Hundreds fall sick after Imelda Marcos’s birthday party

Guests at celebration for former first lady of Philippines rushed to hospital with suspected food poisoning

More than 200 guests fell ill with suspected food poisoning after a meal at a birthday party for Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines.

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Ambulances rushed vomiting friends and supporters from a sports stadium in Manila, where about 2,500 people gathered to honour the 90-year-old widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Although Marcos was toppled by a peaceful uprising in 1986, the family is still revered by many in the Philippines and has made a political comeback in recent years.

Our ambulances took people to hospital after they complained of dizziness and vomiting. They apparently suffered from food poisoning, the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, Richard Gordon, said.

The health secretary, Francisco Duque, told journalists 260 people had been taken ill. One of those affected, a woman who only gave her first name, Leonora, said she believed it was caused by the party food.

I wasnt that hungry so I only ate the egg and a little steamed rice. I vomited and an ambulance took me to the Rizal medical centre where I was given an IV drip, the woman said.

I blame the cook. Everyone knows Madam [Imelda] is blameless since she was not the one who cooked it, she added.

The party featured singing and speeches, as well as water bottles adorned with Imeldas name and meals in plastic boxes.

There were no immediate reports that the guest of honour was taken ill.

The family later issued an apology while pledging to help those who had fallen sick and to cooperate with an official investigation.

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I offer my apologies and ask for your understanding. Rest assured that we will continue to help until everyone is fully healed, her son Ferdinand Jr said in a statement.

Imelda
Imelda Marcos at her 90th birthday celebration in Manila, Philippines. Photograph: STR/EPA

Imelda Marcos was convicted in November in a corruption case stemming from the time of her husbands brutal dictatorship. Although free on bail pending an appeal, she faces decades behind bars after being found guilty of funnelling about $200m (159m) through Swiss foundations decades ago.

Ferdinand Marcos, who along with his cronies was accused of embezzling $10bn from the Philippines, fled with his family to the US after his dictatorship fell in 1986.

He died in exile three years later, but his heirs returned later to Manila and the political scene.

Imelda Marcos has just finished a term as a congresswoman, her son Ferdinand Jr has also served as a senator, while her eldest daughter, Imee, won a senate seat in elections in May.

The family has a powerful ally in President Rodrigo Duterte, who ordered the late dictators remains to be interred at Manilas Heroes Cemetery despite public protests.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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