the Marcoses bought their first property in the U.S. – a condo in the
exclusive Olympic Towers on Fifth Avenue in New York . Five months later
they would also buy the three adjoining apartments, paying a total of
$4,000,000.00 for the four and using Antonio Floirendo’s company, The
Aventures Limited in Hong Kong, as front for these purchases.
October 13, 1977 Today,
after addressing the UN General Assembly, Imelda celebrated by going
shopping and spending $384,000 including $50,000 for a platinum bracelet
with rubies; $50,000 for a diamond bracelet; and $58,000 for a pin set
day before, Vilma Bautista, one of her private secretaries, paid
$18,500 for a gold pendant with diamonds and emeralds; $9,450 for a gold
ring with diamonds and emeralds; and $4,800 for a gold and diamond
October 27, 1977 The
Marcoses donated $1.5 million to Tufts University in Boston, endowing a
professorial chair in East Asian and Pacific Studies at the Fletcher
School of Law and Diplomacy. The students and professors discovered this
and forced the school to reject the donation. To save face, the
Marcoses were allowed to finance several seminars and lectures.
November 2, 1977 Still
at her shopping spree, Imelda paid $450,000 for a gold necklace and
bracelet with emeralds, rubies, and diamonds; $300,000 for a gold ring
with emeralds and diamonds; and $300,000 for a gold pendant with
diamonds, rubies, and thirty-nine emeralds.
July 1978 After
a trip to Russia, Imelda arrived in New York and immediately warmed up
for a shopping spree. She started with paying $193,320 for antiques,
including $12,000 for a Ming Period side table; $24,000 for a pair of
Georgian mahogany Gainsborough armchairs; $6,240 for a Sheraton
double-sided writing desk; $11,600 for a George II wood side table with
marble top – all in the name of the Philippine consulate to dodge New
York sales tax.
That was merely for starters.
week later she spent $2,181,000.00 in one day! This included $1,150,000
for a platinum and emerald bracelet with diamonds from Bulgari;
$330,000 for a necklace with a ruby, diamonds, and emeralds; $300,000
for a ring with heart-shaped emeralds; $78,000 for 18-carat gold ear
clips with diamonds; $300,000 for a pendant with canary diamonds, rubies
and emeralds on a gold chain.
New York, she dropped by Hong Kong where a Cartier representative
admitted it was this Filipina, Imelda, who had put together the world’s
largest collection of gems – in 1978.
May 1979 The
Marcos couple celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in a
party that cost $5,000,000.00 There was a silver carriage drawn by eight
23, 1978 A house was purchased at 4 Capshire Drive in Cherry Hill , New
Jersey (actually near to Philadelphia where Bongbong was taking courses
at that time) for use by servants and Bongbong’s security detachment.
The Marcoses did not neglect their annual real estate purchase. During
this year and next year, 1979, they purchased two properties – one at
3850 Princeton Pike, Princeton – a 13-acre estate for use by daughter
Imee as she attended Princeton.
other was a house at 19 Pendleton Drive in Cherry Hill for use of
Bongbong and under the name of Tristan Beplat, erstwhile head of the
American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines.
April 1979 in
two days in New York this month, Imelda spent $280,000 for a necklace
wet with emeralds and diamonds; $18,500 for a yellow gold evening bag
with one round cut diamond; $8,975.20 for 20-carat gold ear clips
with twenty-four baguette diamonds; $8,438.10 for 18-carat gold ear
clips with fifty-two tapered baguette diamonds; and $12,056.50 for 20
carat gold ear clips with diamonds.
June 1980 For
$1,577,000.00 in New York Imelda buys Webster Hotel on West 45th
Street. She rewards Gen. Romeo Gatan as a limited partner. Gatan
arrested Ninoy at the beginning of Martial Law. The insurgents’ ranks
grew by twenty percent a year. . Meritorious officers in the armed
forces experienced low moral due to Marcos’ penchant for promoting
friends over more deserving officers.
February 16, 1986 In
Fe’s records of monies paid out during Marcos’ last campaign, one
unusually large item was authorized by “FL” (First Lady) and paid to
Assemblyman Arturo Pacificador on this day. A few days later, two
carloads of men drove into San Jose , the provincial capital of Antique.
Javier, head of Aquino’s campaign, was watching the votes being counted
when the men opened fire and killed Evelio after he was still able to
run through town but finally got cornered in a public toilet where he
was gunned down in front of shocked townspeople. Pacificador was later
convicted of the murder.
February 25, 1986 Marcos
fled the Philippines leaving behind a foreign debt of $27 billion and a
bureaucracy gone mad. “Cash advances” for the elections from the
national treasury amounted to Php 3.12 billion ($150 million). The
Central Bank printed millions of peso bills, many with the same serial
number. Sixty million pesos in newly printed bills were found in a
vehicle owned by Imelda’s brother Bejo in the Port Area of Manila, and
another Php 100 million aboard the MV Legaspi also owned by Bejo
massive and humongous a loot Marcos took can be deduced from the known
losses he left behind. The known losses he left at the Central Bank
included $1.2 billion in missing reserves and $6 billion in the Special
charged off most of her spending sprees to the PNB or Philippine
National Bank which creatively wrote off her debts as “unresponded
Ver also used PNB funds to finance his “intelligence” operations.
The known losses at the PNB amounted to Php72.1 billion.
the DBP, the losses Marcos left behind totaled Php85 billion; at the
Philguarantee, it was Php 6.2 billion; and at the NIDC or National
Investment and Development Corporation (NDC) – the losses amounted to
Php 2.8 billion.
losses were primarily due to cronyism – giving loans to cronies that
had little or no collateral, whose corporations were undercapitalized,
whose loan proceeds were not used for the avowed purpose, and where the
practice of corporate layering was common, i.e. using two or more
companies with the same incorporators and officers, whereby one company
which gives the loan owns the company which obtains the loan, or similar
cronies enjoyed their closeness to Marcos. With him they formed a Grand
Coalition. They participated in the exercise of dictatorship. But
Marcos owned them. The wealth of the cronies belonged to him. Because of
the free rides taken by Imelda, Marcos and the cronies, the Philippine
Airlines was in debt by $13.8 billion.
conservative Grand Total for losses Marcos left behind (and therefore
the kind of loot he grabbed and hid) amounted to $17.1 billion. The
Central Bank, the PNB, and other financial institutions badly need an
audit. The special review (not regular audit because there seems not to
have been any – there are no records anyway) did not uncover Imelda’s
spending – her name never appeared – and Ver’s intelligence fund. The
review gave no hint of theft or missing money, only “downward
adjustments” and “proposed adjustments” to “deficiencies” and “shortages
February 26, 1986 A
few hours after the Marcos party landed in Honolulu, their luggage
arrived – 300 crates on board a C-141 cargo jet. It took twenty-five
customs officers five hours to tag the bags and identify the contents.
The process was videotaped because of all the money and jewelry found
were 278 crates of jewelry and art worth an estimated US$5 million.
Twenty-two crates contained more than Php27.7 million in newly minted
currency, mostly hundred-peso denominations worth approximately US
$1,270,000. 00 (It was illegal at that time for anyone to depart the
Philippines carrying more than Php500 in cash.)
were other certificates of deposit from Philippine banks worth about
US$1 million, five handguns, 154 videotapes, seventeen cassette tapes,
and 2,068 pages of documents – all of which were impounded by Customs.
Marcos party was allowed to keep only US$300,000.00 in gold and
$150,000.00 in bearer bonds that they brought in with their personal
luggage because they declared them and broke no US customs laws.
were 24 one-kilo gold bars fitted into 2 0$17,000 hand-tooled Gucci
briefcase with a solid gold buckle and a plaque on it that read, “To
Ferdinand Marcos, from Imelda, on the Occasion of our 24th Wedding
February 1986 When
Marcos departed the Philippines, the losses in the three Central Bank
accounts surpassed Php 122 billion (more than $6 billion). The big bulk
of losses was attributed to the RIR account mainly due to two items:
forward cover and swap contracts.
cover referred to foreign exchange provided by the CB at a fixed
exchange rate to importers of essential commodities. Swap contracts
referred to CB’s receiving foreign exchange from banks in exchange for
pesos at the prevailing rate with a promise to deliver the foreign
exchange back to them at an agreed future date. There was no mention of
losses due to CB transactions in gold or foreign exchange.
February 28, 1986 On
this day, Jim Burke, security expert from the US Embassy, was tapping
on the wooden paneling in Imelda’s abandoned Malacanang bedroom when he
heard a hollow sound. It was the walk-in vault. Inside were thirty-five
suitcases secured with locks and tape.
contained a treasure trove of documents about Swiss bank accounts, New
York real estate, foundations in Vaduz , and some notepaper on which
Marcos had practiced his William Saunders signature. They also contained
jewelry valued at some US$10.5 million.
March 16, 1986 Did Marcos steal any gold from the CB? The CB always refused to comment. Why? Today,
the LA Times reported that 6.325 metric tons of gold was unaccounted
for in the Central Bank. Between 1978, the year Marcos ordered all gold
producers to sell only to the CB, and end 1984, the Bureau of Mines
reported that 124,234 pounds of gold were refined. But the CB reported
receiving only 110,319 pounds during this same period.
That left a difference of 13,915 pounds (6.325 metric tons).
1986. Jokingly referring to themselves as the Office of National
Revenge, a vigilante team led by Charlie Avila and Linggoy Alcuaz
received a tip in the morning that Marcos’ daughter Imee had kept a
private office in the suburb of Mandaluyong at 82 Edsa. They obtained a
search warrant, then rushed to Camp Crame to pick up some soldiers.
devising a plan, they boarded four cars and drove to the premises,
arriving around midnight. The soldiers scaled a fence and sealed off the
area. Avila , Alcuaz, and their men moved in and found documents in
cardboard boxes, desks, and filing cabinets. Gunfire could be heard
outside but it didn’t deter the search.
documents revealed the names of offshore companies and overseas
investments of Marcos and his cronies – a late link in the paper trail
that had been started abroad by the teams of Avila, Steve Psinakis,
Sonny Alvarez, Raul Daza, Boni Gillego, and Raul Manglapus.
March 09, 1986 A
Greek-American, Demetrios Roumeliotes, was stopped at the Manila
International Airport before he could leave with eight large envelopes
stuffed with jewelry that he admitted belonged to Imelda – valued at
March 15, 1986 Ernie
Maceda, Minister of Natural Resources, revealed today that some 7 to 14
tons of Philippine gold are sold to the Binondo Central Bank annually
and then smuggled to Sabah , Malaysia – this gold being part of some 20
tons produced by 200,000 panners all over the country. Maceda’s query
was whether part of the gold they produced was siphoned to the
“invisible gold hoard of Ms. Imelda R. Marcos.”
“We deliver to the Central Bank,” the miners said. “If it happened (the siphoning), it happened in the Central Bank.”
it true that Marcos propagated the Yamashita myth to hide the fact that
he looted the Central Bank, that its gold bars were melted down and
recast in odd-size bars to make them look old (how does gold look old,
anyway?). Marcos claimed that he “received the surrender of Gen.
Yamashita” after a battle with his guerrilla outfit.
has recorded that Yamashita surrendered to Lt. Co. Aubrey Smith
Kenworthy and that there was no battle. Yamashita’s peaceful surrender
had been arranged at least two weeks before the event. In one entry in Marcos’ diary he noted, “I often wonder what I will be remembered for in history. Scholar? Military hero…?”
In a supreme irony, he did achieve what he so vainly sought – lasting fame – but not in the way he envisioned:
The largest human rights case in history – 10,000 victims.
Guinness Book of Records – the world’s greatest thief.
The largest monetary award in history – $22 billion.
September 30, 1986 Questioned
by Philippine and US lawyers about his hidden wealth, Marcos took the
Fifth Amendment 197 times. Imelda followed suit – 200 times.
December 1989 An
American jury found the Marcos estate liable for $15 million in the
killing of anti-Marcos activists Gene Viernes and Silme Domingo.
Manglapus, Psinakis, Gillego and other erstwhile exile oppositionists
testified at the trial.
November 04, 1991 Today,
a Sunday, the circus came to town. The Swiss Federal Tribunal had ruled
the year before that the Philippine government must comply with the
European Convention of Human Rights, especially due process. There had
to be a lawsuit filed within one year. Thus, the solicitor general’s
office filed all sorts of cases against Imelda and the government had to
allow her to return to answer the charges.
come home penniless,” she tearfully said on arrival. She then repaired
to her suite at the Philippine Plaza Hotel which cost $2,000 a day and
rented sixty rooms for her entourage – American lawyers, American
security guards and American PR firms.
December 1991 The Central Bank had accumulated losses of Php324 billion in the Special Accounts. November
30, 1992. The Central Bank losses were Php561 billion and climbing.
Cuisia asked that the CB be restructured. Sen. Romulo asked to see the
1983 audit of the international reserves. He couldn’t get a copy. It was
January 05, 1993 Imelda
didn’t show up for the scheduled signing of a new PCGG agreement. She
kept vacillating on the terms and conditions – demanding she be allowed
to travel abroad for thirty-three days to confer with bank officials in
Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong and Morocco to work out the transfer of
the frozen funds.
she was hoping a guy she had authorized, J.T.Calderon, would be able to
move the funds just as the order was lifted, before the government had a
chance to transfer them to Manila . When the government discovered the
authority, all negotiations with Imelda were halted and her requests for
August 10, 1993 Georges
Philippe, a Swiss lawyer of Imelda, wrote today a confidential letter
to the Marcoses’ old Swiss lawyer, Bruno de Preux, who handled almost
all of the Marcos family’s hidden accounts in Switzerland.
Philippe requested de Preux for the status of:
$750 million account with United Mizrahi Bank in Zurich; Various
currency and gold deposits at the Union Bank of Switzerland , at Kloten
airport and at Credit Suisse; A $356 million account (now in escrow and
worth almost $600 million) which was being claimed by the PCGG.
the human rights jury awarded the victims $1.2 billion in exemplary
damages, then $766.4 million in compensatory damages a year after that,
for a total of $1.964 billion. Two days after, another $7.3 million was
awarded to twenty-one Filipinos in a separate lawsuit.
In 1995, the US Supreme Court upheld the $1.2 billion judgment.
March 29, 1995 The
Swiss Parliament passed a law (an amendment to a previous act) that
removed the need for a final judgment of criminal conviction of the
accused (such as the Marcoses) in the case of criminally acquired assets
which could now therefore be returned to claimants (such as the
Philippine government) by Swiss court order.
July 1996 In part because of the torture of Roger Roxas, $22 billion was awarded to his Golden Budha Corporation.
December 10, 1997 The
Swiss Supreme Court promulgated a landmark decision that took into
account the March 1995 Swiss Parliament act and the fact that new
criminal cases had been filed against Imelda Marcos.
court held that there was no need for any criminal proceeding; that a
civil or administrative proceeding would suffice, and the Marcos Swiss
deposits which had been “criminally acquired” can be returned to the
Philippines in deference to the final judgment of the Philippine court
as to the ownership of these deposits.
Swiss court also announced that the interest and reputation of
Switzerland was at stake if it would become a haven for money launderers
laundering money obtained by crime. Therefore, in the case of the
Marcos deposits, because “the illegal source of the assets in this case
cannot be doubted” the Swiss court ordered that the money be returned to
Philippines to be held in escrow account in the PNB to await the judgment of the Sandiganbayan in the forfeiture case.
the way, in January 17, 1975, a secret decree not made public until
after the Edsa insurrection was signed by Marcos stating that in the
event he became incapacitated or died, power would be turned over to
June 7, 1975, in his own handwriting, Marcos amended the January 17th
decree and clarified imelda’s role as chairperson of committee with
February 1979, Imelda was named chairman of the cabinet committee,
composed of all ministries, to launch the BLISS (Bagong Lipunan Sites
and Services) program, an ambitious attempt to centralize control of all
economic and social development. She assumed responsibility for the “11
needs of Man” codified in her ministry’s multi-year Human Settlements
1986, the number of Filipinos living below the poverty line doubled
from 18 million in 1965 to 35 million. And the ecological balance of the
country had degraded from 75 % to 27% forest cover remaining – with 39
million acres of forest falling victim to rampant logging. This was
was also the head of the Metro Manila Commission, which by year-end
1985 had managed to accumulate debts of Php 1.99 billion (which included
$100 million in foreign loans) in its ten years of existence. Imelda
had accomplished nothing and left the people embittered and even more
September 1992 Marcos was found guilty of violating the human rights of
10,000 victims. The ruling occurred just after a judge found Imee
Marcos-Manotoc guilty of the torture and murder of Archimedes Trajano, a
21 year old engineering student at Mapua who had the temerity to ask
Imee after a speech she gave whether the Kabataang Barangay (a national
youth group) “must be headed by the president’s daughter?”
and brother Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. have been active in the
political scene. Bongbong, who finished 3 terms as Ilocos Norte
governor, is now running for Senator under Presidential bet, Manny
Villar’s senatorial slate.. he’s been quoted as saying that if given a
chance, he’d like to run for President one day…(gads).
is now a Senator, Imelda is Governor of Ilocos Norte and Imee is in
Congress. The MARCOSES are back in full force thanks to our “despicable
amnesia” as aptly described by the eminent writer, F. Sionil Jose.
ROLAND SAN JUAN was a researcher, management consultant, inventor, a part time radio broadcaster and a publishing director. He died last November 25, 2008 after suffering a stroke. His staff will continue his unfinished work to inform the world of the untold truths. Please read Erick San Juan's articles at: ericksanjuan.blogspot.com This blog is dedicated to the late Max Soliven, a FILIPINO PATRIOT.
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