Imelda knee steals show at Sandigan
By Cheryl M. Arcibal, Reporter
Lifting a leg of her trousers to reveal a
bandaged left knee, the former first lady, Imelda Marcos, showed up on Thursday
at the Sandiganbayan and tearfully complained she was in pain.
Marcos also denounced the Presidential
Commission on Good Government (PCGG) for allegedly harassing her.
Wearing a white pearl ring and matching
earrings, a black-flowing blouse with matching black pants and shoes, Marcos
arrived at the court accompanied by her lawyer, Robert Sison, the cardiologist
Roberto Anastacio and two personal assistants.
She showed reporters, photographers and
video cameramen her bandaged knee, which she said needed immediate medical
“I am in pain. I can’t go up [the stairs
to the courtroom on the second floor]. I can only take the elevator,” Marcos
She was at the Sandiganbayan to comply with
a condition in her travel authority granted by the court’s Fourth and Fifth
Divisions. She was ordered to appear before their clerks of court within five
days of arriving in the country. She arrived on Wednesday morning.
“This is the most harassed and stressful
trip I’ve ever had in my whole life,” the 75-year-old widow of President
Ferdinand Marcos said, alluding to the PCGG’s threat to have her arrested on
her return from her travels abroad.
The PCGG, created in 1986 after the fall of
the dictatorship to recover the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and his cronies, was
displeased with her unauthorized side trips to London ostensibly for health
Marcos admitted she went to Europe in
violation of the court-issued travel permit to the United States to seek medical
attention. “But still I’m thankful that I was able to fulfill my pledge of a
spiritual pilgrimage. I went to the Vatican City, France and Portugal and I
thanked the Blessed Virgin Mary for her blessings,” she said.
Marcos lashed out at the government,
complaining that after the authorities took everything from her family, “they
now want to take my sight away.” She was alluding to a ruling of the Fourth
Division which denied her plea to extend her one-month travel by 17 more days,
or from September 26 up to November 12.
She wanted a follow-up eye examination by
Dr. William Boozan of the LASIK Refractive Surgery in New York, as well as take
a side trip to London for a scheduled knee checkup with a certain Dr. David
Sweetnam of the Wellington Hospital.
Marcos blamed the PCGG for creating the
public impression that she would be arrested on arrival at the Ninoy Aquino
She welcomed, however, the proposal of
President Arroyo for her to forge a reconciliation with the government in a bid
to move the country forward.
“I have always asked for reconciliation.
Unity is always good for the country,” Marcos said. “All I want from this
government is justice and to do what is right.”
Special Prosecution Officer III Rabendranath
Uy has asked the court to cancel Marcos’s bail and travel bonds to pave the
way for her arrest.
In his motion, Uy said Marcos’s violation
of the court’s ruling for her to come back by October 26 was “sufficient
ground” for her arrest.
PCGG chair Haydee Yorac apparently was not
moved by Marcos’s emotional display at the Sandiganbayan.
Yorac said Marcos should not blame the PCGG
because she defied the 30-day leave condition set by the court.
“The one that imposed the terms of her
trip abroad was the Sandiganbayan, not the PCGG. It was she who did not comply
with the terms set by the Sandiganbayan. It’s the Sandiganbayan that’s going
to punish her. But of course, we want to see her punished,” Yorac said in an
Yorac said the PCGG will oppose any motion
from Marcos to travel again.
“I don’t want to speculate on what she
does abroad, I don’t care what she does abroad. For all we know, there are one
thousand and one reasons why she went abroad, but the thing is she must face the
charges against her and she must comply with the terms of the permission to
leave for abroad,” Yorac said.
Marcos is facing various charges that she
and her husband stole billions of dollars from the country’s coffers while
they were in power.
--With Patricia Esteves
Bron : Manila Times Internet Edition
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