More than 260 suffer food poisoning at Imelda Marcos 90th birthday event

food poisoning
Photographs of some of the victims by Senator Richard Gordon, via Twitter.

More than 260 people were hospitalised with food poisoning after a celebration of the 90th birthday of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

Bryant Wong, a disaster-response officer, said a fleet of ambulances transported at least 244 people who fell ill after eating a breakfast of chicken stew with egg and rice at a sports centre in Pasig city today (Wednesday, July 3).

Food and Drug Administration personnel have taken samples of the food to confirm that it caused the poisoning outbreak.

The incident cut short what was intended to be a day-long celebration by more than 2,000 well-wishers, Mr Wong said.

Imelda Marcos’s son, Bongbong, has apologised and promised assistance to those who fell ill.

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Imelda Marcos, who ended her term as a member of the House of Representatives in May, turned 90 yesterday. 

At the same elections, her daughter, Imee, won a seat on the Senate. Bongbong, meanwhile, is continuing to challenge the outcome of 2016’s Vice Presidential elections, which he narrowly lost to Leni Robredos.

Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted by an army-backed “people power” revolt in 1986 amid accusations of massive theft and corruption. Mrs Marcos continues to strongly deny these allegations, despite being convicted last November in a corruption case.

Although currently free on bail pending an appeal, she faces decades behind bars after being found guilty of funnelling about $200 million through Swiss foundations during her husband’s reign.

Ferdinand Marcos died in self-imposed exile in Hawaii in 1989. Since then, Mrs Marcos and her children have made a remarkable political comeback.

The family enjoy the support of President Duterte, who ordered that the late dictator’s remains were interred at Manila’s Heroes’ Cemetery, despite public protests.

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