Palace: No need to comment on Imelda birthday party at Malacañan

Palace: No need to comment on Imelda birthday party at Malacañan
A billboard on a condominium building along EDSA reads "Happy 93th Birthday First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos" on July 2, 2022.
The STAR / Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Photos online suggesting a birthday party was held for former first lady Imelda Marcos at Malacañan Palace are not of public interest, the Office of the Press Secretary said as it declined comment on the matter.

Photos posted by lawyer Michael Manotoc — son of Sen. Imee Marcos and the former first lady's grandson — on his Instagram account showed an event to celebrate "Mama Meldy's 93rd Birthday" at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall on July 2.

The decor of the area where the celebration was held matches those of Rizal Hall, which is used for state dinners and other assemblies, from official photos and the captions on the photos stated the party was held at the presidential palace.

"We will only be releasing statements on issues where public interest/welfare is involved," the Palace said in response to inquiries from media.

Malacañan is the official residence of the president of the Philippines, although President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has indicated he will not be living there.

The Marcoses lived in the Palace from 1965 to 1986, when Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted by the 1986 People Power Revolution. The family's return to power has raised concerns of a return to the lavish lifestyles that they led when the elder Marcos held the presidency for two decades.

RELATED: SC affirms forfeiture of Imelda jewelry collection

A granddaughter of then-President Rodrigo Duterte was criticized in 2017 for holding a pre-debut photoshoot at Malacañan and for posing with the presidential seal. The Palace argued then that it was normal for visitors to the presidential palace to be photographed there and that no taxpayer money was used for the photoshoot with celebrity stylists and make-up artists.

Duterte also played the issue down, stressing that the debutante is his granddaughter.

"Ano ba naman 'yan? Kadugo ko 'yan eh (What’s the fuss? She is part of my family). Small matter, gamitin lang 'yung Malacañan. Wala naman ako doon (They just used Malacañan. I was not there)," Duterte said then.
"But even if I was there, my granddaughter had a photoshoot, all visitors who go there took photos," he also said. 

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