Marcos Fact Checks

Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth collected by PCGG cannot pay all of PH debt

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Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth collected by PCGG cannot pay all of PH debt
The PCGG estimated $10 billion or P589 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth plundered by Ferdinand E. Marcos and his family, not enough to pay the P13.021-trillion national debt

The claim: The money that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) is keeping from the Marcos family is enough to pay the country’s debt.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this:  As of writing, the YouTube video with this claim has garnered over 259,000 views and 9,500 likes. 

The bottom line: The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) estimated a total of over P589 billion or $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth plundered by the Marcos family and cronies from 1965 to 1986, of which only P174.2 billion has been retrieved as of September 2021. 

The Philippine total outstanding debt as of August 2022 amounts to P13.021 trillion

The Swiss bank accounts: The YouTube video mentioned an amount of $240 billion (P13.5 trillion as converted in the video) that the Marcos family has hidden in international bank accounts, money that can be used to resolve most, if not all, financial issues in the Philippines. This figure can be traced to a statement made by former first lady Imelda Marcos during an interview with GMA host Mel Tiangco.

However, the PCGG has only accounted for $688 million (P40.437 billion) laundered in Swiss deposits. An additional P462.9 million in Swiss accounts was recently made public to be linked to the late Marcos, but no evidence indicates that Marcos and his cronies deposited $240 billion or anything near to dummy accounts.

The Karen Hudes claims: The video also attributed statements of one Karen Hudes, a supposed whistleblower from the World Bank. Not mentioned in the video was that the World Bank made a statement in 2014 disputing Hudes’ or any of her proxies’ claims as “false and should not be viewed as credible.”

Claims of inheritance for the “people of the Philippines” in Marcos’ last will and testament have been debunked multiple times by Rappler and other fact-checking organizations. A GMA report in 2016 also revealed the contents of the document, wherein Marcos only detailed his request for a proper burial and had left statements for his family. – Kyle Nicole Marcelino/

Kyle Nicole Marcelino is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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