Imelda Marcos, the longtime congresswoman and wife of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, just turned 90 years old. As such, a celebration was in order.
Around 2,500 people arrived at the Ynares Sports Arena on July 3 for a party where guests and supporters were invited. Things quickly turned south when people started experiencing dehydration, vomiting, and upset stomach—symptoms of food poisoning.
Medical responders were treating attendees all afternoon. According to the Pasig City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, there were over 260 victims.
The culprit? Evidence suggests it was the chicken and egg adobo packs distributed during the festivities. Attendees said the egg and rice tasted rotten, according to Rappler. Or perhaps it was the bottled water which accompanied the meal. The label, which includes a photo of a young Marcos, says: "We wholeheartedly love you."
A report from radio station Super Radyo dzBB said that there were two caterers for the party: one for the Marcos family and their guests, and one for their supporters. Spaghetti and steamed buns were also served at the event. Authorities are currently inspecting the food.
Imelda’s daughter and Senator Imee Marcos had this to say regarding the incident: “My mother was too excited, so she got here before dawn. It looks like the food became stale. But even so, everything is alright. We’re going to take care of everyone that has been hospitalized and you can count on us to visit each and every one of them.”
To add to all of this, the same Super Radyo dzBB report said that while supporters were taken to the hospitals, the program continued without losing a beat. Entertainers continued to perform on stage.
For a former dictator’s family to hold a banquet only for their supporters to suffer from the food they served…well, let’s just say this all sounds vaguely familiar. The rest of the Philippines has experienced its fair share of suffering at their hands.
In 2019, the Marcoses remain a strong political clan with supporters all over the country. Even after plunging the Philippines into martial law four decades ago during which over 3000 people died. Even after funneling $200 million dollars to their Swiss bank accounts and being convicted of graft, their influence endures.
The matriarch has been a political figure outside her role as the first lady for roughly four decades now. Even her reputation as a former style icon has not waned. An online magazine recently paid tribute to her fashion sense. Her daughter Imee was also recently reelected to the Senate. To add salt to the Filipino wound, the family then had a “reunion” at the Presidential Palace to attend her election rites.