VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video on Imelda Marcos’s acquittal in 1990 fraud case NEEDS CONTEXT

Needs context

A three-month-old video posted on Facebook, which continues to be shared and viewed this March, about the “clearing of the cases against the Marcoses in the United States” needs context.

The eight-minute clip that tackled only one case had a male narrator, who read and translated to Filipino the July 3, 1990 report of The New York Times titled, “The Marcos Verdict; Marcos Is Cleared of All Charges In Racketeering and Fraud Case.” The page Viral Philippines posted this on Jan. 9.

On July 2, 1990, a federal court in New York acquitted former First Lady Imelda Marcos of racketeering and fraud charges. Marcos and her husband, Ferdinand Sr., were named respondents to the case after the couple fled the Philippines in 1986 with their family.

In a Los Angeles Times report, one juror said the jury would have convicted the late dictator if he was present in the trial. Marcos Sr. passed away some nine months earlier.

The video’s shares and comment section showed netizens accepted the video as proof that the Marcoses did not steal from the country’s coffers.

Several individuals commented that “the truth always prevail (sic),” while one netizen commented “all cases dismissed, no solid evidence” and accused the Aquinos of fabricating plunder allegations against the Marcoses.

VERA Files Fact Check has repeatedly debunked the claim that no court found the Marcoses guilty of amassing ill-gotten wealth. Below is a list of these fact checks:

As of writing, Viral Philippines’ video has been viewed over two million times, garnering around 92,000 reactions, mostly “hearts” and “likes,” 7,400 comments, and 79,000 shares.

Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle showed the post may have reached more than 12 million netizens. Traffic came mostly from the page itself and public groups Rodante Marcoleta for Senator and The Big 5 Supporters – Marcoleta, Defensor, Barzaga, Remulla & Bautista.

Viral Philippines’ video consistently receives engagements from FB users as presidential candidates — including Marcos Sr.’s son and namesake Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. — continue to woo voters in the run-up to the May 9 elections.

Viral Philippines was created in January 2020 and claims it is an “editorial/opinion” page on FB.

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