Imelda Marcos shielded from Leyte typhoon damage

Kyodo News

Posted at Nov 13 2013 12:17 AM | Updated as of Nov 13 2013 08:17 AM

MANILA - Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos has not been informed about the extent of the destruction caused by super typhoon Haiyan in her former home city, Tacloban in the central Philippines, which has been hardest hit, an aide said Tuesday.

The 84-year-old "cannot be stressed" because she has just been discharged from hospital, Marcos' media relations officer Lito Gorospe told Kyodo News by phone.

"You know very well know that Ma'am is very emotional. So, her relatives looking after her tell her that the television set is out of order (to isolate her from the news). She knows about the typhoon, but she doesn't know the extent of the damage," Gorospe said.

Marcos, a congresswoman of her northern home province of Ilocos Norte, was released from hospital on Saturday after a weeklong stay to treat her severe fatigue.

Marcos' condition was linked to her fluctuating blood sugar levels, Gorospe said.

"She's ambulant. And I presume, she takes medicine," Gorospe said of Marcos.

Although the flamboyant widow of deposed Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos is back at her condominium unit in Manila's financial district Makati City, she is not allowed to receive any visitors and has been ordered by her doctors to take rest.

She lived in Tacloban City in the 1940s, after her father, Vicente Romualdez, decided to return home following the death of her mother in Manila.

She is still a revered icon in the area and speaks the native Waray language fluently.

"It's the...Romualdez family who are actively trying to help their home province, and it includes Ma'am's son, Sen. Bongbong Marcos," and her nephews -- Albert Romualdez, the mayor of Tacloban City, and Martin Romualdez, the district's congressman, Gorospe said.

The trio have launched a relief operation in the city, with the senator ordering the utilization of his 8-million-peso (around $186,000) social welfare fund for the victims in Tacloban City.

In a statement issued Monday, Sen. Marcos appealed for continued support for the victims, and expressed his gratitude to those helping the survivors.

"The tragedy that befell our hapless countrymen has instantly brought us together for one noble cause. Let us not abandon them until they have fully recovered," he said.

Tacloban City, located in the northeastern part of Leyte island, was severely damaged by Haiyan, which raged across the central part of the Philippines on Friday.

Thousands are feared dead and entire towns have been destroyed.