Robredo: Imelda bailout exposes disparity in the judicial system


Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday that bail-out for former First Lady Imelda Marcos, who was convicted on several counts of corruption, only heightened public awareness that only the rich and powerful are justified.

In his weekly program "BISErbisyong LENI" broadcast by Radio Mindanao Network, Robredo said that allowing Marcos's provisional release on bail of 150,000 only strengthened the belief that there was social class disparity in the country's judicial system.

"It gives an impression to people that if you are rich and high social standing, it is so easy [to get out of jail]. If you are poor, you suffer for many years for simple mistakes, "said Robredo.

Citing her former job as a public interest lawyer, she said there was a big difference in the treatment of poor Filipinos accused of crime and the indulgence shown to the former first lady.

'Loose change'

She questioned Sandiganbayan's decision to allow Marcos to pay bail of £ 150,000, which she said was only a "loose change" for the former first lady.

"The poor have to beg to raise P10,000 in bail money on a small offense. So we have someone who has committed a serious crime and can not even feel the difficulty of having to raise money to pay bail, "said Robredo.

The vice president also pointed out that it was "insulting" for Marcos to cite her weakened health by not promulgating her case when she was able to attend a party the same day.

"She still has a medical certificate with a long list of illnesses to avoid lawsuits, although she has already managed to run as governor and has been able to enter Congress," she said.

Robredo likened this statement to Marcos's plan to run for governor of Ilocos Norte in the May 2019 elections and his participation in his daughter Imee's birthday party hours after losing court hearing.

77 years in prison

"If we let her go, what message will be sent to the poor of the country? What justice is unjust? "She said in Filipino.

The Fifth Sandiganbayan Division has sentenced Marcos to 77 years in prison, after finding her guilty of transferring more than $ 200 million to bank accounts held by several Swiss foundations whose beneficiaries include her family.

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