WikiLeaks: Marcos forced Philippine military chiefs to dress in drag as entertainment

Ferdinand Marcos, the U.S.-backed Philippine dictator from 1965 to 1986, forced his leading military chiefs to dress and dance in drag at a 1973 birthday party planned by his wife, Imelda, newly released cables from a U.S. diplomat showed.

The cables were part of WikiLeaks’ latest document dump.

Agence France-Presse reported that the chiefs were forced to parade as women at Mr. Marcos‘ birthday party. William Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, advised American authorities of the affair in a Sept. 12, 1973, cable, AFP reported.

At the time, reports said that Mr. Marcos‘ birthday party was a quiet celebration and that the dictator in fact “spent a quiet birthday at his desk,” AFP said. Mr. Sullivan reported to Washington otherwise: It was a “two-day blast,” marked by “too much, too long and in questionable taste,” he said, as AFP reported.

The most tasteless aspect of the party was when Mrs. Marcos ordered the military chiefs to parade around the palace “in garish female attire,” Mr. Sullivan reported. “This whole affair was a saccharine suffusion of sycophancy.”

Mr. Marcos was forced from power and fled to the United States in 1986. He died in Hawaii in September 1989.

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