VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is NOT the richest president in the world

A video circulating on YouTube and Facebook (FB) claims that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the richest of all the “presidents and kings of the world”. This statement is false.

The video, which shows an excerpt from a 2013 GMA News report about former first lady Imelda Marcos, was first posted online on September 25.

He claimed that the Marcos family — and therefore Marcos, Jr. — has “trillions of dollars in gold assets” and “170 bank accounts,” including one that holds “more than US$200 billion.”

Marcos Jr. does not top any reputable global list of wealthy presidents, monarchs or individuals.

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, with about 43 billion US dollars, ranked first in the South China Morning Post list richest royals in 2021. Forbes magazine lists Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the richest person in the world as of 2022, with a net worth of $219 billion.

There is no evidence to show that the Marcos actually own trillions of dollars in gold or that they have $200 billion in a bank account.

The Marcos family acquired approximately $5-10 billion in ill-gotten wealth, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Government. Meanwhile, the late tycoon Enrique Zobel in a 1999 Senate investigation found that Ferdinand Marcos Sr. had a total wealth of US$100 billionincluding $35 billion in gold bullion.

Ms Marcos also claimed in the Documentary 2019 The Kingmaker, without proof, that she had “money in 170 banks”. The Marcos used several bank accounts in Paris, Swiss, California, New Yorkand the Cayman Islands to siphon off the country’s money.

Additionally, the video claimed that former US President George W. Bush called the Philippines the richest country in the world. Rapper debunked this: there was no record of Bush saying so.

Youtube channel Sa Iyong Araw (created on April 2, 2021) has garnered over 658,200 views and 1,600 comments. It was reuploaded on FB by the page Duterte Facts and got over 569,000 interactions. Both appeared three days after Marcos met with World Bank officials on September 22.

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(Editor’s note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to combat the spread of misinformation. Read more about this Partnership and our methodology.)

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