People

Imelda was my trump card: Marcos

Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos credited his wife Imelda with being his vote-getter in his election win over incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal.

He said that she was an instant hit wherever she went, in an interview released this week in 1965.

"Imelda was truly phenomenal as a campaigner," he said. Mr Marcos, who won about 52 per cent of the votes in the Nov 9 election, said his wife drew a bigger crowd than him during a visit to Marawi City in Mindanao.


Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in Malacanang Palace during his time in power. PHOTO: PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

He said: "Her listeners at (Marawi) were raising their right hands with Imelda, swearing on the Quran to vote Marcos. No male campaigner could have gotten away with it in Muslim territory. But everybody was only too glad to join Imelda in the oath-taking ceremony."

Mr Marcos ruled the Philippines until he was toppled from power by the "People Power" movement in 1986. The Marcoses, who allegedly embezzled billions, fled to Hawaii.

Mr Marcos died in Honolulu in 1989. His wife moved back to the Philippines and was elected as a congresswoman in 1995 despite facing corruption charges.

Mrs Marcos, now 86, who is known for her collection of shoes, was re-elected in 2010 and 2013.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2015, with the headline 'Imelda was my trump card: Marcos People'. Print Edition | Subscribe