Imelda turns 80 in style
Click here for Larry Leviste’s account of the Imeldific celebration.
I had two interesting coverages yesterday. One was the National Day reception at the US Embassy and the other was Imelda Marcos 80th birthday bash at Hotel Sofitel.
My cellphone battery gave way and here’s the few photos I got.
Mrs. Marcos,in a bright pink terno and bedecked with jewelry, had a special guest, Dewi Sukarno, the controversial former First Lady of Indonesia.
Another special guest was the Chinese ambassador, who underscored in his remarks that it was during the term of Ferdinand Marcos when relations between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China started.
The whole Marcos family, Imee, Irene and Bongbong were there with their good-looking children.
There were a number of personalities I saw: Rep. Roque Ablan, former Senator Francisco Tatad, former Comelec Chair Pardo and others.
Another personality I saw was Baby Arenas, former Blue Lady, rumored special friend of a former president, and who is now director of the Manila Economic and Cultural office in Taiwan.
Agence France Presse story in the Inquirer:
Imelda at 80: I feel vindicated
MANILA, Philippines — Former First Lady Imelda Marcos turned 80 Thursday, claiming to be nearly broke but feeling vindicated more than two decades after her dictator husband was ousted in a popular revolt.
“I have reached the lucky number eight, for eight decades,” the flamboyant Marcos told AFP as she distributed rice to hundreds of poor residents at a dumpsite converted into a sprawling housing area in a Manila suburb.
“My birthday wish is that I be given more health and a longer life so I can devote myself to helping the Filipino poor,” she said.
Wearing a pink terno, jade earrings and sporting a large diamond ring, the woman known worldwide for her excessive lifestyle and 3,000 pairs of shoes still has something of a regal presence.
Her burly bodyguards jostled with a pack of press photographers as she waded through the crowd of supporters wanting merely to touch her.
At peace with truth
“I have always been at peace with the truth,” she declared. “I feel vindicated because no court has convicted me.”
She said she is nearly broke after 23 years of “relentless persecution, vilification and ridicule” by the government, but remains happy that she has the support of her family and the poor.
Late husband and dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by a “people power” revolt in 1986 which sent him into exile in Hawaii. He died in 1989 and Imelda and his children were later allowed to return home.
In 1992, Imelda Marcos launched a failed bid for the presidency, but her children have since regained political control in their northern bailiwick.
While her husband is accused of plundering the national coffers of an estimated $10 billion, no member of the family has been convicted or jailed.
Scores of criminal and civil cases however remain pending in courts.
So far, only $683 million stashed in Swiss banks has been recovered by the government.
The fight to gain control of the Marcos wealth has in recent months focused on $310 million in Imelda’s confiscated jewellery. Confusion arose last month after the government said the jewels would be returned to Imelda, only to backtrack after a public outcry.
“That decision was vindication already to me. These are beautiful historical treasures that they should return,” she said defiantly Thursday.
She said she bears no grudges toward arch foe Corazon Aquino, widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino, who was swept to the presidency in 1986 after Marcos was toppled.
Mrs. Corazon Aquino, 76, has been hospitalized since last week with colon cancer and is said to be in a serious condition.
“I asked all these people to offer prayers to her. I have peace in my heart and am comfortable with the truth. I am praying for her safe recovery,” Marcos said.