Friday, November 11, 2016

The Marcoses' Mind-Boggling Loot (Nasaan ang Hustisyaaaa?!)

     For the millennials who don't understand why there is so much brouhaha about Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, here's just one facet of the Marcoses that's raising hackles in some quarters - their thievery. The former dictator and his family plus cronies raked in Philippines' wealth in cash and in kind while they're ruling and ruining the country for decades.     

     Marcos never officially won the record as the world's greatest thief (just like he never legitimately earned his Medal of Valor), but he could have gotten the Guinness title hands down. The list below, divulged by author Caroline Kennedy (not JFK daughter) in 1987, will give you an idea of the corruption and plunder of the Marcoses.      

     The following items appeared in the official custom list when Marcos and entourage arrived in Hawaii upon their exile. These were simply described as "household effects". Take note that the estimated amounts were  made in 1986 so by now their loot is at much higher value.
  • 22 Crates of Cash valued at $717 million dollars
  • 300 crates of assorted jewellery Value undetermined
  • $4 million dollars worth of unset precious gems contained in Pampers diaper boxes.
  • $7.7 million dollars worth of jewellery, including a gold crown encrusted with diamonds, three tiaras, 65 Seiko and Cartier watches
  • A box, measuring 12 feet by 4 feet, crammed full of real pearls.
  • A 3 foot solid gold statue covered in diamonds and other precious stones.
  • $200,000 dollars in gold bullion and nearly $1 million dollars in Philippine pesos

Just a few of Imeda's trinkets up for auction: Bili na po kayo

(Photo from

      As if we're not yet overwhelmed by the sheer amount of their "show money", Ms Kennedy continued:

"A week ahead of their departure 2000 tons of gold, worth $22 billion dollars, had been dispatched to Australia but, on a tip off, was intercepted by the vigilant Australian Customs. Weekly shuttle flights, transporting crates containing money, period furniture, antiques and Old Master paintings were reported to have flown to Hong Kong during the six months prior to their downfall in February 1986.
A further $250 million dollars worth of jewellery was also confiscated from a friend of Imelda’s who was caught smuggling them out of the country for her. 
And this was probably just the beginning. Over two decades later the Philippines government is still trying to locate all the Marcos assets. Imelda has not helped them. She has claimed the Fifth Amendment. She has obfuscated. She has bribed. And she has lied. She told the Philippines commission charged with retrieving the stolen funds:
If you know how rich you are, you aren’t rich. I have no idea how rich I am!”
Truly imeldific: Walang kupas, panay kumpas!
Following a request from the Philippines government, the Swiss government, for the first time ever in its history of secret banking, froze all assets they suspected of belonging to any member of the Marcos family. In the past five years the Swiss government revealed the existence of yet another Marcos account, holding almost $20 billion! And so it seems quite possible that one day we might actually find out just how rich the Marcoses were."   
  While in exile, the Marcoses continued their lavish lifestyle living in a multi-million dollar estate in Makiki Heights and regularly hosted parties and dinners to the rich and famous.        The Marcoses also amassed stocks and real property assets abroad including at least four properties in New York. In 2012, US authorities discovered "a fresh cache of dollars, prime New York properties and paintings worth as much as P1 billion", according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.      For full text of Ms Kennedy's report and to learn the full extent of the Marcoses' insatiable greed , you can visit