Asset Recovery Watch

Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos (United States)
President (F.Marcos,1965-1986); First Lady, Governor of Metro Manila and Minister of Human Settlements (I. Marcos. Governor and Minister from 1978-1986)
United States
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
Art.15, Art.16, Art.17, Art.18, Art.19, Art.20, Art.23
Non-Conviction Based Confiscation; Private Civil Action; Actions Initiated by Foreign Jurisdiction
The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters
Pro Bono lawyers in New York, New Jersey, California, District of Columbia, Texas and elsewhere (Philippine treasury was bankrupt and the Presidential Commission on Good Government had limited financial resources to pay overseas lawyers). In New York, an unprecedented granting of a temporary injunction request by local courts although no underlying case had yet been filed in the Philippines; additional criminal and civil suits filed against Marcos associates also resulted in their cooperation and agreements to forfeit properties and return cash held overseas. (Source: Jovito R. Salonga, Presidential Plunder: the Quest for the Marcos Ill-Gotten Wealth (U.P. Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy & Regina Publishing Co. 2000)
$50,000,000 [Not include $10 million recovered in private civil action by Marcos Human Rights Victims - see entry: Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos / Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos Human Rights Litigatio]

According to a 2007 case study by Merceditas Gutierrez, Ombudsman of the Republic of Philippines, from 1986 to 2006, the total value of the assets recovered in the U.S. is less than $50 million. They include: (1) in New Jersey, funds in a bank account and two residences at Princeton Pike and Cherry Hill used by Marcos children (amount not given); (2) administrative settlement relating to four New York buildings (40 Wall Street, Crown Building, Herald Center, and at 200 Madison Avenue); (3) settlement agreements that led to recovery of properties such as the Olympic Tower Apartment, Pendleton Drive property, the Cedars, Summit Drive Beverly Hills, Lindenmere estate and the Makiki Heights property; (4) seizure of various jewelry, art, and other valuables; and (5) funds in Sanwa Bank and shares in California Overseas Bank and Redwood Bank. (Sources: Merceditas Gutierrez, "Ferdinand E. Marcos (Philippines): A Case Study," in the Asian Development Bank, Asset Recovery and Mutual Legal Assistance in Asia and the Pacific: Proceedings of the 6th Regional Seminar on Making International Anti-Corruption Standards Operational (Bali, September 5-7, 2007); for the New Jersey recovery: Jovito R. Salonga, Presidential Plunder: the Quest for the Marcos Ill-Gotten Wealth (U.P. Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy & Regina Publishing Co. 2000). The Philippines' Presidential Commission on Good Government's January 2011 reported listed among assets recovered, Ms. Marcos' Hawaii jewelry collection, estimated in value PhP 112,500,000 (approx. US$2.5 million). (Source: The Presidential Commission on Good Government, 100 Day Report and Plan of Action, "LIST OF SURRENDERED/RECOVERED ASSETS, as of 17 January 2011."

A trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on criminal racketeering and fraud charges concluded in an acquittal for Mrs. Marcos. Mr. Marcos had also been indicted in the case, but the court had deemed him too ill to stand trial. (Sources: US v. Tantoco, et al, Case No. 1-87-cr-598-JFK (S.D.N.Y.), Docket Report accessed on January 2, 2011 and Indictment of October 22, 1988, obtained from US National Archives; Craig Wolff, "The Marcos Verdict; Marcos Is Cleared of All Charges In Racketeering and Fraud Case," New York Times, July 3, 1990.) On April 21, 2010, the GMA News reported that "According to records of the Philippine anti-graft court Sandiganbayan as of 2005, Mrs. Marcos continues to face 11 criminal charges and 25 civil cases." (Source: Sohpia Regina M. Dedace, "Imelda Marcos and her road to vindication," GMA News, April 21, 2010, accessed at

Presidential Commission on Good Government
Presidential Commission on Good Government
Sandiganbayan, Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines
Center for Constitutional Rights; numerous other pro bono attorneys
Supreme Court; U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; U.S. District Court for Hawaii; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; New Jersey court (exact venue not known).