MANILA, Philippines - Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took offense when told that the Palace has downplayed the historical significance of his mother's gowns and shoes.
Some of former First Lady Imelda Marcos' gowns and shoes are in a sorry state at the National Museum after floodwaters damaged them at the height of monsoon rains in July.
"This is not the material things, we can make more gowns, di naman yan ang problema. It's rewriting history with a non-factual event," Senator Marcos said.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III told reporters Monday via text message that the only significance of Imelda's gowns and shoes is that some of them were designed by prominent Filipino designers.
"The boxes hold no historical significance, except some of the clothes were made by Joe Salazar, Pitoy Moreno, and other designers," as Quezon was quoted in news reports.
Marcos chuckled and said, "That part of our history is not important?"
He said he was astounded that some people still can't move on from the 1986 EDSA revolution.
The Palace, in a press statement, said Mrs. Marcos' articles of clothing, which were stored inside boxes, suffered serious neglect in the past administrations.
"Before their transfer to the National Museum, the boxes were inventoried and sealed, and directly taken to a secure room on the fourth floor of the Old Legislative Building for storage. The said room met the basic requirements for the storage of artifacts in terms of security, dryness and non-exposure to light," it said.
"The boxes continued to remain sealed, again pending plans for their final disposition. The National Museum has been in the process of determining whether or not certain items, such as Filipino-designed gowns of Mrs. Imelda Marcos, could form the core of a fashion collection—a new area for the Museum—but this has yet to be even formally proposed given the as yet politically sensitive nature of their provenance," it added.
"The public can be assured that the National Museum does its very best on limited resources to carry out its responsibilities in the safekeeping of items placed in its custody. Indeed, the institution hopes to prevent future such occurrences by prioritizing needed structural repairs on the fourth (top) floor of the Old Legislative Building. Similar repairs have already been undertaken on the lower three floors, which house the galleries and storage of the national fine arts and archaeological collections, which were unaffected by the heavy rains," the Palace statement said.