A musty side room in Malacanang Palace, overlooked by looters Tuesday night, contains records of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos' 20 years in power.
Marcos always claimed to be a humble and not particularly wealthy man. His 1984 income tax return, viewed in the files, reported his total earnings as about $46,700 from his salary as president and various business interests.
Tucked in the same drawer is a report, documented with handwritten receipts, showing that in April 1983 Imelda Marcos spent the equivalent of $49,000 in a single day at various antique shops in Vigan, Ilocos Sur Province, part of Marcos' voting stronghold.
The local antique dealers' association, the report shows, tossed in an antique matrimonial bed and conference table, worth about $4,000, "as an additional discount and gift to the first family."
An embossed receipt from the Nina Ricci boutique in Paris, found among a mass of papers scattered on the grounds near where the Marcos' boarded their helicopter Tuesday night, shows Imelda Marcos as having spent $8,200 for 22 items there in June and July 1970.
An unsigned last will and testament for Marcos, marked "confidential" and dated 1982, shows him as giving half of his wealth to his wife and the other half to be divided among his three children. Aimee Romualdez Marcos, who was adopted by Marcos, was to get a special gift of about $50,000. The will does not specify what his wealth consisted of.
Marcos' critics contended that he did most of his business through associates and dummy companies. One such transaction is documented in the files. A trust document executed by a man named Generoso Tanseco testifies that on July 29, 1967, Tanseco bought 8,500 shares of stock in United Philippine Carriers Co., worth about $42,500 at current exchange rates.
The shares, Tanseco said, "are for the benefit of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and they being funds belong to said Ferdinand E. Marcos." Tanseco was holding them in trust, it said.
A 1963 deed of transfer shows a man named Eusebio M. Agonias, for the equivalent of $150 "paid in hand by His Excellency Ferdinand E. Marcos," as transferring 40 percent of the shares of the Lammin Mining Co. Ltd. to Marcos, as well as all benefits from a certain mineral claim in the Ilocos area.
The 1984 tax return shows Marcos as having business income from the Home Financing Corp., the National Food Authority, the Home Development Mutual Fund, the Gasifier & Equipment Manufacturing Corp., and the Southern Philippines Development Authority.
A 1963 deed of transfer shows Imelda Marcos as having taken control of 1.75 million shares in the Ilocos Mining and Smelting Co. as well as "certain mining claims." The files also contained 1957 stock certificates showing Imelda as owner of 2,000 shares in the Philippine Oil Development Co.
In 1971, the files show, the nonprofit Art Association of the Philippines wrote an obsequious dunning letter to Imelda Marcos' office because about $500 in art works that she had purchased a month earlier had not been paid for.
"When we went to deliver the statement of account last June 2, 1971, we were advised to wait for a call from Malacanang but we haven't received any call of such a nature up to this date," the letter said. Scrawled instructions indicate the bill was eventually paid.
The files also contain extensive documents on Marcos' war record, which before his ouster was under fire as largely a hoax. Included were a Medal of Honor nomination for Marcos filed by an American officer.
Among other mementos of Marcos' presidency is a letter to his three children, handwritten in 1970, entited "Why I Am Fighting Communism." "Communism ostensibly seeks to eradicate the rule of influential oligarchies, but it succeeds in replacing them with a worse group -- the ruling or influential cliques who actually rule without the approval or consent of the people," he wrote.
A list of Marcos' personal effects that were moved somewhere in 1978 covers three pages, and includes two pistols, ash trays, table clocks and eight recordings by tenor Placido Domingo.
The files contain the letter of a man who appears to have been a Moslem insurgent who came over to the government side. He reports that "something big" against Marcos was going to be organized by opposition leader Benigno Aquino, assassinated husband of Corazon Aquino, and Moslem figures.
The files, left in several dozen cabinets in an unlocked room on the ground floor of a palace building, also contain notes advising Marcos how to respond to press charges against him.