Ferdinand Marcos Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Ferdinand Marcos Net Worth 

Ferdinand Marcos had an estimated net worth of $10 billion at death. Known for running a corrupt, undemocratic regime, Ferdinand Marcos was the president of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986 before fleeing to the United States. He served in the Philippine House of Representatives (1949-1959) and Senate (1959-1965) before becoming president. After winning a second term, he declared martial law in 1972, establishing an autocratic regime based on widespread favoritism with his wife Imelda. 

During his presidency, he acquired massive assets through illicit means.  His income sources include diverted foreign economic aid, US Government military aid (including discretionary funds at Marcos’s disposal as a “reward” for sending Filipino troops to Vietnam), and kickbacks from public works contracts.

His assets include real estate within the Philipines and other countries, collections of jewelry and artwork, shares and financial instruments, and bank accounts overseas, notably Switzerland, the United States, Singapore, and the British Virgin Islands.  

Marcos-era economist Jesus Estanislao suggested that the amount of assets acquired through the entire 21 years of the Marcos regime could be worth US$30 billion.

To calculate the net worth of Ferdinand Marcos, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Ferdinand Marcos
Net Worth: $10 Billion
Monthly Salary: $1.2 Thousand
Annual Income: $100 Million
Source of Wealth: Politician

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Background and Early Life

Ferdinand Marcos was born on September 11, 1917, in the municipality of Sarrat, in the province of Ilocos Norte. He attended school in Manila and law school at the University of the Philippines. Mariano Marcos, his father, was a Filipino politician who was shot and killed in his home on September 20, 1935, after Julio Nalundasan defeated Mariano for a seat in the National Assembly for the second time. Ferdinand, Mariano, and other family members were eventually charged with murder, and Ferdinand was found guilty.

Ferdinand appealed the verdict to his country’s supreme court, where he was acquitted in 1940. Surprisingly, while in jail, Marcos was studying for the bar exam and eventually became a trial lawyer in Manila after his acquittal. (It has been reported that Judge Ferdinand Chua, who was also thought by some to be Marcos’ actual biological father, aided Marcos’ release.)

Success in Politics

Ferdinand Marcos served as an officer in his country’s armed forces during World War II, later claiming to be a key figure in the Filipino guerrilla resistance movement. (U.S. government records eventually revealed that these claims were false.)

The Philippine Congress was established on July 4, 1946, when the American government granted the Philippines independence. After working as a corporate attorney, Marcos ran for and was twice elected to his congressional district, serving from 1949 to 1959. Marcos was elected to the Senate in 1959, a position he would hold until he ran for and won the presidency on the Nationalist Party ticket in 1965.

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Ascension to the Presidency

On December 30, 1965, Marcos was inaugurated. His decision to send troops into the fray of the Vietnam War, which he had previously opposed as a Liberal Party senator, was notable during his first presidential term. He also prioritized construction projects and increasing rice production in the country.

Marcos was re-elected in 1969, becoming the first Filipino president to do so, but his campaign was marred by violence and fraud, with millions of dollars coming from the national treasury. The campaign unrest became known as the First Quarter Storm, during which leftists took to the streets to protest both American involvement in Philippine affairs and Ferdinand Marcos’ increasingly apparent dictatorial style.

Authoritarian Regime, Crony Capitalism

Marcos declared martial law in 1972, and Imelda rose through the ranks to become an official who frequently appointed relatives to lucrative government and industrial positions. (She would later be known for amassing over 1,000 pairs of shoes as well as Manhattan luxury real estate.)

These actions were part of Marcos’ state-imposed “crony capitalism,” in which private businesses were seized by the government and given to friends and relatives of regime members, resulting in widespread economic instability. Despite making domestic progress with infrastructure projects and harvesting over time, Marcos’ administration massively bolstered the military (recruiting unqualified personnel), curtailed public discourse, took over the media, and imprisoned political opponents, students, and denouncers at will.

Marcos also oversaw a 1973 national referendum that granted him indefinite power.

Martial law was lifted in January 1981, just before Pope John Paul II’s visit. Marcos, who was president and prime minister at the time, resigned from the latter position, but retained the authority to enact laws and imprison dissenters without due process. He was re-elected president for another six years in June 1981, despite the boycott of his political opponents.

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Downfall

Implicated in Aquino Assassination

On August 21, 1983, previously imprisoned Benigno Aquino Jr. returned from exile to offer the Filipino people a new face of hope, but he was shot and killed as he stepped off the plane in Manila. Following the killing, nationwide protests erupted. Marcos established an independent civilian commission, the findings of which implicated military personnel in Aquino’s assassination, though it has since been suggested that Marcos or his wife ordered the murder.

With the country’s economy collapsing and Aquino’s assassination becoming part of national consciousness, the urban wealthy and middle class, who were often core supporters of Marcos, began to push for his removal from power. A far-reaching Communist insurgency and a resolution signed in 1985 by 56 assemblymen calling for his impeachment for enriching his personal coffers through crony capitalism, monopolies, and illegal overseas investments also contributed to Marcos’ downfall.

To quell the opposition and reassert his power, Marcos called for special presidential elections in 1986, just over a year before his current six-year term expired. Corazon Aquino, Benigno’s widow, was elected as the opposition’s presidential candidate.

Marcos defeated Aquino and retained the presidency, but many saw his victory as fraudulent. As word of the rigged election spread, a tense standoff erupted between Marcos supporters and Aquino supporters, with thousands upon thousands of citizens taking to the streets to support a non-violent military rebellion.
Marcos also oversaw a 1973 national referendum that granted him indefinite power.

Martial law was lifted in January 1981, just before Pope John Paul II’s visit. Marcos, who was president and prime minister at the time, resigned from the latter position, but retained the authority to enact laws and imprison dissenters without due process. He was re-elected president for another six years in June 1981, despite the boycott of his political opponents.

Exile, Death and Burial

With his health failing and support for his regime dwindling, Ferdinand Marcos and much of his family were airlifted from the Manila presidential palace on February 25, 1986, and went into exile in Hawaii. Evidence later revealed that Marcos and his associates stole billions from the Philippine economy.

A federal grand jury then indicted both of the Marcoses on racketeering charges, but Ferdinand died in Honolulu in 1989 from cardiac arrest after suffering from a variety of ailments. Imelda was acquitted of all charges and returned to the Philippines the following year, despite facing additional legal challenges. She would later run for president unsuccessfully and win congressional elections, with two of her three children, Imee and Ferdinand Jr., also serving in government.

Marcos’ body had been embalmed in a glass casket in his home province of Ilocos Norte since 1993. Protests erupted in 2016 when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Marcos’ body to be buried at Manila’s National Heroes’ Cemetery, citing Marcos’ human rights violations. Nonetheless, Marcos’ remains were interred in a hero’s burial at the new site in November.

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Wife Imelda Marcos & Children

Marcos wed singer and beauty queen Imelda Romualdez in 1954 after an 11-day courtship, with the couple going on to have three children: Maria Imelda “Imee” (b. 1955), Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (b. 1957) and Irene (b. 1960). The Marcoses later adopted a fourth child, Aimee.

Further Reading

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