Marcos Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: No ‘Marcos wealth’ to be reinvested in Maharlika fund  

John Sitchon

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FACT CHECK: No ‘Marcos wealth’ to be reinvested in Maharlika fund  
The seed capital for the sovereign wealth fund will come from government financial institutions and the national government, not the supposed Marcos family wealth

Claim: The late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ wealth from 17 Philippine and 170 foreign banks, including “overly matured gold investments since the year 2000,” will be deposited into the Maharlika fund and reinvested for the Philippines’ economic development. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook post containing the claim has 142 reactions, 52 comments, and 59 shares as of writing. It also includes a link to a Facebook video bearing the same claim with 65,558 views, 4,000 reactions, and 463 comments.

In the video, a narrator says: “Kaya may Maharlika Wealth Fund…dito i-p-pool ang lahat ng mga wealth assets, including gold dollars, investments, profits at iba pang mga national treasures ng Pilipinas, pati mga excess funds ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno, na nagprofit na ng mahabang panahon.”

(That’s why there is a Maharlika Wealth Fund… all the wealth assets, including gold dollars, investments, profits, and other national treasures of the Philippines, as well as excess funds of various government agencies that have been making profits for a long time, will be pooled here.)

The narrator also claimed that the elder Marcos had a 50-year gold time deposit. 

The facts: Under Senate Bill No. 2020 or the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act, the MIF will source its start-up capital from government financial institutions and the national government. No part of the bill mentions any investment of supposed Marcos wealth or gold.

A total of P125 billion will come from the Land Bank of the Philippines (P50 billion), the Development Bank of the Philippines (P25 billion), and the national government (P50 billion).

The MIF will also not draw from the Philippines’ excess wealth, foreign reserves, or pension funds.

Purpose of the fund: The proposed sovereign wealth fund will be used by the government to invest in key sectors to help fund the country’s priority programs. Its objective, according to the bill, is to “promote socioeconomic development.”

“This will be achieved by making strategic and profitable investments in key sectors to preserve and enhance long-term value of the Fund,” read the measure.

Contrary to the Facebook post’s claim, there is no mention of the fund being created for the purpose of reinvesting wealth from the Marcos family.

On alleged gold, dollar investments: Rappler has previously published several fact checks on Marcos’ alleged last will and testament and claims about the family’s wealth and alleged gold ownership.

Multiple news stories and articles, including from Rappler, PhilStar, and the Presidential Commission on Good Government all report that the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth deposited in banks in Switzerland, Singapore, and the US have been turned over to the Philippine government.

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Status of the bill: On May 31, the controversial Maharlka fund proposal was approved by both chambers of Congress amid opposition from critics, who cited corruption and investment risks, economic challenges, and the bill’s railroading.

The measure now only needs President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature before it becomes a law. –

John Sitchon is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow.

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