Arrest warrant vs. Imelda Marcos should be issued upon conviction — law professor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 15) — Former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te on Thursday questioned the delay in the release of an arrest warrant for Ilocos Norte Representative and former first lady Imelda Marcos.

Te, who is also a law professor at the University of the Philippines, said the warrant should have been released the same day Marcos was convicted for seven counts of graft.

"Simple yun eh. May order ang court, November 9. That is an administrative matter that simply requires filling in the blanks of a warrant," Te said. "Bakit nun in-issue ang order na yun, walang warrant na lumabas kaagad?"

[Translation: It's simple. There was a court order last November 9. That is an administrative matter that simply requires filling in the blanks of a warrant. When the order was issued, why didn't they release a warrant immediately?]

"Ang tanong sa court ngayon, what happened in the middle? From November 9 to Friday, nag-take effect ba ang order ng court o hindi? Kasi kung nagtake effect ang order ng court, bakit nakalaya ng isang linggo?" Te argued.

[Translation: Our question for the court now is, what happened in the middle? From November 9 to Friday, did the court order take effect or not? Because if it took effect, why is she still free after one week?]

Marcos' camp on Monday filed a motion for leave to court to avail of post-conviction remedies, including a motion for reconsideration. This means that she is asking the court to allow her to avail of all legal remedies available to her. The court is set to hear Marcos' plea for post-conviction remedies on Friday, November 16.

The Sandiganbayan earlier said it deferred the release of an arrest warrant following the former first lady's filing of motion. 

Te argued that a bench warrant should have been issued after Marcos' failure to appear at her promulgation.

"The purpose of that arrest that day was simply for the court to know, where are you? Di pa naman ito kulong dahil naconvict siya. Ito yung arrest dahil di ka sumipot," he added.

[Translation: It's not yet the arrest for the conviction. It's because she did not appear at the court.]

The Ilocos Norte Representative still hasn't appeared at the Sandiganbayan following her conviction.

The 89-year old apologized to the court for her absence during the promulgation of the graft case against her, saying she was "solely indisposed."  She added she was advised by her doctors to avoid stressful situations.

Marcos was sentenced to imprisonment of a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum of 11 years "in each case." Her total jail time is a minimum of 42 years and 7 months and a maximum of 77 years pending final order. 

READ: The long road to Marcos ill-gotten wealth recovery

Sandiganbayan Presiding Judge Justice Amparo Cabotaje meanwhile told CNN Philippines that the whole process of issuing the warrant cannot be done in a single day. 

Cabotaje noted the justice's order has to first be put into writing. 

"The procedure is: the stenographer who assisted the court on that day will draft the order; she then submits it to the chairperson of the division or the justice who presided over the proceedings for review and approval; once approved, the order is finalized and then it is returned to the justices for their signature," she said in a text message. 

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.