Deferment of warrant vs. Imelda part of ‘due process’

MANILA Senators on Wednesday said despite the conviction of former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, the deferment of the issuance of an arrest warrant against her is all part of due process.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said what is happening in the Marcos case is just normal.

He said while the cancellation of bail may cause the automatic enforcement of the original arrest order at the start of the trial, the accused can still seek available legal remedies.

If the reason for ordering arrest is absence from hearing, then the subject person is always allowed and is given the chance to explain and justify their absence from the promulgation, Pimentel said in a text message to reporters.

Under Section 6, Rule 120, if the judgment is for conviction and the person snubbed the promulgation without justifiable cause, he or she shall lose the available remedies, among them post-conviction bail.

An accused, nonetheless, can file a motion for leave of court within 15 days from promulgation, explaining the absence.

The motion filed by camp of Marcos is set to be heard by the Sandiganbayan on November 16.

Senator Francis Escudero echoed Pimentel's observations, noting that any accused has a lot of legal remedies at his/her disposal.

He pointed out that any party aggrieved by a ruling of a court can seek remedies from the court itself which includes filing a motion for reconsideration among others or from a higher court through an appeal.

If the Sandiganbayan does not find the reason acceptable, again, the aggrieved party can still seek redress from the Supreme Court to reverse the Sandiganbayan decision, Escudero said.

Kaya nga nagtagal ng ganyan eh. Kada incident, meron remedies ang akusado (That's why the case has dragged on for that long. The accused have remedies for every incident)," he said.

On the other hand, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the deferment of the warrant against Marcos tends to show the ugly side of due process," but nonetheless must be observed because it is enshrined in the Constitution.

If it were an ordinary Juan or Juana de la Cruz on the stand without access to pricey lawyers, the subject would have been hauled to prison upon conviction and while awaiting appeal, he noted.

It happens all the time. While we may not like it, that is how justice is served in our country, Lacson said.

Last Friday, the Sandiganbayan convicted the Marcos matriarch of seven counts of graft for using her official government positions to create and maintain Swiss foundations and bank accounts during the Marcos regime.

She was sentenced to a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum prison sentence of 11 years for each count of graft. She is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Marcos' bail paid during the trial stage was also canceled after failing to attend the promulgation.

The court ordered the issuance of a warrant against Marcos but later deferred the release of the document after her camp filed a motion Monday asking leave of court to avail of remedies and deferment of issuance of warrant. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency