Claim: In their last 72 hours in Malacañang, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Imelda Marcos were lost and conflicted about their situation, so Imee Marcos took charge instead
Film director Mike Alcazaren warned about the chilling distortions of truth in the film “Maid in Malacañang”. Among these is the twisted portrayal of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and first lady Imelda Marcos as “…two indecisive and tired leaders who were just taken advantage [of] because of their kindness.”
Multiple historical sources affirm how Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos Sr. plundered the country during the Marcos regime and until now, their stolen wealth is still yet to be recovered . The word ‘Imeldific’ was even coined to describe “ostentatious extravagance”, as reflected by how Imelda bathed in luxurious items while the country drowned in poverty.
Meanwhile, Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of the Marcoses, was made to appear as the sole person responsible for the evacuation of the Marcos family and their staff. Alcazaren cited Colonel Arturo Aruiza’s book, “Ferdinand Marcos: Malacañang to Makiki” to debunk the false claims about Imee’s exaggerated role in their escape in “Maid in Malacañang”.
Colonel Arturo Aruiza was a faithful subordinate of Marcos Sr. for 21 years, and he narrated the fall of the Marcos dictatorship up until his exile and death in his book. Aruiza described how both the staff and Marcoses alike arranged the family’s escape. He detailed how the palace was in a frenzy as the Marcoses packed their belongings, including jewelry and the wealth they stole (which Aruiza did not explicitly say in the book but the U.S. Customs Service has discovered nonetheless) which amount to millions of dollars.
Lastly, Marcos’ chief guard, Irwin Ver’s eyewitness account of the last days of the Marcoses in the Malacañang sets the record straight on both of the false claims above .
It shows that Ferdinand Marcos was not as lost and conflicted as the film portrayed him to be, but was actively making decisions during his last hours in the Palace (“President who was seated on his bed…summoned a booming voice to issue the order to the AFP chief of staff to initiate a “strategic withdrawal” to Ilocos.”). According to his description, the Marcoses’ escape was dramatic, with helicopters, secret messages, and strategic military units. This is far from the sanitized version that Yap’s film fed its viewers.
Why we fact-checked this: Another Marcos is sitting in the Palace again, and the hard-earned democracy that people fought for three decades ago is threatened once more. History is being wiped to suit the narrative of the reigning group and we have to hold the line by correcting false claims.