Francis Zamora’s post for Imelda Marcos’ 92nd birthday sparks calls for her arrest

July 7, 2021 - 7:20 AM
The Zamora family and the Marcos family
A photo of San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora and his family with Imelda Marcos and her children (Francis Zamora/Facebook)

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora shared a post of his family celebrating Imelda Marcos’ 92nd birthday, prompting renewed calls for the guilty verdict against her to progress to jail time.

Zamora’s July 5 photo shows his family’s visit to the Marcos ancestral home in San Juan to have dinner with Imelda’s family.

“Keri, my mom and I with Sen. Bongbong, Sen. Imee and Tita Irene as they take us around their residence in San Juan during First Lady Imelda Marcos’ 92nd birthday dinner,” he said.

The local executive also added that the old house will be launched as a tourist destination this year.

“This Marcos ancestral home where President Ferdinand Marcos lived will be part of our city’s historical trail which we will be launching this year to help promote San Juan as a tourist destination,” Zamora said.

Former senator Bongbong Marcos also greeted his mother, born on July 2, 1929, on Twitter last week. It similarly triggered some online calls for his mother to face her sentence.

The Marcos family has around 50 houses as part of their private properties scattered across the Philippines.

Aside from San Juan, they also own properties in Makati, Parañaque, Leyte and Ilocos Norte.

Calls for arrest, other criticisms

Following his post, social media users sought anew for the former first lady’s arrest.

“Still young to enjoy a dinner party but too old to be jailed. Nice,” one user said.

“Put the convicted criminal Imelda Marcos in jail! Why do corrupt government officials remain… free pending an appeal of their conviction when other criminals rot in jail even upon appeal?” another user wrote.

Some were disappointed with Zamora for his supposed association with the Marcoses.

“Political elites are so shameless mapa-local or national level,” one user said.

Others addressed Sen. Imee Marcos’ outfit at the event. The neophyte lawmaker wore an odd combination of a flowery red blouse and black pants with flower patterns.

“Ang isyu ko lang ay ba’t andaming nangyayari sa damit ni ateng? Parang dumami ang pera mo dahil sa ill-gotten wealth kaya di ka magkandatuto sa paglalagay ng mga chururut na flowers at tela na dapat sayad sa sahig?” one user said.

A photo of Sen. Imee Marcos with San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora and his wife Keri (Francis Zamora/Facebook)

Reacting to the proposal to turn the Marcos home into a tourist site, a Twitter user suggested that the place could be used to remind the public about the family’s crimes.

“Gawin itong kasangkapan upang ipaalala sa mga bisita ang madilim at marahas na kasaysayan sa kamay ni Marcos,” one user said.

What happened to the graft case?

In November 2018, the Sandiganbayan 5th Division convicted Marcos in 7 counts of graft due to the seven private organizations she illegally created in Switzerland while sitting in public office during her husband’s regime.

The case had been pending in court since December 1991.

Marcos is supposed to be sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count of graft. This is equivalent to a minimum of 42 years in prison.

Less than a month after her conviction, she posted a P300,000 bail to enjoy temporary freedom post-conviction and another notice of appeal that requested her records of her case to be raised before the Supreme Court for further proceedings.

Three years after, the older Marcos has yet to serve prison time.

On her birthday, July 2, a group of political prisoners Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) or SELDA Pilipinas greeted with the demand for her incarceration.

“The only greeting that Imelda Marcos will receive from us is our wish for her arrest as soon as possible. As she roams freely in her lavish mansion and celebrates her birthday in her extravagant fashion, we will always be reminded of her and her family’s crimes and plunder of the nation’s coffers,” said Rosalia Bacarra, the group’s secretary-general.