World

Over 240 hospitalized in Philippines after eating at Imelda Marcos birthday bash

More than 240 people were taken to hospitals in the Philippine capital Wednesday with suspected food poisoning after attending an event celebrating the 90th birthday of Imelda Marcos.

The incident cut short what was supposed to be a daylong celebration of Marcos's 90th birthday

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III talks to patients who fell ill during the 90th birthday celebration of Imelda Marcos, wife of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (Bullit Marquez/The Associated Press)

More than 240 people were taken to hospitals in Manila on Wednesday with suspected food poisoning following an event celebrating the 90th birthday of Imelda Marcos.

Bryant Wong, a disaster-response officer, said dozens of ambulances transported at least 244 people who either vomited or grew dizzy hours after eating a breakfast of chicken stew with egg and rice and drinking water in a sports centre in suburban Pasig city.

The event was held a day after the birthday of the former politician and widow of the late ex-president Ferdinand Marcos.

Personnel from the country's Food and Drug Administration took samples of the food to check what may have made the partygoers sick.

The incident cut short what was supposed to be a daylong celebration by more than 2,000 followers of Imelda Marcos, Wong said.

Her son, Bongbong, apologized and promised to help those who fell ill until they fully recover.

Imelda Marcos ended her term in May as a member of the House of Representatives. Her daughter, Imee, ran successfully for a Senate seat in the May 13 local and congressional elections.

Marcos, second from right, shown on May 22 with her daughter, newly elected Senator Imee Marcos, beside her, also was a politician in the Philippines after her husband's death. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)

Marcos's husband, who died in 1989 in Honolulu, was ousted by an army-backed "people power" revolt in 1986 amid accusations of massive corruption, which she steadfastly denies. He died in self-exile in Hawaii in 1989, while his widow and children made an impressive political comeback.

Imelda Marcos drew international condemnation for her massive collection of shoes and expensive jewelry she left behind after the couple was overthrown.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.