TO PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN WERE NOT AROUND DURING THE REIGN OF THE MARCOS DICTATORSHIP, IT IS OUR COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE OUR KIDS ON THAT DARK CHAPTER OF OUR NATION'S HISTORY,
Charlie Avila, who
September 1976, the Marcoses bought their first property in the
The 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 necklace.
The Marcoses donated $1.5 million to
July 1978. After a trip to
That was merely for starters.
A 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.
After 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 white horses.
In these critical times when efforts are being made to re-write history and sanitizing the record of martial law and the Marcoses, let us cure ourselves of this "despicable amnesia" and get back our sense of righteous indignation!
The other was a house at
erstwhile head of the American Chamber of Commerce in the
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
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.
of men drove into
Evelio 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.
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 Romualdez.
How 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 Accounts.
Imelda charged off most of her spending sprees to the PNB or Philippine National Bank which creatively wrote off her debts as "unresponded transfers".
Ver also used PNB funds to finance his "intelligence" operations.
The known losses at the PNB amounted to Php72.1 billion.
At 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 (
These 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 arrangements.
The 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.
The 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 of money".
There 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
There 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.
The 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
There 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 Anniversary."
February 1986. When Marcos departed the
Forward 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.
They contained a treasure trove of documents about Swiss bank accounts,
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
That left a difference of
March 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
After devising a plan, they boarded four cars and drove to the premises, arriving around . The soldiers scaled a fence and sealed off the area.
The 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
"We deliver to the Central Bank," the miners said. "If it happened (the siphoning), it happened in the Central Bank."
Is 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.
History 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..
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.
"I 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.
Actually 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
A $750 million account with United Mizrahi Bank in
Various currency and gold deposits at the Union Bank of
A $356 million account (now in escrow and worth almost $600 million) which was being claimed by the PCGG.
In 1994, 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.
could now therefore be returned to claimants (such as the Philippine government) by Swiss court order.
The 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
The Swiss court also announced that the interest and reputation of
By the way, in
In 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 Plan,1978-2000.
By 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 BLISS.
She 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 disillusioned.
In 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?"
Bongbong is now a Senator, Imelda is back in Congress. The MARCOSES are back in full force thanks to our "despicable amnesia" as aptly described by the eminent writer, F. Sionil Jose.
PLEASE PASS THIS IMPORTANT PART OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY TO YOUR FRIENDS, SO WE WILL NOT FORGET. .