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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Friday, April 5, 2013

Imee Marcos: What's your hidden wealth?



"My economic theory is that money was made round to go round. Money was made to encircle man so that he would blossom with many flowers. The whole trouble is, the center is money. All the heads of people thinking about money. All the hands of people reaching out for money. All their poor little bodies working for money. They are running in all directions for money." -- November 1985, to Sandra Burton, in Impossible Dream


Head of Government: Ferdinand Marcos
Country/Term of Office: President of Philippines, 1972-86
Allegedly Embezzled: $5 billion to $10 billion
GDP Per Capita: $912
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2004
World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders

Just before the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising, the son and namesake of the late strongman ousted by that revolt on Tuesday said that the country would now be as successful as Singapore had former President Ferdinand Marcos not been removed from power.

"Napakarami ang kanyang nagawa, napakarami ang kanyang tinulong, at napakalaki ng progreso ng ating bansa noong panahon na iyon... [kung hindi siya napatalsik] siguro Singapore na tayo ngayon," Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. told reporters 





From NYT
An enormous leak of confidential financial records has revealed the identities of thousands of wealthy depositors — including European officials and corporate executives, Asian dictators and their children, and even American doctors and dentists — who have stashed immense amounts of money in offshore tax havens.


The leak of records, mainly from the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and Singapore, covers 2.5 million files that disclose proprietary information about more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts and nearly 130,000 individuals and agents, including the wealthiest people in more than 170 countries.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a network of reporters that obtained the secret records, collaborated with The Guardian, Asahi Shimbun, Le Monde, The Washington Post and more than 40 other news organizations to untangle and report their contents.

From ICIJ
Records show late dictator's oldest child, now a Philippine provincial governor, didn't disclose British Virgin Islands trust in asset declarations required for public officials.

Newly uncovered documents link Maria Imelda Marcos Manotoc, the eldest child of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and now a senior political figure in her own right, to two secretive offshore trusts and an offshore company.

The hardworking and popular provincial governor — widely known as Imee Marcos — was one of the beneficiaries of the Sintra Trust, which was formed in June 2002 in the British Virgin Islands, financial records uncovered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) show.  Other beneficiaries were Imee Marcos’ adult sons with estranged husband Tomas Manotoc: Ferdinand Richard Michael Marcos Manotoc, Matthew Joseph Marcos Manotoc, and Fernando Martin Marcos Manotoc.

It’s unclear whether the trust remains active. The records obtained by ICIJ show the trust was still active at least as recently as 2010.

The documents show that Imee Marcos was also a financial advisor for the Sintra Trust as well as for a company in which the Sintra Trust was a shareholder, ComCentre Corporation, which was formed in January 2002 in the BVI and is still in operation. The records also show she was a “master client” for the M Trust, formed July 1997 in Labuan, Malaysia, and closed July 2009. Philippines law requires government officials to disclose their assets no matter where they’re held, and Imee Marcos’s disclosure statements do not list the three offshore entities. It is not known what assets they hold, but one Sintra Trust document refers to a bank account with United Overseas Bank Limited, a financial institution headquartered in Singapore. Another record related to ComCentre refers to an account at HSBC.

The Philippines’ Presidential Commission on Good Government is eager to find out if the entities connected to Imee Marcos might contain some of the estimated $5 billion that her father allegedly amassed through corruption. He too held offshore accounts, which the Philippine government has sought to freeze.

Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines with his family and their close associates when a revolution toppled his 21-year rule in February 1986. He had been accused of large-scale human rights violations as well as widespread corruption.