NO APOLOGY, IT WAS A GODLY ACT -- IMELDA
Tondo, Manila, Oct. 14, 1998 - Clutching a yard-long rosary handcrafted from a pound of rough rubies, former First Lady Imelda Marcos heard mass in one of the city's poorest districts, and told newsmen that although she was willing to share the wealth left behind by her late husband, she would not apologize for any past misdeeds.
"I will not say sorry and be pardoned for doing a Godly act," said the widow of strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country as president for 21 years. It was the first public appearance of the former congresswoman since the Supreme Court overturned a graft conviction last week.
"Justice has prevailed," she told about 500 Marcos Loyalist members inside the Santo Nino cathedral.
Before her entourage drove off, she replied to speculations that money played a role in changing the Supreme Court's ruling for an earlier affirmation of the conviction to the final decision of acquittal.
"The government must not be seen as selling justice, and we no not buy justice," she said.
Despite government announcements of negotiations with her family for a compromise settlement, Mrs. Marcos ruled out a compromise with the government.
"I have never compromised. That is against justice. It is not right for me to have suffered for 12 years just to compromise," she added.
In her first talk with media since the Supreme Court acquittal, Mrs. Marcos appeared composed and impeccably fashionable. She reluctantly answered questions related to the Marcos wealth, the Supreme Court acquittal and the proposed out-of-court settlement with the government.
TV news footage showed Imelda's face framed by giant pink South Sea pearl earrings matching a cluster of bigger pearls forming a brooch pinned on her green tunic. Mrs. Marcos wore a gold ring accented by more pink pearls that matched the set. A scarf, her signature style, contrasted with her apple green outfit and fluttered in the wind as her jubilant followers hugged, kissed, and milled around her.
She promised to make public details of negotiations between her family and the government on sharing the Marcos assets, including the $570-$600 million in Swiss deposits currently being held in escrow by the Philippine National Bank pending resolution of the fund's ownership.
"Everything will be out," she said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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