Marcos Fact Checks

MISSING CONTEXT: Bongbong, Imelda Marcos acquitted of tax evasion

MISSING CONTEXT: Bongbong, Imelda Marcos acquitted of tax evasion

Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos

Imelda Marcos's acquittal of a tax evasion case in 2007 is only one of the many cases filed against her family. A Supreme Court decision stated that the Marcos family still hasn't paid their estate tax.

At a glance

  • Claim: Former first lady Imelda Marcos and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. are acquitted of their tax evasion cases.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT 
  • The facts: Imelda Marcos’s acquittal of a tax evasion case in 2007 is only one of the many cases filed against her family. A Supreme Court decision stated that the Marcos family still hasn’t paid their estate tax.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was forwarded by one of our readers for fact-checking. As of writing, the post had gotten 2,200 reactions, 227 comments, and 335 shares.

Complete details

On November 5, 2021, Facebook page Coach Jarret posted a screenshot of another Facebook user Dr. Tony Leachon’s post with the text “Payables; P203.8 billion in 2021 value of accumulated unpaid real estate taxes of Marcos family including interests, surcharges, and penalties” alongside another article with the headline “Imelda Marcos acquitted of tax evasion counts.”

Coach Jarret included the following text to accompany the screenshots: “Akala ko mga pinklawang ex justices lang ang tsismoso… Meron din palang doktor. Fake news pa Inquirer at Tony Leachon. Acquitted na sa Tax Evasion ang BBM AT Madame Imelda Marcos noong 2007 pa!

Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos

(I thought only ‘pinklawang’ ex-justices were gossipmongers…it turns out that there are even doctors. Fake news Inquirer and Tony Leachon. BBM and Madame Imelda Marcos have already been acquitted of tax evasion since 2007!)

As of writing, the post has garnered over 227 comments, 335 shares, and 2,200 reactions.

This claim is missing context.

After the ouster of former president Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, several cases were filed against him for corruption and ill-gotten wealth. Following his death in 1989, these cases were to be answered by his family, among them his wife, former first lady Imelda Marcos.

In 2007, Imelda was acquitted of five counts of tax evasion from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC). However, several other cases are either still pending or have been given a conviction already. Rappler previously compiled a list of criminal and civil cases with the Marcos family as respondents. Imelda was found guilty of seven counts of graft in 2018 and was sentenced to 6 to 11 years in prison. Meanwhile, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is a presidential candidate for the 2022 national elections, was convicted in 1997 for failing to pay his income tax and file Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for when he was vice-governor and then governor of Ilocos Norte.

Inquirer opinion columnist and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio argues that the Marcos family owes the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) an aggregated sum of P208.3 billion. This comes from a Supreme Court decision affirming that the Marcos family has not paid the required estate tax. The RTC decision only accounts for one of the several cases of failure to pay estate tax. – Dylan Salcedo/Rappler.com

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