Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos convicted of graft, arrest ordered

The anti-graft Sandiganbayan court sentenced former first lady Imelda Marcos to serve 6 to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts for violating an anti-corruption law. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos convicted of graft, arrest ordered

MANILA, Philippines: A Philippine court has found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of graft and ordered her arrest in a rare conviction among many corruption cases that she’s likely to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress.
The anti-graft Sandiganbayan court sentenced the 89-year-old Marcos to serve 6 to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts for violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funneled about $200 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s.
Neither Marcos nor anyone representing her attended Friday’s court hearing.
The court disqualified Marcos from holding public office but she can remain a member of the powerful House of Representatives while appealing the decision.
Her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted by a “people power” revolt in 1986 and died in 1989.


Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

Updated 24 April 2019
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Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

  • An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996
  • The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time

TOKYO: Japan’s government apologized Wednesday to tens of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law and promised to pay compensation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he was offering “sincere remorse and heartfelt apology” to the victims.
His apology comes just after the parliament enactment earlier Wednesday of legislation to provide redress measures, including $28,600 (¥3.2 million) compensation for each victim.
An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996. The law was designed to “prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants” and allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
The redress legislation acknowledges that many people were forced to have operations to remove their reproductive organs or radiation treatment to get sterilized, causing them tremendous pain mentally and physically.
The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time.
The apology and the redress law follow a series of lawsuits by victims who came forward recently after breaking decades of silence. That prompted lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to draft a compensation package to make amends for the victims.
The plaintiffs are seeking about ¥30 million each ($268,000) in growing legal actions that are spreading around the country, saying the government’s implementation of the law violated the victims’ right to self-determination, reproductive health and equality. They say the government redress measures are too small for their suffering.
In addition to the forced sterilizations, more than 8,000 others were sterilized with consent, though likely under pressure, while nearly 60,000 women had abortions because of hereditary illnesses, according to Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Among them were about 10,000 leprosy patients who had been confined in isolated institutions until 1996, when the leprosy prevention law was also abolished. The government has already offered compensation and an apology to them for its forced isolation policy.