Category: imelda’s jewels

The $10bn question: what happened to the Marcos millions?

Nick Davies

In the early hours of a February morning in 1986, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos flew into exile. …  In the two C-141 transport planes that carried them, they had packed: 23 wooden crates; 12 suitcases and bags, and various boxes, whose contents included enough clothes to fill 67 racks; 413 pieces of jewellery, including 70 pairs of jewel-studded cufflinks; an ivory statue of the infant Jesus with a silver mantle and a diamond necklace; 24 gold bricks, inscribed “To my husband on our 24th anniversary”; and more than 27m Philippine pesos in freshly-printed notes. The total value was $15m.

This was a fortune by any standards, easily enough to see the couple through the rest of their lives. Yet the new government of the Philippines knew this was only a very small part of the Marcoses’ wealth. The reality, they discovered, was that Ferdinand Marcos had amassed a fortune up to 650 times greater. According to a subsequent estimate by the Philippine supreme court, he had accumulated up to $10bn while in office.

Since his official salary had never risen above $13,500 a year, it was blazingly clear this was stolen wealth on the most spectacular scale.

Read on…

marcos redux

no surprise that marcos jr. is running not for the presidency but for veep.  testing the waters muna siyempre, kahit pa naniniwala silang the marcos regime 1965 to 1986 were good years, better than cory’s, fvr’s, erap’s, gloria’s, and noynoy’s put together.  in fact, say ni bongbong, kung di nag-EDSA, we would be advanced and first-world like singapore.  LOL.  yeah, those were good years, the best years, even, of THEIR lives, i.e, the marcoses’ and their cronies’, in particular, no doubt about it, but of nation?

please naman, itigil na ang pagbibilog sa ulo ng taongbayan.  the marcos regime was more bad than good for nation, the promised revolution from the center did not materialize, we’re still paying for foreign debts that went into failed (looted) industries and white elephants like the bataan nuclear power plant.  and let me not get started on how oppressive, repressive, suppressive that strong-arm rule was, thanks to how marcos the dictator and brilliant lawyer crafted proclamations, executive orders, decrees, and amendments not only to buttress, solidify his (and his heirs’ and cronies’ heirs’) hold on, and everlasting entitlement to, political power (overt and covert), but to preserve and promote forevermore the interests of the ruling class, from the protection of landholdings to control of the nation’s monetary policies — laws and policies that continue/d to be invoked by, and to serve, post-EDSA administrations, from aquino to aquino, mother and son.  how’s that for irony.

I am very happy that I was born into the Marcos family. I congratulate myself for picking my parents very well. I have never felt it to be a burden. I have only felt it to be an advantage, a blessing and I am very thankful that I am a Marcos,” he said in a press conference in Quezon City.

faced as we are with the prospect of a marcos to marcos, from father to son, the line  “I congratulate myself for picking my parents very well” is worthy of note.  it would seem that bongbong believes in past lives and reincarnation  – only in occult/mystical thought is there a notion of the unborn soul choosing one’s parents and the circumstances to be born to in the present life.  but the concept of reincarnation is all about evolving, growing in wisdom, leveling up, as in a spiral of evolution.  for bongbong, since he chooses to follow in the footsteps, and avail of the attendant advantages of the legacy, of his father, then to evolve,  that is, to level up, to save the country from perdition, to fulfill the promise of a national revolution sa puso, sa isip, at sa gawa  would demand that he acknowledge and learn, first, from the mistakes, the failures, the sins of the conjugal dictatorship.  otherwise he is fated to repeat the patterns of corruption and violence set, established, during the rule of his parents, and we should be very very afraid.

meanwhile, on social media, the question still is, should  we visit the sins of the father on the children?  i’ve always said, yes, in the sense that, if bongbong is sincere about moving the country forward, then he should acknowledge such sins, and do what he can to make amends.  only then can we have a conversation about marcos times not being all bad.  only then can the nation truly move forward.  but, no, i can’t see any of that happening soon, as the imeldific one seems still to be calling the shots, and she could live forever.

Gossip as history

By Luis H. Francia

NEW YORK CITY — Imelda Romualdez Marcos leads a charmed life. So far able to dodge the bullet of criminal liability and seemingly inured to the regular impugning of her past and her character, she’s living proof that lives can have third acts.

Ooh’d and ahh’d over in public, the congresswoman now has her own “Evita,” the musical based on Evita Peron’s life with whom she was often compared, a comparison she didn’t like one bit. But she has never raised objections, at least publicly, to the rock musician, he-of-Talking-Heads-fame, David Byrne’s poperetta “Here Lies Love,” reviewed last year in this column.

Read on…


display imelda’s jewels

the pcgg wants to display the famous imelda jewels in the metropolitan museum, as tourist attraction, preparatory to selling them to the highest bidders.  fun-ny the reactions.  the prez is hemming and hawing, he’s not into jewelry, what if merong fake, nakakahiya, and is this the right time to sell?  tourism sec jimenez is cool to the idea, notoriety is not the best way to attract tourists.  imelda, of course, is claiming the jewels should be returned to her, the rightful owner, and in the next breath agreeing that they deserve to be displayed.  but de quiros takes the cake: his concern is, what will the world say?

You exhibit the jewels in hopes of luring in the curious, the curious will ask about something even more curious: If Imelda is a thief, indeed if Imelda is one very big thief, how come she is still free? How come she is not in jail?

The DOT does what Bautista suggests and it will give new, and not very savory, meanings to “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Among them, stealing is more fun in the Philippines. Thieves have more fun in the Philippines.

whatever the world will say is something the world has long been saying about us, so what else is new?  and those are valid questions that pcgg chairman andres bautista has answers to:

He said the Office of the Ombudsman could go after fixers in the PCGG. “We have filed cases against them at the Ombudsman and some of them are pending in the Sandiganbayan,” he said.

Bautista also blamed the gridlock in the court cases against the Marcoses for the PCGG’s disappointing performance.

“Most of the cases are being dragged to death in court. The failure of the PCGG in the past is mirrored by the failure of the courts. Our cases are over 20 years old—over 260 of them. The courts should not have been allowed to indefinitely delay these cases. Hopefully, with the new Ombudsman, the new Chief Justice and the secretary of justice, we will have a better output with our cases,” he said.

in fairness, de quiros makes an about-face in the end:

Maybe we need to parade Imelda’s jewels to the public, if not to the tourists, to remind us of what we failed to do. But more than that, we need to build a museum of horrors, if only in the public mind, to remind us, as we approach Friday next week, what of we still need to do.

how about, let’s do it for us, and let’s do it for the tourists.  let’s not sell the jewels just for cash that government would quickly spend, and then it’s gone.  jewels are forever, the value appreciates, notorious or not, and these jewels are special because they are fabulous glittering proof that we didn’t make it up, imelda’s conspicuous ostentatious outrageous consumption using the people’s monies in a time of poverty and terror in the time of ferdinand.  those jewels are for passing on to the next generations as historical artifacts of the conjugal dictatorship.

if we display the jewels, the tourists will come.  and not just foreigners, but filipinos, too, from far and wide, to see for themselves the famous three collections: the 300 or so pieces that were left behind in the palace, the 400 or so that they carried out but lost to u.s. customs officials in hawaii, and the 60 pieces, including a 37-carat diamond, that philippine customs officials confiscated from a greek, demetriou roumeliotes, on his way out of the country soon after EDSA.

that’s more than 750 pieces of tiaras, necklaces, watches, earrings, brooches, bracelets, of rubies, emeralds, jade, pearls, and diamonds, some from gucci, van cleef and arpels, bulgari and philippe patek.  that would be quite a spread and quite a sight to behold.  cleverly curated — throw in the shoes and gowns and soaps and perfumes as well — that would be quite a show, an imeldific extravaganza for the ages, the one, the only, in the world!


Jewels of Imelda Marcos, The Story
Imelda’s Jewelry
Imelda’s Amazing Jewelry
Imelda’s ‘crown jewels’ to go under the hammer 2003
Imelda Marcos on Seized Jewelry: It’s All Mine 2005
She’s Baaack! Imelda Marcos Gets $310M Jewels Returned 2009
Arroyo stops auction of Imelda Marcos jewelry 2010