Fighting graft conviction, Imelda Marcos still among richest lawmakers


Posted at Jun 12 2019 05:15 PM

MANILA - While fighting her graft conviction, outgoing Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos was ranked the third richest lawmaker in 2018, data from the House of Representatives showed. 

Marcos, widow of deposed strongman Ferdinand Marcos whose family is accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth, had a declared net worth of P923.8 million. 

This comes out of the former first lady's total declared assets of P933.8 million and liabilities of P10 million. 

With lower liabilities, her 2018 net worth was slightly higher than her 2017 figure of P920.8 million. That year, she declared slightly higher assets of 935.8 million but she also had higher liabilities at 15 million. 

Details of her declared riches are not known as the House released only a list, with the total declared net worth, assets and liabilities of lawmakers. 

During her late husband's dictatorial regime, Marcos' name became synonymous with luxury as she owned jewels that had been described as "fit for royalty" and an infamous shoe collection of thousands. 

Her family drew criticism at the time for living a lavish lifestyle while many Filipinos languished in poverty. 

On the latest list of the House's wealthiest, Marcos followed businessman 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Michael Romero, who remained in first place with a net worth of P7.858 billion, and second-placer Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who had P1.017 billion. 

Last year, Marcos had to shell out P150,000 out of her riches to post bail for her graft conviction for funneling public funds to overseas bank accounts during her husband's strongman regime. 

The Sandiganbayan found her guilty of 7 counts of graft for using her Cabinet position during her late husband's regime to maintain Swiss bank accounts. 

The Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth “is estimated between US$5 billion to US$10 billion, the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad,” according to the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

The government has recovered a total of P170 billion in the past 30 years.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently ordered the public auction of the former first lady's jewelry collection, with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of the poor. 

Despite unresolved cases, the Marcos family continues to command loyal political following, with Marcos' daughter, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, getting the mandate for senator in the May polls.