FACT CHECK: No, a TIME magazine cover did not say Marcos had been acquitted in all corruption cases

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 26 2019 04:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 26 2019 06:06 PM

An image shared hundreds of times on Facebook purports to show a TIME magazine cover featuring late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos headlined: “The only president with the most projects ever built… and acquitted from all graft and corruption cases."

A search of the TIME magazine archive shows that this is a doctored image and the original cover featuring Marcos did not describe him in this way.

The picture in this January 22, 2019 post, which was shared by Facebook groups with nearly 900,000 followers between them, appears to show a cover of the US magazine TIME.

The cover shows an illustration of Marcos’s face with a sketched map of the Philippines in the background and the words "PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT MARCOS" in capital letters.

Below the image of the leader's face it says, also in block capitals, "THE ONLY PRESIDENT WITH THE MOST PROJECTS EVER BUILT... AND ACQUITTED FROM ALL GRAFT AND CORRUPTION CASES."

Marcos was president of the Philippines for 20 years before he was ousted in 1986 by a bloodless revolt.

A screenshot of a Facebook post from a pro-Marcos page

The Facebook post's caption says: "Yes indeed. #MarcosAHero #WeLoveImeldaMarcos #Marcos4ever #BagongLipunanPilipinas"

Imelda Marcos is the former Philippine first lady and an incumbent lawmaker who is accused with her late husband of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers.

Bagong Lipunan Pilipinas, when translated into English, means “New Society Philippines.” The former dictator Marcos used to refer to his vision of an improved Philippines as a “new society.”

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were indicted in the US on charges they embezzled $100 million from the Philippine government, as part of a case that began shortly after the Marcos regime fell in 1986. Ferdinand died in 1989, nearly a year before the verdict in that case, in which Imelda was acquitted.

A search of an archive of TIME covers on the magazine’s official website shows that the cover of the issue published on October 21, 1966 did not contain the text: “THE ONLY PRESIDENT WITH THE MOST PROJECTS EVER BUILT… AND ACQUITTED FROM ALL GRAFT AND CORRUPTION CASES”.

The original cover did contain the same illustration of Marcos’s face and the words "Philippine President Marcos."

A screenshot of TIME magazine's online archive showing its cover from October 21, 1966

The altered cover image has been shared by several Facebook groups which support the Marcos family.

Data from Crowdtangle shows that these groups have a combined total of 898,078 followers.