An almost six-year-old false claim that TV personality and former presidential sister Kris Aquino borrowed and wore one of the sequestered jewelry of former first lady Imelda Marcos has resurfaced online.
Aquino already belied this claim in October 2016, but at least four Facebook (FB) pages and netizens in two public groups published posts in late March carrying the claim. A reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to look into the circulating posts.
In a March 27 post, page Damdamag Pilipinas 24/7 suggested that the sequestered assets of the Marcoses ended up in the market. It wrote:
“sequestered? Pano napabenta? Bakit hinihingan ng estate tax? Oooops! Kalma sample lang yan! Hindi pa yan ang kabuuang yaman ng marcoses na sequestered! Kaya ngayon ang tanong? Sino nagbenta? San nappapunta nag pinagbentahan? Paano napabenta? Bakit binenta? Karapat dapat bang ibenta?”
(Sequestered? How was it sold? Why is estate tax being demanded from them? Oooops! Calm down, that’s just a sample! That’s not even the total sequestered wealth of the Marcoses! So the question now is: who sold them? Where did the proceeds go? How did they end up being sold? Why were they sold? Is it right to sell them?)
In support of the claim, the FB page uploaded the following: a photo collage of Marcos’ sequestered jewelry; an infographic made by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty about the recovery of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth; and two images with Aquino wearing a bejeweled necklace — to insinuate that she used the confiscated jewelry.
Aquino already denied the allegation in a now-deleted Instagram post from October 2016, when the spurious claim first emerged. She called out “trolls” that “keep perpetuating lies” about her and clarified that the necklace she was wearing in the circulating photos was not diamonds, unlike the Marcos jewelry.
Running the collage’s components through reverse image search also revealed that the two photos of Aquino were originally from her and her makeup artist’s Instagram posts published on Nov. 18, 2015. That day, Aquino attended the welcome dinner hosted by her brother, late President Benigno Aquino III, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
A closer comparison shows that the necklace Aquino wore in the Instagram photos and the confiscated pieces of Marcos’ jewelry does not match.
The false claim again circulated after Aquino expressed her support for Vice President Leni Robredo’s presidential candidacy and turned up at Robredo’s March 23 campaign rally in Tarlac, an Aquino bailiwick. Before this, the TV host has been keeping a low profile due to her autoimmune disease.
Aside from Damdamag Pilipinas 24/7 (created March 12, 2020), FB pages Emzijj Tv, BongBong & Sara 2022, and LOL, as well as public groups BBM2022 Supporters Group (Bangon Bayang Maharlika) and ito ang reyalidad! also published posts carrying the erroneous collage. They collectively received around 1,800 reactions, 1,300 comments, and 2,700 shares from netizens.
VERA Files Fact Check debunked a similar claim in 2018 which alleged that Aquino wore Marcos’ jewelry on the premiere of the film Crazy Rich Asians. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Kris Aquino DID NOT wear Marcos jewelry to Hollywood film premiere)