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FACT CHECK Marcoses did not win all cases filed against them

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Supporters of presidential aspirant former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. claim that all cases filed against the Marcoses, including ill-gotten wealth, were dismissed is false.

A post on Facebook group “Bongbong Marcos Alliance for Unity and Progress” on December 4 stated that “DISMISS ANG LAHAT NG CASES NG MGA MARCOS.”

Another post by Facebook page AllWrite stated: “Over a thousand cases have been filed against the Marcoses, claiming fraud, racketeering, looting, malversation of public funds and other crimes. The Philippine government (a superpower) filed these, not certain individuals, and the Marcoses ???????????? them all.” The post uses the hashtags  #ProtectMarcosJr #LabanMarcosJr #BringBackMarcos

At least 28,252 and 3,491 users follow the pages of AllWrite and Bongbong Marcos Alliance for Unity and Progress, respectively. These are not new but rehashed claims shared many times on Facebook to boost the presidential bid of Marcos in the 2022 elections.

Their claims that all the cases against the Marcoses were dismissed are false and misleading. The Marcoses won some but not all of the cases filed against them and their cronies in courts here in the country and abroad, including cases on ill-gotten wealth, which were ordered returned to the coffers of the Philippine government.

The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 up to 1986 when he was toppled by a popular “People’s Power” revolt that forced the then First Family to flee the country. https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/edsa/

In 1990, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the mother of Marcos Jr., was acquitted of racketeering and fraud cases in the United States. https://www.nytimes.com/1990/07/03/nyregion/marcos-verdict-marcos-cleared-all-charges-racketeering-fraud-case.html

In June 2021, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan dismissed a three-decade civil case involving the alleged ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and two of their supposed cronies due to insufficiency of evidence. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/7/16/Sandiganbayan-Marcos-family-ill-gotten-wealth.html

The Sandiganbayan has also thrown out a handful of cases involving the Marcos family’s allegedly ill-gotten wealth, one of which was the junked ₱200-billion worth of funds and properties which they allegedly amassed illegally. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/12/16/Sandiganbayan-Marcos-ill-gotten-wealth-lose.html

But on the other hand, the Sandiganbayan, rendering a recent setback for the former First Family, ordered the Marcoses in September 2021 to return to the government bank deposits amounting to hundreds of millions in pesos made by the late dictator at the Traders Royal Bank. Various media outlets reported the decision of the anti-graft court’s Second Division for the Marcoses to return the money. The peso-denominated certificates amounted to at least ₱96 million while the dollar-denominated ones totaled to at least $5.43 million. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/9/29/sandiganbayan-marcos-ill-gotten-wealth.html

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1494405/marcos-conduit-bank-for-ill-gotten-wealth-ordered-to-pay-govt

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2021/09/28/2130380/sandigan-orders-bank-pay-p373m-marcos-ill-gotten-wealth

In 2019, the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), on its 33rd anniversary, announced that it has recovered a total of P172.66 billion in ill-gotten wealth since its creation in 1986 up to 2018. The PCGG was formed to recover public funds that the Marcoses, their relatives and business associates used to amass personal and business fortunes. https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/686472/pcgg-says-it-has-recovered-over-p172-b-worth-of-ill-gotten-wealth-in-32-years/story/

The Supreme Court also ruled at least three separate times against the Marcos family’s wealth and ordered them forfeited in favor of the government, which was reported by various domestic and international media outlets.

In 2018, Imelda Marcos was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for seven graft cases filed against her by state prosecutors between 1991 and 1995, in connection with the diversion of at least $200 million in public funds to private foundations in Switzerland, which Marcos established while she was Metro Manila governor, assemblywoman and minister of human settlements during her husband’s strongman rule. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1512744/what-now-sc-protesters-bring-up-2018-imelda-conviction

She was sentenced to six to 11 years in prison for each count of graft. She appealed her conviction before the Supreme Court and is out of jail on a bail of P150,000.  (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)

(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism. It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media.

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About MindaNews Fact Check

MindaNews Fact Check seeks to fight misinformation and disinformation circulating on the internet, news platforms and communities that we serve.
 
What is MindaNews Fact Check?
MindaNews Fact Check tracks and debunks fake news, false claims and misleading statements of government officials, civil society leaders and netizens being spread on the internet, especially on social media sites. MindaNews values truth and accuracy in performing our journalistic work.
Why we fact-check?
Politicians, government officials and other public and private figures at times tend to bend facts to suit or advance their vested interests, or their principals, in effect misleading the public. The distorted facts spread easily with the popularity of the internet and the wide influence of social media.
 
As independent journalists, our primordial duty is to tell the truth and present facts to help the public discern issues and concerns impacting their lives.
How do we rate claims?

FAKE – if the claim is completely invented.

FALSE – if the claim contradicts, undermines or disputes truthful facts, actual events and official records (i.e. laws and scientific studies)

MISLEADING – if the claim is based on truth but maliciously twisted that gives a different impression to serve a group or individual’s vested interests.

ALTERED – pertains to images or videos that were manipulated to mislead the public.

MISSING CONTEXT
– if the claim needs more clarification or contextualization to make it clearer.
 
Where do you post your results?
We post our fact-checked stories in mindanews.com, on Facebook and Twitter with links to the original piece. We have a dedicated fact check page, where all fact-checked stories can be found.
How did MindaNews Fact Check start?

Since its establishment in 2001, MindaNews has been living up to its vision of being the “leading provider of accurate, timely and comprehensive news and information on Mindanao and its peoples, serving economically, politically and culturally empowered communities” and its mission to “professionally and responsibly cover Mindanao events, peoples and issues to inform, educate, inspire and influence communities.”

MindaNews was founded by reporters precisely to ensure that reports about Mindanao, an island grouping that has suffered misinformation and disinformation long before these words became fashionable, are accurate.
 
Our policy has always been to ensure that reports are thoroughly vetted before they are dispatched and uploaded on our website.
 
Our fact-checking initiative with a uniform format started in October 2021 as part of Internews’ pioneering Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator (PFCI) project. Internews is an international non-profit that supports independent media from 100 countries.
 
Prior to the PFCI project, MindaNews co-founded Tsek.ph, a collaboration among Philippine media institutions to fight disinformation and misinformation during the 2019. Tsek.ph did the same thing for the 2022 elections.
 
Where do you get funds?
MindaNews has sustained its operation through proceeds from subscriptions of its news service (news, special reports, opinion pieces, photos) and sales of books. It also receives grants from non-state actors. Editorial prerogative, however, is left entirely to MindaNews.
 
MindaNews does not accept funds from politicians or domestic or foreign states for its fact-checking initiative. For the other operations of MindaNews as a media organization, we have received grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The grants from NED and UNESCO have been used for coverage, staff compensation, administrative expenses, and to train fellow journalists.
 
For MindaNews’ fact-checking initiatives, it received support from Internews (September 2021 to October 2022) and the BUILD grant administered by the International Fact-Checking Network (August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024).
 
As a matter of policy, MindaNews does not allow these funders to interfere in our editorial processes.
 
Do you accept leads from the public for your fact-checking initiative?
 
MindaNews encourages the public to provide us with leads not only for potential fact-check pieces but other news stories as well of interest to the general public.
Our fact checks include this paragraph encouraging readers to be part of the process: “As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact check pieces.”

MindaNews Fact Check - Methodology

What standards do you follow when fact-checking?


As a news organization, we strictly adhere to accuracy, fairness, balance, independence, accountability and transparency not just in our fact-checking initiative but in all other aspects of our work at MindaNews.


We abide by the Philippine Press Institute’s Journalist’s Code of Ethics. Since we became part of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator project, we have been striving to adhere with the IFCN Code of Principles, in step with our organization’s commitment to non-partisanship, transparency and fairness.


We fact-check a claim that is specifically claimed to be a fact and involved the public interest or the welfare of the people. We debunk false claims using official government records, journals or interviews with experts. 


We don’t fact-check opinions.

How do we fact-check?

Step 1: Team members monitor press conferences, speeches, statements, news, interviews, social media sites, etc. for statements worth fact-checking.


Step 2: When a claim is worth fact-checking, a team member looks for multiple sources to dispute the claim, including tracing the original source document.


Step 3:  Fact-checked claims are then submitted to the editor for copy editing and vetting. The link/s to debunk the claim are always included in the story.  


Step 4: A rating card is prepared to accompany the fact-checked piece, or infographics if needed, to immediately flag readers what the article is all about. 


Step 5: The senior editor takes another look before the article is posted on the website and social media accounts.

Correction Policy

Consistent with our vision and mission as a media institution, we rectify any error committed. If you spot a factual error, you may notify us thru editor@mindanews.com or our Facebook Messenger @Mindanews.


Correction Workflow


  • Errors pointed out are immediately brought to the attention of the editors and the fact-checking team. 


  • The fact-checker is immediately notified for verification. 


  • Once verified, the error is to be corrected within 24 hours and vetted before publication on the website. 


  • Readers will immediately know errors have been corrected through the Editor’s note posted above the article. 


  • The person who notified MindaNews about the error will be informed that the correction has been made.

About MindaNews

MindaNews is the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism (MinJourn). It is composed of independent, professional journalists who believe and practice people empowerment through media. MinJourn, which is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with registration number CN201700385, is managed by its Board of Directors.

MindaNews values its journalistic independence. It started in May 2001 as a media cooperative and in January 2017 registered as a nonstock, nonprofit media organization.  We do not  accept funding from politicians, political parties or partisan groups.

Editorial staff

Fact-checking Unit: Romer (Bong) Sarmiento, Yas D. Ocampo

 

Mindanao Institute of Journalism

 

Board of Directors

President & CEO: Jowel Canuday, D.Phil. (oxon.)
Vice President: Romer S. Sarmiento

Members
Carolyn O. Arguillas, M.A.
Rhodora Gail T. Ilagan, Ph.D.
Amalia B. Cabusao (Doc Can.)
Robert D. Timonera
Ellen P. Alinea