“Filipinos are brainwashed to be beautiful. We’re allergic to ugliness,”
said Imelda Marcos as as she greeted reporters this weekend in her swank two-story Manila penthouse. Approaching her 80th birthday on July 2, she complained about her lot in life, saying she is penniless and struggling to still look presentable. Her claim is hardly believable, since she and her husband, the late President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, stashed away billions during his dictatorship. Meanwhile, a 22-carat diamond engagement ring still adorns the former beauty queen’s finger.
“Despite some 900 civil and criminal cases she had faced in Philippine courts since 1991 _ cases ranging from embezzlement and corruption to tax evasion _ she has emerged relatively unscathed and never served prison time. All but a handful of the cases have been dismissed for lack of evidence and a few convictions were overturned on appeal….
Imelda, her hair coifed and cheeks rouged, teared up as she complained she had to withdraw money from her husband’s meager war pension to post bail so she could travel to Singapore earlier this month for an eye checkup paid for by her children.“I was first lady for only 20 years. All the beautiful things I gave to the Philippines, am I being persecuted for that? I didn’t know you can inherit a crime from your husband.”
Her husband and his cronies allegedly amassed ill-gotten wealth estimated at $5 billion to $10 billion during Marcos’ 20 years in power, but the Presidential Commission on Good Government, created to recover the Marcos billions, says the government has only found cash and assets totaling $1.63 billion.
The assets include three separate sets of diamond tiaras, ruby brooches, emerald necklaces and other jewels.
She remains unashamed of her past, when she shopped in the world’s richest boutiques and launched lavish beautification projects at home in the midst of the Philippines’ extreme poverty.”
*Imeldific is a word coined after former First Lady Imelda Marcos. It means “ostentatious extravagance” as in this example:
She had a shoe collection that met Imeldific standards.
I’ve written more posts on the Marcoses: