is punishable by more than six years.
“Neither can a member of the House be privileged from arrest when the Congress is in session in offenses punishable for more than six years,” Lagman said.
On Tuesday, the fifth division has ordered the clerk of court to issue an arrest warrant against Marcos.