The Most Internationally Notorious Filipinos of All Time

A number of Filipinos have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

You'll find no shortage of Filipinos making their mark in various fields across the world. Every time news is released about a fellow Filipino's success, the comment section fills up with statements that speak of everyone's "Pinoy pride." The phrase has become so prevalent it's become a meme of sorts, including occasions when a Filipino does something that's not particularly something to be proud of. See here.

Over time, a number of Filipinos have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. At times, they've even attracted the attention of the world for committing the most gruesome acts of villainy and other felonies. From violent murders to more modern cybercrimes, here are the most notorious Filipinos of all time.

1| Andrew Cunanan


Serial killer Andrew Cunanan is perhaps the most notorious of everyone on this list. Cunanan, the son of Filipino American Modesto Cunanan and Italian American Mary Anne Schillaci, is known internationally for murdering Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. In the days leading up to Versace's murder, he also killed Jeffrey Trail, David Madson, Lee Miglin, and William Reese.


Cunanan's crimes were widely reported in 1997, and his eventual capture on a houseboat in Miami Beach was televised for the world to see. Plenty of intrigue surrounds his motives, especially since it involves such a high-profile personality. As such, Cunanan has been the subject of numerous films and television shows. The most recent being Darren Criss' portrayal of the serial killer in American Crime Story's The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

2 - 3| Reonel Ramones and Onel De Guzman

During the summer of 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus spread via e-mail. The virus is called so because it had the subject "ILOVEYOU" and a message inside that read: "Kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me." The self-spreading computer virus took over files and sent copies of itself to other e-mail addresses, infecting over 45 million computer users. Today, it's still considered one of the most destructive computer viruses to ever been made. It led to the Pentagon closing its servers, and damages of over $10 billion across the world. Behind it were two young Filipino programmers Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman based in Manila. The two were traced by the NBI and eventually arrested by the Department of Justice (DOJ). At the time, however, no laws existed against writing malware and they were both released. The whereabouts of Ramones and de Guzman are currently unknown.

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4| Imelda Marcos


While former President Ferdinand Marcos is more known in the Philippines for his crimes as a kleptocrat dictator, internationally, it was his wife Imelda who became the face of it all. This was due to the lavish shopping excursions she went on in many of the world's top cities, most notably in New York. It was in the city that Marcos had her biggest sprees including buying four Manhattan skyscrapers, purchasing wholesale an antique auction (before it even went public), and spending millions, even billions, of ill-gotten wealth on jewelry and more on any given day. In an interview, N.Y. Congressman Stephen Solarz even said, “Compared to her, Marie Antoinette was a bag lady.”

But Marcos' notoriety goes beyond tales of her extravagant expenses. Aside from her infamous shoe collection, she became a reference point for excess, even being name-dropped in '80s New York advertisements and movies such as Troop Beverly Hills. If all of that doesn't convince you, in the dictionary, the word "Imeldific" is defined as a description for something ostentatiously extravagant to the point of vulgarity.


5| Philip Patrick Policarpio

Though his notoriety isn't comparable to the rest on the list, Philip Patrick Policarpio is a worthy addition after being included on the FBI's Most Wanted list. In 2016, Filipino American Policarpio became wanted in Los Angeles for killing his pregnant girlfriend Lauren Elaine Olguin. According to reports, Policarpio beat Olguin and shot her in the head in front of the victim's friends during a gathering. The then 39-year-old evaded arrest and was subsequently included among the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. Along with this, the FBI announced that a reward of up to $100,000 was up for any information leading to him. Eventually, he was found and two years later, he was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison after pleading no contest to first-degree murder and first-degree murder of a fetus. 

6| Maria Caparas


Maria Caparas might not be a household name in the Philippines, but on the other side of the world, she is known as the sextortion queen. In the Bulacan town of North Hills, Caparas founded an online sextortion ring by hiring teenagers to pose as women on Facebook. She then blackmailed her victims by threatening to leak their compromising photos and videos.

The evil scam led to a $100-million syndicate that even got Interpol involved after the suicide of U.K. teenager Daniel Perry. Caparas has been a subject of a Channel News Asia documentary, as well as South China Morning Post and The Sun features. Caparas has been in and out of jail even after being found guilty multiple times. Her victims include professionals in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and more.

More: The Best Filipino True Crime Documentaries You Need To Watch Right Now

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