The Marcos’ are back in power in the Philippines. Last week, the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, was elected as the president of the Philippines in a landslide victory – thus bringing a family which has been accused for decades of looting ordinary Filipinos back to power on popular demand.
The excesses of Marcos Sr are not limited to torturing of dissidents but also amassing ill-begotten wealth at the risk of hurting Philippines’ economy – so much so that in the final stages of Marcos Sr’s dictatorship the nation was dubbed as the ‘sick man of Asia’.
The Marcos’ family members have been accused of stealing from the nation. But following the win, the family is not shying away from displaying their ill-begotten wealth publicly.
News agencies last week reported that Imelda Marcos, the wife of the former dictator and Bongbong’s mother, was in possession of Picasso’s Femme Couchée VI (Reclining Woman VI).
Young Filipinos are also unmoved by former Philippines’ First Lady Imelda Marcos’ 3,000-pair shoe collection which was amassed through corruption while ordinary Filipinos starved.
Some commentators said that the painting could be fake. Ruben Carranza, a former commissioner for the presidential commission on good government (PCGG) while speaking to The Guardian said that Imelda has the habit of ‘buying fake paintings, as well as lending fake paintings for display’.
Carranza also said that no outrage from Filipinos shows that they do not care.
The polling results showed that the age group that voted for Marcos was that one which did not experience the dark days of Marcos Sr dictatorship, which allowed Bongbong to downplay, deny and even paint a different picture altogether in front of modern Filipinos regarding the otherwise-maligned past of the Marcos Sr dictatorship.
The PCGG was to investigate and recover ill-gotten wealth amassed by the Marcos. The committee also found during their investigation during the last two decades that the family amassed $5 billion to $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth during the period of dictatorship.
The PCGG risks becoming toothless under the Bongbong regime. Bonbong can appoint the commissioners of the PCGG, which allows him to have huge influence over the body that was set up to recover the family’s ill-gotten wealth.
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