The promise of a cash windfall from the Marcoses through a cooperative drove people from all over Luzon and some parts of Metro Manila to the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus on Saturday.
The supposed recipients packed the UPLB Baker Field, each carrying a booklet featuring Marcos’ face.
The booklet discusses the “The Life and Achievements of Ferdinand E. Marcos.” The back bore the words “Bullion Buyer LTD.”
A woman who came all the way from Malabon said she attended the event because they were told that Marcos’ money will be given to them.
“Ipapamigay daw ang pera ni Marcos,” she said.
But former Senator Bongbong Marcos, the son and namesake of the late strongman, immediately confirmed that the gathering at the UPLB cash, was a scam.
“We have just received reports of people gathering because of promises of gold from the Marcoses. We do not know of nor have any involvement of any of these gatherings,” Marcos said in a statement read over a television network.
“It’s a scam pure and simple. I have repeatedly warned the public against unscrupulous individuals who have been using our family to advance their personal interests. Today’s event is a classic example of that,” he added.
Curiously, the gathering happened only two days after the 45th anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of martial rule, when various militant and civil society groups marked a National Day of Protest to remember victims of abuses during the dictator’s repressive regime.
In a television interview, the chairman of the cooperative identified as the “One Social Family Credit Cooperative” who refused to be identified or photographed said that the booklet contains “all the achievements of President Marcos during his time.”
UPLB Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Serlie Jamias identified one of the organizers of the event as Jeffrey S. Fortuna, who introduced himself as the National Inspectorate and Cooperative Secretariat of “One Social Family Credit Cooperative.”
Jamias said it was Fortuna who applied for a permit to hold the event at the school’s campus.
But as early as May of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission had issued an advisory against transacting with a certain group by that name.