End of 30-Year Hunt for Marcos Billions?
Image Credit: Wikicommons

End of 30-Year Hunt for Marcos Billions?


A shortage of funds and a resurgence of political power within the Marcos family have cast a shadow over the hunt for billions-of-dollars that went missing when Ferdinand Marcos was ousted as president, with a recommendation that the Philippine Government wind down its almost 30-year search.

That advice came from the Presidential Commission on Good Government which has led investigations aimed at retrieving the estimated U.S.$10 billion the Marcos family amassed between 1965 and 1986 when a bloodless popular revolt forced Marcos out of office and into exile.

Less than half that amount has thus far been recovered.

Ferdinand Marcos died in Hawaii in 1989 but his wife Imelda was allowed to return home where she is now a member of the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the former dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is a senator while his daughter Imee is governor of Ilocos Norte, a province in the northern part of the country.

The family remains popular in parts of the Philippines despite the widespread corruption that flourished during Ferdinand’s dictatorship.

Imelda was famous for her extravagant displays of wealth that included prime New York City real estate, world renowned art, outlandish jewelry and more than a thousand pairs of shoes. A diamond tiara containing a giant 150-carat ruby is locked-up in a vault at the Swiss central bank. Some have valued it at more than U.S.$8 million.

The family has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and no convictions have been registered against any member of the Marcos clan in relationship to Ferdinand’s rule. The commission investigating them was established by Cory Aquino, the woman who replaced Ferdinand, and mother of current president Benigno Aquino.

Last year a Singaporean court dismissed a U.S.$23 million claim that the Philippines had lodged against a Singaporean branch of the bank West Landeskbank AG, which Manila believed was holding a trust fund for the Marcos family.

In explaining his recommendation to wind down the investigation, Andres Bautista, the head of the commission said retrieving the wealth has “become a law of diminishing returns” and added that it would be more cost effective for the government to have the Department of Justice undertake any future investigations.

“It’s been 26 years and people you are after are back in power. At some point, you just have to say, ‘We’ve done our best’, and that’s that. It is really difficult,” Bautista said.

This could lead to further complications. Aquino won the 2010 election largely on his promises to root out corruption and winding down the commission hardly seems like a display of good governance.

The commission is empowered with a degree of autonomy and legal powers and has been funded comparatively well. Besides lacking necessary funding the justice department’s autonomy could soon be curtailed in light of Ferdinand Jr.’s recent suggestions that he might run for president in 2016.

Jessie S Manlangit
April 14, 2014 at 19:58

Marcos is our greatest president…please stop writing bad about him, he did a lot of goodness for god sake…those are all propaganda, they are the one enrich themselves not Marcos..VIVA MARCOS!!

jovie marquez
November 20, 2013 at 23:42

Phunsukh Wangdu is so wrong, i’ll gotten is not true. right you better research more!!!

jovie marquez
November 20, 2013 at 23:19

better read this


September 9, 2013 at 20:06

Mr Phunsukh Wangdu, your so funny ;-) everthing you said are all lies, you don't know about our country.. before you post any comment regarding Marcoses and Filipino people who trusted the marcos. You have to research more, don't only based your opinoin by the leftist historian….. all you read are all lies…. the Marcos golds are not ill-gotten weath..;-) research ok….. ;-)


HRH Isabella IV Tallano
January 19, 2013 at 22:14

Marcos  did not steal  any gold or any money , He borrowed 18,000 metric tons of gold from his royal  prince son Tiburcio  Villamor Marcos  who is the only prince son of Marcos from princess Enemencia Villamor  the daughter of KIng Ferdiand  VII of Spain  a.k.a prince Julian Lcleod Tallano who is my great grand father . so why Marcos will steal as you said in fact I have the evidence that is so clear that he borrowed it . So stop destroying the reputation of the Marcos . Imelda is the 3rd wife of Marcos and she has no interefence with the gold and world assets and coomdities . She is not the owner just a politcal  wife of Marcosand she dont have the ownership of these wealth . All documents are written that the only sole redeemer is the only prince son or the royal family of Princess Enemencia Villamor  who is DAIGHTER OF  the MARCUS AUREL;IUS  ULPIUS TRAJANUS

Phunsukh Wangdu
January 14, 2013 at 22:13

I have read that they amassed $30 Billion in ill gotten wealth so that his wife, his children and grand children will need not worry being poor for the rest of their lives.  I have also read that their family are now elected officials again and are gaining popularity in the Philippines. If he was a dictator and his family is corrupt, then why are they being elected again in office? It's quite strange that you will elect your house robber as your security guard… Haven't they learned  anything from when the Marcos ruled Philippines. Short memory,  easy to forgive or just pure idiocy? 

January 11, 2013 at 01:43

He enrished himself by plundering the Philippines including our Gold Reserves, when Marcos was ousted a big chunk of the Gold Bullion reserve was missing.

Grin Olsson
January 9, 2013 at 21:08

From what I have learned about how Marcos amassed his fortune was that he had learned of the Japanese horde of gold – the hidden booty from World War 2 – and secured some for himself – but not all of it – so, I concur with it's time to lay this matter to rest after 26 years. It's just my opinion.

Ang Panday
January 9, 2013 at 00:17

It's Marcos 

Jimmy Chu
January 8, 2013 at 13:22

Who is Marco??? You mean Marcos???

January 8, 2013 at 12:32

There is a wide-spread belief among Filipinos that the PCGG is toothless and is more concerned with enriching itself. That could also be part of why Noynoy Aquino put an end to what his mother started. The PCGG has been ineffective for far too long.

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