During the 1965 election campaign, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. claimed to be the “most decorated war hero of the Philippines.” He claimed to have 32 awards, including two US Silver Stars as well as a Distinguished Service Cross.
Despite some of his claims being discredited by the United States Army, Marcos loyalists did not stop painting the late strongman as a war hero, even dragging General Douglas MacArthur into the picture, quite literally, as what is shown in the photo on the right.
The photo on the left turned out to be MacArthur awarding the US Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (later Major) Jesus A. Villamor, who was the first Filipino fighter pilot personally decorated with a medal of valor by the American general.
But if you look at the photo on the right, you can see MacArthur in exactly the same position and uniform, decorating a soldier with a completely different face in a slightly different uniform and a slightly different background. Look closely and you will easily spot the other parts of this photo that will tell you it is an edited version of the photo on the left. Even those who aren’t experts in spotting edited photos can easily see where the editors made their magic.
No wonder this Facebook user lashed out at the loyalists who attempted to pass the edited photo off as proof of Marcos’ heroic role during the World War II.
But according to a 1983 article written by Washington Post assistant foreign editor John Sharkey, there were many questions and confusions concerning his claims as to why he deserved his medals and awards.
Among the things that Sharkey wrote about Marcos were how his name was not among the 120 soldiers awarded the Distinguished Service Cross during the Bataan campaign and how it was also missing from the “List of Recipients of Awards and Decorations Issued Between Dec. 7, 1941 through June 30, 1945” made by MacArthur’s headquarters after World War II ended.
Marcos was determined to clinch the title of being the “most decorated war hero of the Philippines” while he was alive and his goal has so far been kept alive by his loyalists with the help of the handy photo editing software programs.
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