Imelda Marcos: I’m alive, still dreaming to restore paradise in PH

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MANILA -- “Buhay pa, pero matanda nga lang (Still alive, just old).”

This was the reaction of former First Lady and current Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Marcos on Monday, May 8, after she was erroneously reported to have died, thanks to a Twitter post from Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado.

Mercado, on the other hand, claimed: “My Twitter acct [account] was hacked.”

Besides that terse message, she did not reply to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s questions as to how her Twitter account @lanimrevilla could have been hacked, or if her followup “apology” was part of it.

The media officer of Mercado’s brother-in-law, Bacoor City Rep. Strike Revilla, echoed her denial of the two Twitter posts, as relayed by her staff.

Revilla’s media officer Amelia Manzo added that an investigation has been ordered regarding the supposed breach.

“Hindi si Mayor ang nag-send ng condolences kay Mrs. Marcos. Hindi din siya ang nag-send ng apology (It was not Mayor who sent condolences for Mrs. Marcos. It was not her who sent the apology),” Manzo said in a message to a House of Representatives chat group on Viber.

A post by Mercado’s official account on Sunday 10:09 p.m.  read: “Our condolences to the Marcos Family. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with Cong. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.”

The next morning at 9:58 a.m., the account sent out another tweet taking back the earlier post: “I would like to apologize for my tweet which I have erased.”

“I received a news break message informing the public about Mrs. Marcos,” the post explained.

But, by noontime, both posts have been taken down from the @lanimrevilla feed. Excluding retweets of news accounts, the most recent original post was on Thursday evening.

Chief of staff Filadelfo Diaz III in the afternoon said Marcos’s office would no longer issue a statement on the error that turned out to be a hoax on the basis of Mercado’s claim that her Twitter account was hacked. But he told the Inquirer by phone that the flamboyant lawmaker was in Manila, holding a meeting at her home, as of Monday.

That afternoon, Marcos was spotted - very much alive - by reporters sitting at the front row of the House of Representatives Plenary Hall.

“Thank you, pinatotohanan niyo yung katotohanan na buhay pa ako (you confirmed the truth that I am still alive),” Marcos told reporters.

“Nakakapasok pa nga ako sa Congress at nangunguna pa dito (I could still go to Congress and I’m even at the front),” she quipped when asked about her health, coughing at times during the brief conversation.

A House staffer even had to explain to her that Mercado either posted without verifying the news or her social media account was compromised, which meant both women were victims.

“Lahat ng ikabubuti ng bayan, iyan ang panaginip ko, na bigyan ako ng pagkakataon na makatulong ako na aking panaginip sa bayan na ibalik ang paraiso sa ating bayan, sa sambayanang Pilipino (Everything good

for the country, that’s my dream. That I be given the chance to help realize my dream to restore paradise in the country… for the Filipino people),” Marcos told reporters.

“Kasi nandidito ang lahat ng kayamanan eh (Because all the riches are here),” she added.

Death would have extinguished her criminal liability for the two-decade-old graft cases she continued to face at the Sandiganbayan for setting up various foundations allegedly to accumulate ill-gotten wealth.

A short jeepney ride away at the University of the Philippines Diliman, the Human Rights Victims Claim Board began distributing partial compensation to the victims of the dictatorship of her husband Ferdinand Marcos. –