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Video on seizure of Marcos jewelry collections, their value errs

The three jewelry collections of former first lady Imelda Marcos were not seized by the Presidential Commission on Good Government during Corazon Aquino’s administration and are not valued at $1 billion, and only one of these collections were auctioned.

This is contrary to the claim of TikTok user @kinglalam_02, who posted on Dec. 12 a video questioning where the proceeds from auctioning Marcos’ jewelry pieces have gone and suggesting that they should be used to fund the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund.

The text overlay of the video says:

Kinamkam nila ang mga alahas ni Imelda Marcos ng PCGG sa panahon ng Cory administration na sinasabi nilang billion dolyar ang halaga at ito’y sinubasta. Kaya ang tanong nasaan ang pinagbentahan ng mga alahas? At ‘yun nalang gamitin para sa Maharlika Funds (The PCGG seized the jewelries of Imelda Marcos during Cory [Aquino’s] administration, which they say value a billion dollars and were auctioned. Hence, the question, Where did the money gained from selling these jewelries go? It should just be used for the Maharlika Funds).

The three Marcos jewelry collections are the Malacañang collection, Hawaii collection and Roumeliotes collection.

According to a 2016 PCGG report posted on the Official Gazette:

The Malacañang collection was abandoned when the Marcoses fled the Palace and is presently under the custody of the Office of the President; the Hawaii collection on the other hand, was seized by the US Bureau of Customs upon the Marcoses’ arrival in Hawaii in 1986, under the PCGG’s custody; and the Roumeliotes collection, significant pieces that Demetriou Roumeliotes, who is believed to have links to former first lady Imelda Marcos, attempted to smuggle out of the country right after the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ ouster, which was confiscated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at what used to be Manila International Airport.

The PCGG at the time conservatively estimated the three collections at P1 billion.

That year, the PCGG launched an online exhibit of selected pieces of the Hawaii jewelry collection to raise public awareness on the two-decade plunder of the Marcoses during martial law.

Selected pieces of the Hawaii jewelry collection that were displayed during PCGG’s online exhibit. Source: PCGG

In the most recent audit of the PCGG in 2021, the assigned values of the 406 pieces of jewelry that were part of the Hawaii collection and of the 215 pieces from the Malacañang collection were reduced from P1 billion to P340 million.

The average value of the Roumeliotes collection was excluded from this PCGG audit report.

Only the Hawaii jewelry collection was approved for auction in 2019 following the order of then President Rodrigo Duterte. This collection includes a rare, 25-carat pink diamond and a Cartier diamond tiara. The government had tried to auction the collections in the past but the Marcoses have always contested the move.

The TikTok video has over 3,000 views, 329 likes, 40 comments, and 14 shares as of writing. (ANPC)


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