Marcos Fact Checks

MISSING CONTEXT: ‘Yellows’ call for destruction of Marcos houses

Rappler
MISSING CONTEXT: ‘Yellows’ call for destruction of Marcos houses
The Marcoses’ houses were sequestered by the PCGG as part of its mandate to recover the billions stolen by the family
At a glance
  • Claim: The “yellows” bullied the Marcos family by calling for the destruction of their houses by the government. This is based on an Associated Press (AP) video of former first lady Imelda Marcos showing the remains of a demolished house.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • Facts: The original recording of the scene was taken in 1994 by AP. It shows the Marcos home that was sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government as part of its mandate to recover the billions stolen by the Marcos family.
  • Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the rehashed claim has garnered over 384,000 views, 1,800 comments, and 9,100 reactions on Facebook.
Complete details

A post on the Facebook page “PSSAP Underground Media” claims that the Marcos family was bullied by the “dilaw” (yellow) – a term used to describe anti-Marcos supporters, the Liberal Party, and the Marcoses’ political rivals, the Aquino family. These people allegedly compelled the government to destroy Marcos properties in Manila and Leyte.

The post includes a two-minute video by the Associated Press, which features former first lady Imelda Marcos pleading for her properties not to be destroyed while touring the remains of a demolished mansion. 

At the 1:20 mark, she tearfully tells workers: “Bahay ’to ni Imee. ’Wag niyo sirain!” (This is Imee’s house. Don’t destroy it!). At the 1:52 mark, she says: “They have already destroyed our homes in San Juan, my ancestral home in Leyte. They destroyed all our homes everywhere. Now they are taking our children’s too. Why?”  

The video caption says: “Dito nyo makikita kung paano inapi ng mga dilaw ang mga Marcos. Halos lahat ng pagaari nilang bahay ay pinagiba ng gobyerno.” (Here, you will see how the “yellows” mistreated the Marcoses. The government had almost all of their properties demolished.)

This post has gained over 384,000 views, 1,800 comments, and 9,100 reactions on Facebook, as of writing. It was uploaded on June 16, 2016, but Facebook users are still interacting with the post in the comments.

The claim is missing context.

What is seen in the video clip was a result of the mandate of the Presidential Commission on Good Government to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos. The house was demolished after it was sequestered by the PCGG, and then sold to a private individual in November 1994 for P215 million pesos or $8.3 million.

The PCGG’s official mandate gives the agency the power to sequester and take over all entities and business enterprises owned or controlled by Marcos’ relatives and associates that have been acquired through the use of an undue advantage provided by their public office, powers, authority, influence, connections, and relationships.

While the PCGG was created by former President Corazon Aquino in 1986, this particular sequestration took place in 1994 during the administration of president Fidel Ramos. The PCGG was under the leadership of chairperson Magtanggol Gunigundo at the time.  

The clip on Facebook originates from an AP video for a story they covered in 1996. Back then, Imelda Marcos was filing a criminal complaint against the PCGG for selling her family’s properties, claiming that it had no right to do so. The former first lady also directed this complaint towards Manuel Malvar, the lawyer who bought the property, and finance undersecretary Romeo Bernardo, who helped approve the sale.

The complaint, however, was dismissed by ombudsman Aniano Desierto in 1998 on the grounds that the PCGG reserved the right to sell Marcos properties, according to its mandate. 

The agency has so far managed to recover P174 billion pesos worth of assets, with an additional P125.98 billion still under litigation. (READ: Breakdown: P174B recovered from Marcos loot, P125B more to get

Recent and rehashed versions of this claim can still be found circulating on various social media sites, including TikTok. There, a similar video has so far gained over 153,500 likes, 9,851 comments, and 5,327 saves and shares. Other fact-checking sites have spotted similar claims gaining traction once again and have tagged it as misleading– Danna Gonsalves/Rappler.com

Danna Gonsalves 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.

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.