The return of Imelda Marcos

Between the ongoing clan violence in Mindanao, a rumored coup plot, the meddling of disgraced former President Joseph Estrada, and boxer Manny Pacquiao’s first foray into the political ring, there are almost too many subplots to keep track of in the Philippines’ fascinating upcoming elections. The latest is the return of former first lady and ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Between the ongoing clan violence in Mindanao, a rumored coup plot, the meddling of disgraced former President Joseph Estrada, and boxer Manny Pacquiao's first foray into the political ring, there are almost too many subplots to keep track of in the Philippines' fascinating upcoming elections. The latest is the return of former first lady and footwear enthusiast Imelda Marcos to the public eye. Marcos is running for congress for the sole purpose of burying her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, in a "heroes' cemetary":

Emerging from more than a decade of political obscurity, Marcos strode back with a vengeance. She led journalists at daybreak to the mausoleum of her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, in Ilocos Norte province, his northern stronghold.

Kissing his glass coffin (above), she said: "This is one of our major injustices." She then went to church and rode on a lorry festooned with balloons and posters as thousands cheered her along the way. She was flanked by her daughter Imee, who is running for governor in Ilocos Norte, a tobacco-growing region about 250 miles (400km) north of Manila. Imelda's son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, is seeking a senate seat.

Between the ongoing clan violence in Mindanao, a rumored coup plot, the meddling of disgraced former President Joseph Estrada, and boxer Manny Pacquiao’s first foray into the political ring, there are almost too many subplots to keep track of in the Philippines’ fascinating upcoming elections. The latest is the return of former first lady and footwear enthusiast Imelda Marcos to the public eye. Marcos is running for congress for the sole purpose of burying her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, in a "heroes’ cemetary":

Emerging from more than a decade of political obscurity, Marcos strode back with a vengeance. She led journalists at daybreak to the mausoleum of her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, in Ilocos Norte province, his northern stronghold.

Kissing his glass coffin (above), she said: "This is one of our major injustices." She then went to church and rode on a lorry festooned with balloons and posters as thousands cheered her along the way. She was flanked by her daughter Imee, who is running for governor in Ilocos Norte, a tobacco-growing region about 250 miles (400km) north of Manila. Imelda’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, is seeking a senate seat.

Marcos said she will continue her campaign to have her husband buried in the national heroes’ cemetery in Manila if she wins. His burial there has been opposed by officials amid public outrage after Marcos – accused of corruption, political repression and widespread human rights abuses – was ousted in a 1986 revolt and died in exile in Hawaii three years later.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.