Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

[Newspoint] Some Australians aren’t fooled

Vergel O. Santos

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

[Newspoint] Some Australians aren’t fooled

Raffy de Guzman

The Marcos family simply cannot afford the stink of an exhumation, which only its perpetuation in power can prevent

President Marcos finally got the deserved grilling he had managed to escape, even in his own country, as an heir to the $10 billion his father had stolen from it during his dictatorship, from 1972 to 1986.

The grilling happened in Australia, his latest destination in a profligate footlessness that has taken him taken him to 15 countries on 21 trips in as many months during his presidency, itself only on its second year. A journalist from the Australian Broadcasting Company, Sarah Ferguson, dealt with him in a way that ought to put to shame the timid if not altogether willfully negligent Philippine press. After cutting Marcos off when he tried to laugh away the question – a “serious” one, Ferguson had to tell him – she asked again if he and his family intended at all to return the money. But, with precisely no such intention, what could he say, or do, other than lie and dissemble. 

Having gone unanswered all this time, the 10-billion-dollar question surely bears repeating, again and again. And with another Marcos as president, it serves as a most timely commentary of the sort of nation his family has held in thrall. 

The truth about the Marcos plunder, in any case, has been established judicially: to date, half of it has been recovered on court orders, while the other half remains the subject of proceedings. In fact, as recently as 2018, the dictator’s widow, Imelda, was sentenced to up to 11 years for graft, although, going 90, she was spared jail and allowed to strut and fret her final hour upon the stage – that hour has lasted four years now, although lately she has needed to go around in a wheelchair. 

Her son was himself found guilty of tax evasion and assessed P203 billion, including fines. But now president, he has become even more emboldened to refuse to pay. 

Meantime, the Marcoses have stuck with a fraudulent narrative, the one that Ferdinand Jr. tried precisely to peddle in Australia and got himself in trouble for – and not only with the journalist Ferguson. A senator, Janet Rice, called him out on his regime’s human-rights failings. That cost her censure and momentary banishment from the parliament, where Junior was a guest speaker, but she too has sent waves across the sea with her only righteous protest. Rappler spoke with her and has posted an account of the interview. 

For his part, the journalist Ed Lingao reinforces Ferguson decisively. He writes:

“It is quite ironic that [Marcos] complains of propaganda” as the culprit in making him and his family look bad, when it is precisely “the deluge of false narratives and myth-remaking” of their own making that has been “largely instrumental” in their rehabilitation and return to power. Lingao proceeds to enumerate the facts:

“1. [T]he asset declaration of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in December 1964 [the eve of his assumption to the presidency] was just 165,000 pesos” – he could not, therefore, by any decent means, have become so wealthy as he is claimed by his own family after his term.

“2. [The] combined legal earnings of [Ferdinand and Imelda] from 1965 to 1985 amounted to 2.3-million pesos. Yet, their income tax filings declared a total income of P16-million pesos.

“3. [The] family laid claim to…$300-million Swiss bank accounts, among many other monies. In their court filings, the family never bothered to try to explain the source of these accounts, except to claim them as theirs.

“4. Despite all these facts, Imelda at one point was one of the richest  people in Congress, with declared assets of almost a billion pesos. At one point, too, [Ferdinand Jr.’s] declared assets were P300-400 million.

“5. In one interview with us, Imee Marcos [senator now] tried to explain it all away by claiming that her father had been one of the highest-paid lawyers after the war, that he was a brilliant lawyer sought by multinational companies.

“…But I replied that the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling found that her father had never declared any significant income or paid any significant tax as a lawyer, [revealed] after a thorough search of all [internal revenue] records. In fact, the court noted that her father did not even seem to have a physical law office to begin with. And, of course, the clincher was the father’s asset declaration…of only 165,000 pesos. Confronted with these findings, Imee said that she [could] not talk about these cases because some of them were still pending in court. To which we replied that this particular case was decided with finality way back in 2003.”

With the truth provoked to turn in its grave again from under a mound of Marcos lies, thanks to the Australian incident, the Marcoses must all be twisting and turning now in their seats, as Ferdinand Jr. all too visibly did under questioning by Ferguson. They simply cannot risk the stink of an exhumation, and their perpetuation in power is about the only thing that can prevent that.

As happens, already afoot is a plot to take care of that – a plot to tinker with the constitution and come up with something not much unlike that Ferdinand Sr. himself rammed down the nation’s throat in 1972 as a legal prop for his dictatorship. – Rappler.com


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  1. PD

    Wait, this article is under the Newspoint banner. Is Newspoint the opinion section? This article is filled to the brim with editorializing. If it’s an opinion piece, I implore the editor to clearly mark it as such.

  2. ET

    Yes, I agree that “some Australians are not fooled.” Some Filipinos are also not fooled. Unfortunately, many of them are fooled and may continue to be fooled. With the Marcos-Romualdez Political Dynasty’s use of the political triumvirate machinery of Corruption, Repression, and Disinformation, the number of fooled Filipinos will increase.

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