"Keeping up with The Marcoses" has been the longest-running political reality show in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino strongman politician who was President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986.
"We practically own everything in the Philippines!"
ImeldaFrom Caroline Kennedy (My Travels)
“Do you think of yourselves as gods?”
To which Imelda’s immediate reply was:
“Yes, because we are on a divine mission to return to the Philippines and reclaim our destiny.”
The ex President then chipped in:
“We are part of the achievement of being a God. That is what we are about now. An ordinary mortal would not be able to stand it. All of our statements now have to prove that we have not gone back to being ordinary mortals.”
"There are many gods, but only one creator," she says. "Computer 0101 bite, cosmos 0101 bite, then Adam and Eve 01, see, then the creator 1 and 0 is apple. Isn't that nice?" Imelda (a.k.a. Maganda)
"I was born ostentatious. They will list my name in the dictionary someday. They will use 'Imeldific' to mean ostentatious extravagance." -- cited in an Associated Press report, April 1998
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
Ferdinand Marcos : "He might have started as a hero
but ended up as a crook.”
Singapore's Former PM Lee Kuan YewMost people love getting freebies. In the case of this list, you get two corrupt Filipino dictators for the price of one. Arguably, Marcos was worse than the fellow who came later, Joseph Estrada, for a couple of reasons. He had his own cult of personality, and he used it to strong-arm the country into doing whatever he wanted.
As ruler of the Philippines for 14 years, he went with a patronage style of running the show. His cronies came on board, he awarded them big bonuses and posts of authority, which would, in time, further augment his family’s own wealth. He created monopolies in tobacco, banana, coconut, sugar and manufacturing industries, to which he tied the fellow Romauldez family.
Just how rich were the Marcoses? No one really knows how many billions of dollars that the First Family and their stooges raked in, but it certainly hangs in the billions. Swiss banks have turned in $85 million since Marcos stepped down in 1986, but more is still unaccounted for.
And who could forget Imelda Marcos? Wealth breeds extravagance, but she went over the top. She had white sand from an Australian beach flown in for a resort. She also bought various properties around Manhattan, though she ‘declined to buy the Empire State Building for $750 mil’ because it seemed “too ostentatious.”
When criticized for her manner of buying everything in sight, she claimed that she was a beacon of light to which the poor could aspire. As though the poor have as little integrity as she did, and would aspire to hedonism. From BusinessPundit
Every lie is two lies — the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.
~Robert BraultFrom Asian JournalUSA.com
Was Marcos a well-decorated soldier?
John Sharkey of the Washington Post who did an extensive research on the matter did not think so. Jeff Gerth and Joel Brinkley of the New York Times after perusing the War files in the National Archives found out that Marcos’ claims were “fraudulent” and “absurd”. Historian and scholar Dr. Alfred McCoy, while researching a book World War II in the Philippines, discovered the fraudulent Marcos files among hundreds of thousands of documents involving real heroes and fraudulent claimants during World War II.
Army Captain Ray C. Hunt who directed guerilla activities in Pangasinan said, “No way.” The “List of Recipients of Awards and Decorations issued from December 7, 1941 through June 30, 1945” was compiled by the General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo after the end of the war. Another list of some 120 Americans and Filipinos who were awarded during the Bataan campaign was transmitted to the War Department by General Jonathan Wainwright on April 12 shortly before his surrender. MARCOS WAS NOT on any of the lists.
Many of Marcos’ medals were obtained for heroic actions in Kiangan, Mt. Province while serving in the 14th Infantry under the Command of Colonel Manriquez and Adjutant Captain Rivera. Both attested to fact that Marcos was a non-combatant and just a Civil Affairs officer. They knew of no award that Marcos could have received or had been entitled to.
After an exhaustive analysis of the medals which Marcos supposedly received, Gillego came up with the following conclusions:
Eleven awards were given in 1963:
Ten were given on the same day (12/20/1963);
Three awards were given in one AFP General Order (12/20/1963);
One award was given in 1972 when he was already President;
Eight are really campaign ribbons which everybody involved in Bataan and the resistance movement (including my barber’s uncle), is entitled to receive;
Awards are duplicated for the same action at the same place on the same day;One is a Special Award given by the Veterans Federation of the Philippines; and three for being wounded in actions which his own Commandant swore could not have happened.
Malice in Wonderland: The Imelda Marcos Story
BY VIVIENNE KHOO
The Asia Mag
It is a testament to her residual power that Imelda Marcos was able to get a court order to prevent a damning film about her to be shown in the Philippines. What other widow of a reviled dictator could get her way in the country that she pillaged?
Consider the facts. She was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison in 1993.
The Philippine Supreme Court overturned the conviction.
The Marcos estate lost a class action lawsuit for human rights violations. A US Federal District Court awarded the plaintiffs $2 billion. The money has yet to be paid.
In 2003, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that found Imelda Marcos guilty of funneling $659 million to private Swiss bank accounts and awarded the entire amount to the Philippine government.
Over 150 other court cases are currently pending.
And in an ironic perversion of justice, Imelda Marcos receives a monthly pension of $90 from the Philippine government as a widow of a war veteran.
Imelda insists she did not give her permission for a film about her rise from beauty queen to Philippine First Lady.
“We have to stick to the truth because truth is God,” she said. “Many things were lifted out of context and insertions there were quite, sometimes malicious.”
She said she co-operated with the film because she thought it was for a thesis. Reportedly director Ramona Diaz was given 15 minutes. This stretched to five hours of the former First Lady speaking non-stop and playing video after video of media coverage of the Marcoses.
In the movie we are shown a mythology that Imelda has carefully cultivated. In the opening sequence she presents her world view in an engaging way. Still coquettish in her mid-70s, she leafs through a book she has written called "Circles of Life". The method in her madness breaks down later in the film when she illustrates with a marker pen her philosophy complete with apples, hearts and a Pac-Man. A Jesuit priest recounts how she presented the same to him non-stop for four hours. Bernice Ocampo, her niece, laments that Imelda’s downfall was brought about by flatterers, not true friends.
Imelda’s hubris knows no bounds. In her hometown of Tacloban, she has made a shrine to herself and Jesus Christ. The chapel on the first floor is lined with dioramas of her rise from being a little girl playing in the sand to becoming a heroine of her people helping the downtrodden. Upstairs visitors are shown her ornate bedroom which has walls completely covered in woven leather strips.
Her childhood friend Lettie Loksin is filmed saying that when she first met Imelda she thought she looked like the Virgin Mary — long-haired and beautiful. Another childhood friend recalls, “Imelda’s dresses were made of parachutes and bedsheets during the war. She did not mind as long as she had a new dress.”
We get Imelda’s spin on her own vanity when she boasts that as First Lady she took an hour to dress for kings and queens but she would take “double the time” if she was going to the provinces because the people needed “a standard, a star…especially in the dark of the night”.