Imee Romualdez Marcos, the 26-year-old daughter of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, and Tomas (Tommy) Manotoc, 32, a wealthy Filipino sportsman reported missing last week, were married in Arlington Dec. 4 by a lawyer who recalled yesterday that the couple was "typically nervous."
A presidential spokesman in Manila had denied on Friday that the marriage took place.
"They were just like any couple getting married," said Francis E. Thomas, a Northern Virginia lawyer empowered by the court to perform weddings. He said the marriage took place in his office located across from the Arlington Courthouse. "I looked at the name on the license and I almost asked her if she was related to the president, but I never did. I didn't know who I was marrying."
The marriage, confirmed yesterday when county records became available after the holiday weekend, preceded the mysterious disappearance last week of Manotoc, a basketball coach and top amateur golfer last seen dining with Imee Marcos in an elegant restaurant outside Manila.
Manotoc's family, which includes several political foes of Marcos, has alleged that the Philippine president is involved in the athlete's disappearance. They allege that Marcos opposed the marriage largely because Manotoc was divorced from his first wife Oct. 27 in the Dominican Republic. Divorce is illegal in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.
Marcos has denied allegations that he is involved in Manotoc's disappearance, calling them "contemptible and cheap" efforts to defame him. He has ordered the military and police to help find Manotoc, who authorities say apparently was kidnaped.
Manotoc's family received a ransom note Sunday but called it a fake.
Officials of the Philippine Embassy in Washington declined yesterday to comment on the Marcos marriage, releasing instead a statement from Greg Candana, minister of media affairs in Manila, who asked "foreign correspondents to avoid publicity on this story."
"The latest assessment of the police . . . is that he Manotoc is in the hands of the kidnapers who are either subversives or criminal elements," the statement said. "While government authorities are trying to establish contact and start negotiations it will be of great help if there would be the least publicity. The government promises to reveal all the details of this matter very soon . . . "
Arlington attorney Thomas said that Manotoc and Imee Marcos, an actress who studied political science at Princeton University, were wed in a civil ceremony that took 10 minutes and cost $20.
Earlier on the day of the ceremony, shortly after 9 a.m., the couple had gone to Arlington Clinical Laboratory, located near the courthouse, where blood tests were performed.
John Payne, co-owner of the lab, said the couple was accompanied by about six friends. Payne described Manotoc was "a very cultured, polished type person who wore a brown three-piece suit. Payne said Imee Marcos wore a flowered dress and "lots of jewelry."
Because of its proximity to Washington and the fact that marriages can be performed the same day a required blood test and marriage license are obtained, Arlington has become a mecca for couples eager to marry quickly. In recent years Henry Kissinger, Richard Burton, Lana Turner and Peter Lawford have been married there.