Claim: A TikTok video that amassed 2.8 million views and 262,500 likes claims that the Marcoses had a cumulative wealth equating to $1.4 trillion (₱88 trillion). Does this mean that the Marcoses are the richest in the world?
Facts: In the video’s comments, which have now been turned off, the uploader stated the $1.4 trillion came from $200 billion accredited to the Marcos name, $987 billion in a foreign bank account alone, and 7,000 tons of gold that the creator of the TikTok video claimed was equal to $285 billion.
The gold deposit reportedly weighing 7,000 tons does not exist; in fact, from 1977 to 1987, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported to be holding only 286 metric tons of gold. Even then, 7,000 tons of gold is an outrageous number as that amount would dwarf other famous gold deposits such as the Fort Knox gold reserve in the United States of America, which currently holds roughly 4,600 tons of gold.
The claim that the Marcoses had $200 billion tied to their name was baseless. The closest figure was 203 billion Philippine pesos that were actually estate tax liabilities that the Marcos family owed the Philippine government.
The $987 billion amassed by Ferdinand Marcos Sr. has no solid basis other than a treasury certificate provided by Imelda Marcos for a 2009 BBC documentary allegedly showing that they had the money stored in a foreign bank account in Brussels, Belgium. This is yet another impossible figure as $987 billion would mean they would be more valuable than the combined net worth of other billionaires such as Jeff Bezos (Former Amazon CEO), Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter CEO), and Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft). The Philippine’s GDP during 1986, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s last year in power, was $34 billion, a fraction of the Marcoses’ alleged 987 billion.
Why we fact-checked this: Building a reputation around questionable and false accomplishments, especially as a political figure, tricks others into believing that you are capable of achieving things you, in fact, cannot.
And if ever the claim is true, what would that mean to the 4.3 million Filipinos who claimed to have gone hungry in the past three months?