Imelda Marcos trends on Twitter after octogenarian jailed for allegedly stealing mangoes

This is a combination photo of Leonardo “Lolo Narding” Flores (left), 80, a resident of the town of Asingan in Pangasinan who was jailed after being accused of stealing mangoes from a neighbor’s tree, and former First Lady Imelda Marcos (right), wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was found guilty of seven counts of bribery and sentenced in 2018 to prison terms of between six and 11 years for each count, but has remained at large. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines – Former first lady Imelda Marcos, wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is trending on Twitter Thursday after an octogenarian from Pangasinan was jailed for allegedly stealing 10 kilos of mangoes.

Netizens were quick to compare 92-year-old Imelda to the situation of Leonardo Flores, or “Lolo Narding,” an 80-year-old resident of the town of Asingan in Pangasinan, who has been in police custody since January 13 after being accused of stealing mangoes have a neighbor’s tree. Flores was only temporarily released on Thursday after receiving financial support for his 6,000 pesos bail.

READ: Help for octogenarian jailed for ‘stealing’ mangoes in Pangasinan

Netizens also drew attention to the fact that the Marcos family matriarch remained clear of seven counts of bribery despite a conviction in 2018, and even claimed that the country’s justice system only seems to favor the wealthy.

“Imelda Marcos was found guilty of seven counts of bribery in 2018 but has never served a day in jail. She was sentenced to at least 42 years in prison but was deemed “too old” to remain behind bars. Lose yourself with your selective justice. It’s not fair at all,” lamented one Twitter user.

„[W]This was a compassionate act for an elderly person who clearly thought these were his mangoes! If they can put him in jail for stealing 10 kilos of mangoes regardless of his age, why can’t they [jail] an already convicted Imelda Marcos who stole billions? Another Twitter user pointed this out.

“But Imelda, who was convicted, is still not in prison? We clearly need a new leader who is not anti-poor,” a Twitter user also said.

2018, The Fifth Division of the Sandiganbayan found Imelda guilty of seven counts of transplantation and was sentenced to between six and eleven years in prison for each charge.

The charges against the former first lady were related to her violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when she committed over $200 million in public funds to seven during her tenure as Metro Manila’s governor redirected to private Swiss foundations. MP and Minister for Human Settlements during her husband’s reign.

READ: Imelda Marcos guilty of bribery, arrest ordered

Despite the warrant issued by Sandiganbayan, Imelda was not arrested.

Former Chief of the Philippine National Police and retired Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde said at the time that they did not arrest Imelda because he considered her age and health. She was 89 years old at the time.

READ: Albayalde on Marcos arrest: We have to take her age into account

This wasn’t the first time social media users compared Imelda to another elderly person who had broken the law.

In 2020, social media users called for the release of 72-year-old Elmer Cordero, a jeepney driver who was arrested for protesting the loss of his livelihood amid lockdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which stopped the operation of public utility vehicles.

READ: Court orders release of 72-year-old Piston member, another jeepney driver, from Caloocan prison has reached out to the Marcos camp for comment on the matter, but has not received a response at the time of publication.


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