The Philippines' anti-corruption court ordered the arrest of former first lady Imelda Marcos on Friday after finding her guilty of seven counts of graft during the two-decade rule of her husband and late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
Despite her absence, Marcos was sentenced to a minimum of up to 11 years for each count, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.
Marcos faces arrest after the Sandiganbayan found her guilty of 7 counts of graft related to private organizations created in Switzerland while she was a government official from 1968 to 1986. She is allowed to post bail, and can also appeal the case before the Supreme Court. In 1998, the Supreme Court acquitted Imelda from allegations that she entered anomalous contracts during her husband's term, reversing the anti-court's ruling. She was charged for making seven bank transfers totalling US$200 million to Swiss foundations during her term as Manila governor.
Rosales said the decision was a huge setback to efforts by the Marcos family to revise history by denying numerous atrocities under the dictatorship, and urged Filipinos to fight all threats against democracy and civil liberties.
Quilala said that he considers her Swiss account convictions as a "victory" despite her acquittal in three other graft charges.
The latest graft conviction of former First Lady Imelda Marcos highlighted "a working and impartial justice system" in the country, Malacañang said Friday.
"We presented former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and according to his testimony eh hindinaman directly ma-pinpoint 'yung participation ni First Lady, so hindi ganun kasama ang loob namin as to the local corporations, (he can not directly pinpoint the participation of the First Lady, so we are not that dissatisfied with the results as to the local corporations)", he said.
Marcos critics rejoiced at the news of the conviction, which came almost three decades after the case was filed in 1991.
Imelda and Ferdinand's daughter Imee Marcos is the governor of the family's northern stronghold of Ilocos Norte province and helped bankroll the 2016 election campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to him.
"Duterte's spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said in a statement the ruling against Imelda Marcos was proof that the executive "is not in the business of exerting undue interference or influence" on courts, and therefore respects the decision".
Marcos, 89, now has a seat in Congress and was not present for the sentencing. Imelda and her children have always denied any wrongdoing.