“I am grateful that Miss Imee still remembers me, and that she had revived all those memories again,” an overwhelmed Arturo said after reuniting with Imee.
These are the words of retired Sgt. Arturo Boquiren of the Presidential Security Group after his bittersweet reunion with the eldest daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Gov. Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte.
In the photo, 83-year old Arturo can be seen breaking down in tears as the two embraced during the brief reunion between him Gov. Imee Marcos.
According to Gov. Imee Marcos, ret. Sgt. Arturo Boquiren served as a presidential guard of his father from 1970 to 1985, guarding the study room of the former president.
During a speech while visiting San Carlos, Pangasinan, Gov. Imee on March 22, 2018, the Ilocos Governor complimented Boquiren by describing him as “the most influential and loyal person in the study room at the Office of the President FEM.”
As the person in charged of the former president’s study room, Boquiren job “connected him to Marcos cabinet, the military, and the outside world.”
Boquiren’s job includes: preparing documents for Marcos’ signature, calling cabinet secretaries by phone and scheduling appointments, arranging the president’s overall schedule, among others.
He witnessed a number of President Marcos’ meetings, including two instances wherein the former president scolded and cursed two different government officials for corruption.
Quoting FEM as he gave the two government officials a dressing down, “Sinabihan ko na kayo, huminto na kayo! Alam ba ninyo na milyon-milyong tao ang hindi kumakain nang husto sa isang araw?” Boquiren vividly recalled the incident.
Boquiren also managed a portion of the president’s finances like paying the salaries of the guards assigned to the Malacañang of the North in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, during the construction.
Now 83 years old and wheelchair bound, the former Marcos aide has but one wish – to see the completed Paoay residence of the Marcos family.
“But I have not even seen it since it was completed,” he added jokingly.
Today, the Malacañang of the North is an open museum of FEM’s life, works, and achievements.
Boquiren narrated that FEM personally consolidates data for his speeches, describing the former president “truly a good public speaker”.
“FEM is very industrious, intelligent, and studious person,” Boquiren remarked.
“Intelihente siya [FEM]. Papatawagin sa akin yung mga secretaries kapag may kailangang data. For example, about agriculture ‘yan, i-order niyang ipasa lahat sa kanya yung data na kailangan. He will sit in the office with the data, together with a stenographer. Ire-revise niya ‘yan at hindi na niya titignan pag nag-speech na,kasi alam na niya. ”
On alleged ill-gotten wealth
On alleged “ill-gotten” wealth of the Marcosses, Boquiren has this to say: “Hindi nagnakaw ang mga Marcos. Hindi ka niya pinapahirapan. Hindi ka niya inutangan.”
On the black propaganda against the former president and his family in the past few decades, Boquiren shares an important lesson learned during his service, saying “Sabi niya [FEM] politiko ka man o hindi, you will always have enemies, but if you satisfy six out of ten people, you are already good.”
“Ang mga kausap ko noon araw-araw ay hindi mga ordinaryong tao. May mga makakaaway din ako, kaya naman ang dami ko talagang natutunan doon at sa kanya.”
On some books published about the former president?
Boquiren dismissed them as untrue, and lamented how writers today are distorting information just to make headlines.
“Yung mga writer ngayon, yung ten nila nagiging 20, yung 20 nagiging 30. Kung ‘di sobra, kulang.”
Boquiren was able to meet FEM’s eldest daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, on her visit to San Carlos City in Pangasinan Province yesterday, March 22.
He received a special mention from Governor Marcos, who introduced him as “
“I am grateful that Miss Imee still remembers me, and that she had revived all those memories again,” said Boquiren.
The photo has touched the hearts of thousands, eliciting mixed emotions among social media people.
One netizen remarked that while looking at the photo of Boquiren and Gov. Imee Marcos sharing an embrace, tears started rolling down on her face.
“Erlita Magaoay Viernes Fernando Tears rolling on my face while looking at this photo…Thanks maam Imee..you still remember this man whom your father trusted during his time..”
Emma Chua felt a feeling of loneliness while reading and looking at the photo. “I felt somewhat lonely reading and looking at this …anyway I’m thankful that ms Imee gave her time to see this honorable and trusted man of his father☘🌴🌷”
Doods Pimentel described the photo between the boss and her employee ‘very touching’. “A very touching times between a boss and underboss. Imee’s visits to Boquiren is a portrait of a woman who treasures someone who served with uncompromising loyalty to ther beloved father.”
As of this writing, the photo has garnered 9,262 shares, 40,650 reactions and 2,321 comments and counting.