Imelda Marcos birthday party turns sour as more than 250 people get sick. While celebrating the 90th birthday of socialite Imelda Marcos, the wife of the late Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, more than 250 people fell ill after eating an allegedly contaminated meal.
About 2,500 friends and supporters of Imelda Marcos had gathered for the occasion of her birthday party in a stadium in Manila but hundreds of guests had to be evacuated by ambulance, according to the Philippine Red Cross.
Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986 after having ruled the archipelago with an iron fist for over 20 years, but the family has achieved a remarkable political comeback in recent years.
“Our ambulances transported people to the hospital when they complained of dizziness and vomiting, apparently they had been victims of food poisoning,” Richard Gordon, president of the Red Cross, told AFP.
Imelda Marcos birthday party turns sour
According to Health Minister Francisco Duque, 260 people fell ill during the party, where meals were distributed in plastic containers and bottles of water named after the dictator’s widow.
There was no information that the guest of honor was among the victims.
In November, Ms. Marcos was convicted of corruption in a case arising from her husband’s reign, marked by serious human rights violations and charges of embezzling billions of dollars of state funds.
She faces a heavy prison sentence but is at liberty pending appeal. In this case, Ms. Marcos and her husband, who died in Hawaii in 1989, are accused of embezzling about 200 million dollars through Swiss foundations.
The Marcos managed to return to the spheres of power after their fall. The widow has just completed a term in Congress. His son Ferdinand Marcos Junior narrowly lost the vice presidency in 2016, but held a senatorial chair.
The family found themselves a powerful ally in the person of the current president Rodrigo Duterte, who ordered that the remains of the dictator be transferred to the Heroes’ Cemetery of the capital.