VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post MISLEADS with decade-old Imelda Marcos corruption case acquittal

An old video showing the 2008 acquittal of former First Lady Imelda Marcos from corruption cases is circulating on social media once again, apparently intended to mislead the public as it resurfaced on the same day the Sandiganbayan found her guilty of seven counts of graft.

Published by Facebook page Pinas Ang Ina Nyo last Oct. 8, the video was re-shared shortly after the court announced Marcos’ conviction on Nov. 9.

One of the November posts bore a status update saying:

“FACT: ACQUITTED ANG MGA MARCOS! ITO ANG REAL NEWS (Fact: Marcoses acquitted! This is real news)!”

The misleading 10-year-old video carried a banner that read, "Court acquits Imelda Marcos of hiding ill-gotten wealth abroad," and showed an Associated Press (AP) video featuring Marcos and co-accused Hector Rivera being cleared of corruption charges.

It also carried the text, "Court acquitted the Marcos's of 32 counts of illegally transferring wealth abroad filed by Corazon "Cory" Aquino." The wire agency's logo is prominently shown in the video and its thumbnail.

Pinas Ang Ina Nyo swipes and misleads with a decade-old AP report, dated March 10, 2008, of Marcos and Rivera being acquitted by the Manila Regional Trial Court of 32 cases of alleged illegal money transfers abroad done during the rule of Marcos' husband, the late President Ferdinand Sr. The case, which involved about $863 million in Swiss bank accounts, took 17 years of trial but ended in an acquittal due to insufficient evidence.

The Sandiganbayan decision last Nov. 9, on the other hand, found Marcos guilty of creating and managing seven Swiss foundations whose interest and profit - estimated to be at around $200 million - the court found, went to the private benefit of the former first family. Marcos posted a P150,000-bail a week later and faces a prison sentence of six to 11 years for each count of graft.

The Pinas Ang Ina Nyo post could have reached over 2.5 million people. The original post made in October was published two weeks after the Supreme Court affirmed the Manila RTC's 2008 decision.

Top traffic generators to the story from social media are the pages PRESIDENT RODY DUTERTE -FEDERAL MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL and Bongbong Marcos 2022.

Pinas Ang Ina Niyo, which posts predominantly anti-Liberal Party material, was created on Aug. 8, 2015.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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