FALSE: Wealth of Marcos family from 'hard work,' and 'not from public funds'

Claim: The Marcos family accumulated their assets through hard work. Their wealth did not come from public funds. 

On September 11, 2019, Facebook user Bren Batongbakal IV posted a long list of historical claims that were supposedly not taught in schools. 

A part of the claim read:

“Yung yaman at mga alahas ng pamilya Marcos ay nanggaling mismo sa kanilang pagsisikap, hindi galing sa kaban ng bayan. (The wealth and jewelry of the  Marcos family came from their hard work, and were not taken from public funds)."

The post went viral gaining 33,129 shares with 22,165 reactions and comments combined. The claim was sent to Rappler's email for a fact check. 

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Total known assets seized from the Marcos family are way above the legitimate income they earned during the time they occupied Malacañang, computed in a 2003 Philippine Supreme Court (SC) ruling at only US$304,372.43. The Marcoses have failed to show proof of other legitimate sources of their wealth, thus the High Court used this to declare the family's Swiss deposits as ill-gotten. 

On July 15, 2003, the SC ruled in favor of the Philippine government in a forfeiture case filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 1987 against the Marcoses. 

The SC declared the Swiss deposits, which had an aggregate amount of over $658 million as of January 31, 2002, as ill-gotten wealth. The money was held in escrow at the time at the Philippine National Bank (PNB). (READ: FALSE: ‘No proof’ that Marcos couple stole billions from Filipinos). 

The Sandiganbayan also forfeited the third jewelry collection of former first lady Imelda Marcos in January 2014 in favor of the Philippine government. 

Based on the official report of the budget minister then, Ferdinand Marcos earned a total salary of P660,000 from 1966 to 1976, and P800,000 from 1977 to 1984 while he was president. Imelda Marcos accumulated a total of P718,750 from June 1976 to February 22-25, 1986 as then-human settlements minister. Below is the amount of salaries they earned and the sources of income as reflected in the SC decision:

The total accumulated salaries of the Marcos couple while in power was over P2,319,583.33. This amount, when converted based on the dollar-exchange rate during their time, is equivalent to $304,372.43 – lower than the illegal money forfeited from Swiss banks. 

Both of them, according to the court ruling, had reported a total income of over P16 million or US$2,414,484.91 in total income over a period of 20 years from 1965 to 1984.

Below is the breakdown of their other sources of income based on their filed income tax return:

However, the SC said in its July 2003 ruling that only the sum of over $304,000 could be considered as the known lawful income of the Marcos couple since they did not file any Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL) which could determine their net worth.

Ferdinand Marcos died on September 8, 1989. 

His wife, Imelda, was initially convicted of two counts of graft in 1993 over anomalous contracts involving a lease between the Light Rail Transit Authority and the Philippine General Hospital Foundation Inc. In 1998, the Supreme Court acquitted her.

Her 2nd conviction was the one handed down on November 9, 2018 and consisted of 7 counts of graft for illegally creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland while she held various government positions.

As of 2016, the PCGG was able to recover more than P170-billion worth of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies. – Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.