Sun, May 06, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Imelda Marcos claims net worth of US$22 million

AFP, MANILA

Imelda Marcos, the widow of deposed Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, has declared her net worth to be 932.8 million pesos (US$22 million), parliamentary records show, as she continues to fight the government over her assets more than two decades after her husband’s reign ended.

Imelda Marcos declared wealth of US$22 million last year, records released late on Thursday showed, which would make her the -second-richest Philippine politician behind boxing hero and congressman Manny Pacquiao.

The amount declared was almost 50 percent higher than in 2010, with the 82-year-old including new assets which were surrendered to the government by her husband’s associates.

A popular revolt toppled Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986, sending the family fleeing overseas. Manila has since been trying to recover the wealth he and his allies allegedly accumulated through graft during his 20 years in office.

The deposed president died in exile in 1989 and his family was allowed to return home, with his widow elected in 2010 to a congressional seat representing a family stronghold.

Before she was elected Imelda Marcos complained of being nearly penniless, despite living in a luxury condominium unit and frequently appearing in public, bedecked with jewelry.

Her lawyer Robert Sison said his client, known for her jet-set lifestyle and love of shoes, could not touch much of her declared wealth as it had been seized or sequestered by the government.

“The ownership of these properties is being contested and the government is not off the hook,” he said.

Sison said Imelda Marcos’ declared worth rose last year because she added assets that had been surrendered to the government by her husband’s associates, wealth that was previously “overlooked.”

The lawyer said his client was the true owner of the assets and would seek to recover them.

In the Philippines elected officials are required to declare their wealth each year.

Pacquiao, rated by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, was elected to parliament in 2010 and declared assets worth 1.3 billion pesos.

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