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Marcos and the New Society:
A Political Biography





A Research Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements in Political Science 262-

Elites in Politics



Submitted to:


Dr. Clarita R. Carlos

Department of Political Science

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

University of the Philippines-Diliman



Submitted by:

Jose Angelito P. Angeles



October 2005





Ferdinand E. Marcos’s greatest moment was EDSA 1, when he was no longer just a bar topnotcher of unprecedented record, or the most decorated Filipino hero of World War II, or when he became President of the Philippines or the only reelected President of the Republic, but Ferdinand E. Marcos’s greatest moment was EDSA 1 when as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the most powerful man in the country, he did not use Power to Hurt or Kill those who betrayed him, but He used Power Selflessly for Peace and Love. At this point He no longer was just a Bar Topnotcher, War Hero, President or Father of a Country, at this point in President Ferdinand E. Marcos’s life, he too had become a Mother of the Nation, with Selfless and Endless Love for his Country and People”


-Imelda Romualdez- Marcos




            In 1965, President Marcos was elected on a wave of hope that he would make this nation great, with a broad electoral mandate to deal with the country’s chronic socio-economic problems. His first term was innovative; he surpassed the achievements of his predecessors put together. In 1969 he became the first Philippine President to be reelected – but corruption and lawlessness and the wide disparity between the rich and the poor that gripped the country were as pervasive as ever. The growing threat of communist insurgency and the secessionist problem in Mindanao further eroded the political stability of the country. In September 1972 President Marcos declared martial law to restore law and order and to build a new society.

            This paper discusses the political biography of Ferdinand E. Marcos during the twenty years of his presidency, with emphasis on the reforms and policies he instituted in pursuance of the New Society and the problems that President Marcos faced during the crucial years and how he dealt with them. Further, the paper also deals with the achievements and failures of the New Society.

            The researcher, in coming up with this research, used both primary (official documents and records, presidential decrees and issuances, Supreme Court decisions, presidential speeches, books, newspapers and magazines) and secondary sources (journals, articles, film and other books). Further, the researcher also interviewed Former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos at her residence in Makati and Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imee R. Marcos at her office in the Batasan Complex.

            The researcher went to the following places to gather data: Marcos Museum in Batac and Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; University of the Philippines –College of Law Library; UP Main Library; UP Asian Center library; UP College of Education library; UP Manila – College of Arts and Sciences library; Manila Bulletin; and the National Library. The researcher also used his collections in this research.

His Early Life


    The man who ruled the Philippines with an iron fist was born on September 11, 1917 in Sarrat, a small town in Ilocos Norte. Named by his parents, Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin, after King Ferdinand of Spain, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was a champion debater, boxer, swimmer and wrestler while in the University of the Philippines.

            As a young law student of the University of the Philippines, Marcos was indicted and convicted of murder (of Julio Nalundasan, the man who twice defeated his father for a National Assembly seat).[1] While in detention, he reviewed and topped the 1938 Bar examinations with one of the highest score in history. According to Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos “He (Pres. Marcos) wanted to be the top of tops. So his record was unprecedented in history. In bar history, he had 98.8 – many said it is impossible, siguro nandaya yun (maybe he cheated). He had to had an oral exam so that they (the Supreme Court) [can] revalidate (the score).[2]

He appealed his conviction and argued his case before the Supreme Court.[3] Impressed by his brilliant legal defense, the Supreme Court unanimously acquitted him.[4]

            When the Second World War broke out, Marcos was called to arms in defense of the Philippines against the Japanese. He was a combat intelligence officer of the 21st Infantry division. He fought in Bataan and was one of the victims of the infamous Death March. He was released later. However, he was re-incarcerated in Fort Santiago. He escaped and joined the guerilla movements against the Japanese. He became one of the finest guerilla leaders in Luzon[5] and his greatest exploit was the Battle of Besang Pass though many are questioning the veracity of his claims. Because of his valiant bravery during the war, Marcos was awarded with thirty-three medals, the most decorated soldier in Philippine history.

            After the end of the war and the establishment of the Republic, President Manuel A. Roxas appointed Marcos as special technical assistant. Later, Marcos ran as Representative (of the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte) under the Liberal Party – the administration party. During the campaign he told his constituents “Elect me a Congressman now and I pledge you an Ilocano President in 20 years.” He was elected thrice as Congressman. In 1959 he was catapulted to the Senate with the highest number of votes. He immediately became its Minority Floor Leader. In 1963, after a tumultuous rigodon in the Senate, he was elected its President despite being in the minority party.[6]

            When President Diosdado Macapagal reneged on his promise not to run for reelection and to support Marcos’ candidacy for the presidency in the 1965 elections, Marcos resigned from the Liberal Party. With the support of his wife Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, he joined the Nacionalista Party and became its standard-bearer with Senator Fernando Lopez as his running mate.

The First Term (1965-1969)

            Marcos defeated Macapagal and was sworn in as the sixth President of the Republic[7] on December 30, 1965. In his inaugural address he stated the grim situation of the Philippines:

            …The Filipino, it seems, has lost his soul, his dignity, and his courage.

            We have come upon a phase of our history when ideals are only a veneer for greed and power, (in public and private affairs) when devotion to duty and dedication to a public trust are to be weighted at all times against private advantages and personal gain, and when loyalties can be traded.

            …Our government is in the iron grip of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service is slothful and indifferent, its armed forces demoralized and its councils sterile.

            We are in crisis. You know that the government treasury is empty. Only by severe self-denial will there be hope for recovery within the next year.[8]


            To rally the people, he vowed to fulfill the nation’s “mandate for greatness:”


            This nation can be great again. This I have said over and over. It is my articles of faith, and Divine Providence has willed that you and I can now translate this faith into deeds.[9]


In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Marcos revealed his plans for economic development and good government. President Marcos wanted the immediate construction of roads, bridges and public works which includes 16,000 kilometers of feeder roads, some 30,000 lineal meters of permanent bridges, a generator with an electric power capacity of on million kilowatts (1,000,000 kw), water services to eight regions and 38 localities.

            He also urged the revitalization of the Judiciary, the national defense posture and the fight against smuggling, criminality, and graft and corruption in the government.

            To accomplish his goals “President Marcos mobilized the manpower and resources of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for action to complement civilian agencies in such activities as infrastructure construction; economic planning and program execution; regional and industrial site planning and development; community development and others.”[10] The President, likewise, hired technocrats and highly educated persons to form part of the Cabinet and staff.[11] The employment of technocrats in key positions and the mobilization of the AFP for civic actions resulted in the increasing functional integration of civilian and military elites.[12]As a consequence, Marcos surpassed the achievements of his presidential predecessors put together.

            Despite the achievements and success of utilizing the Armed Forces on various infrastructure projects of the administration, Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. criticized it as “creeping militarism” in his first privilege speech in the Senate:

            Unhappily, our armed forces is undergoing-surely if unperceptibly- a reorientation and a redirection geared fundamentally to suit and advance the political aims of President Marcos. President Marcos justifies it in the name of speeding up socio-economic development, but it politicking of the most insidious stripe.

            Clearly, the programme is taking shape. And I am alarmed. I see it in the presidential order to the Philippine Navy to equip and support medical, rural teams and civic action centers. And this, Mr. President, to a navy which still has to put all its ships out to sea and to bring up its manpower to the required levels.

            I see it, too, in the order of the Philippine Air Force to organize an engineering construction battalion- and added to this, to set up civil action centers and to field rural medical health teams. And this, Mr. President, to an air force hard-put in filling its duties with its meager resources.

            The administration men have argued-repeatedly, I must note- that army engineering battalions are far more efficient than their civilian counterparts. The facts, I am afraid, belie this.

            The North Diversion Road is there as proof of army engineering inefficiency. It has cracked by longer than five kilometers in certain portions, and in most other portions, it is rapidly deteriorating into what newspaper wit has termed our “corrugated roads.”

            What went wrong with this road, this main artery of men and commerce which the surveyors of the cult of the “Great One” had intended to ballyhoo as the start of a lace of monuments to “His Greatness?”

            …in their hurry to create impact, they forgot the age-old adage, “haste makes waste.” And all because they wanted to log achievement.[13]


            The accusation, however, was considered during that time as plain and simple politicking to discredit President Marcos.

            Aside from infrastructure development, the following were some of the notable achievements of the first four years of the Marcos administration:

  1. Successful drive against smuggling which Leonides Virata, President of the Philippine Chambers of Commerce, described as a national calamity.[14]

In 1966, more than 100 important smugglers were arrested; in three years 1966-68 the arrests totaled 5,000. Military men involved in smuggling were forced to retire.[15]

  1. Greater production of rice by promoting the cultivation of IR-8 hybrid rice. In 1968 the Philippines became self-sufficient in rice, the first time in history since the American period. In addition, the Philippines exported rice worth US$ 7 million.
  2. Land reform was given an impetus during the first term of President Marcos. 3,739 hectares of lands in Central Luzon were distributed to the farmers.
  3. In the field of foreign relations, the Philippines hosted the summit of seven heads of state (the United States, South Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines) to discuss the worsening problem in Vietnam and the containment of communism in the region.

Likewise, President Marcos initiated, together with the other four heads of state of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore), the formation of a regional organization to combat the communist threat in the region – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

  1. Government finances were stabilized by higher revenue collections and loans from treasury bonds, foreign lending institutions and foreign governments.
  2. Peace and order substantially improved in most provinces however situations in Manila and some provinces continued to deteriorate until the imposition of martial law in 1972.

The Critical Years: 1969-1972

            In 1969, President Marcos was reelected for an unprecedented second term because of his impressive performance or, as his critics claimed, because of massive vote-buying and electoral frauds.

            The second term proved to be a daunting challenge to the President: an economic crisis brought by external and internal forces; a restive and radicalized studentry demanding reforms in the educational system; rising tide of criminality and subversion by the re-organized Communist movement; and secessionism in the South.

            Economic Situation - Overspending in the 1969 elections led to higher inflation and the devaluation of the Philippine peso. Further, the decision of the oil-producing Arab countries to cut back oil production, in response to Western military aid to Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict, resulted to higher fuel prices worldwide. In addition, the frequent visits of natural calamities brought havoc to infrastructures and agricultural crops and livestock. The combined external and internal economic forces led to uncontrolled increase in the prices of prime commodities.

            A Restive Studentry – The last years of the 1960s and the first two years of the 1970s witnessed the radicalization of student population. Students in various colleges and universities held massive rallies and demonstrations to express their frustrations and resentments.

            President Marcos, astute as he was, established dialogues with students in various schools to hear their legitimate grievances. The President clearly discerned the reasons of the restiveness of the Studentry:

Many issues have been raised in the student demonstrations. But they can all be summed up in one outcry- and that is, that their schools had dealt with them without compassion, and failed to provide for their needs with human feelings.

Specifically, the students in all campuses are now crying out for these: reduction of tuition fees, greater press reforms or greater press freedom, greater autonomy for student organizations, greater participation of students in the formulation of school policies, and improvement of standards of quality of instruction and of school equipment and facilities.

As I have previously said, the ills that prompted the students to seek these reforms have been accumulating through the years. They are ills which the lack of compassion has bred. In their quick and single-minded drive towards expansion, many school administrators have forgotten the plight of the students who, more often than not, are poor and unable to meet progressively heavier financial burdens imposed on them.

In my dialogue with student leaders, one thing was quite clear: The students want their schools to be institutions of learning, not institution of earning, and I quote a young student leader. In other words, they expect a fair return for the money that they pay in terms of instruction, aids to learning, and greater human dignity.[16]


            In response to the demands of the students, President Marcos created the Youth and Student Affairs Board (as recommended by then Education Secretary Onofre Corpuz) composed of 15 members from different student organizations, [17] ordered the setting up of a Php 3 Million trust fund for student welfare and civic action projects, released Php 5 Million for all state colleges and universities, released Php 5 Million for the unprogrammed budget of the University of the Philippines,[18] and ordered the setting up of scholarships for technological and science high school graduates.

            However the reforms initiated by the President were apparently not enough. “On January 30, 1970, demonstrators numbering about 50,000 students and laborers stormed the Malacañang Palace, burning part of the Medical building, crashing through Gate 4 with a fire truck that had been forcibly commandeered by some laborers and students.[19] President Marcos recalled the incident, a year later, in his speech before a meeting of local executives in Malacañang, excerpts:

            And it turns out now from the reports the New People’s Army agents, these men who will testify in a few days in these public hearing that I have directed to be conducted so that everyone may know what has happened, it turns out now that the attack was premeditated. Do you know what they reported on that attack on January 30, 1970? The intention was to kill the President of the Republic of the Philippines. This was the mission of one of the New People’s Army commanders, who was here in the attack against Malacañang. And who was beside me during this attack? While I was directing the men, telling them not to use their firearms because to use the firearms would be self-defeating, because these were only young people mostly. Who was beside me when I was directing the troops and assessing the situation as to whether it was possible to repulse them. The man was beside me in my command post, because a command post was established, was Secretary Blas Ople, Johnny Ponce Enrile, Ernesto Maceda, these were the men who were beside me when we were fighting for survival here.

            Many of you did not know what happened here but there were serious suggestions that I withdraw from Malacañang, and that I withdraw because Malacañang may become untenable. And I laughed in their faces. I laughed and said: Do you know how many battles I fought in places that were less tenable than Malacañang? Do you know how many times I fought single-handed? And do you know what my assessment of this is? One single soldier who is resolved to fight can drive away this entire crowd in single minute.[20]


            The President drove them alright! “The Metropolitan Command (Metrocom) of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) repulsed them, pushing them towards Mendiola Bridge, where in an exchange of gunfire, hours later, four persons were killed and scores from both sides injured. The crowd was finally dispersed by tear gas grenades. ”[21]

            Violent students protests however did not stop. In October 1970, a series of violence occurred in numerous campuses in the Greater Manila Area: “an explosion of pillboxes in at least two schools. The University of the Philippines was not spared when 18,000 students boycotted their classes to demand academic and non-academic reforms in the State University resulting in the ‘occupation’ of the office of the President of the University by student leaders. Other schools which were scenes of violent student demonstrations were San Sebastian College, University of the East, Letran College, Mapua Institute of Technology, University of Sto. Tomas and Feati University. Student demonstrators even succeeded in “occupying the office of the Secretary of Justice Vicente Abad Santos for at least seven hours.”[22] The President described the brief “communization” of the University of the Philippines and the violent demonstrations of the Left-leaning students as an “act of insurrection[23].”

            The re-emergence of the Communist movement – The re-emergence of the Communist movement and the threats it poised to the Philippine Republic may be best narrated by the Supreme Court in Lansang vs. Garcia on December 11, 1970, excerpts:

            In the language of the Report on Central Luzon, submitted, on September 4, 1971, by the Senate Ad Hoc Committee of Seven – copy of which Report was filed in these cases by the petitioners herein –

            “The years following 1963 saw the successive emergence in the country of several mass organizations, notably the Lapiang Manggagawa (now the Socialist Party of the Philippines) among the workers; the Malayang Samahan ng Magsasaka (MASAKA) among the peasantry; the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) among the youth/students; and the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism (MAN) among the intellectuals/professionals. The PKP has exerted all-out effort to infiltrate, influence, and utilize these organizations in promoting its radical brand of nationalism.

            Meanwhile, the Communist leaders in the Philippines had been split into two (2) groups, one of which- composed mainly of young radicals, constituting the Maoist faction – reorganized the Communist party of the Philippines early in 1969 and established a New People’s Army. This faction adheres to the Maoist concept of the “Protracted People’s War” or “War of National Liberation.”

            In the year 1969, the NPA had – according to the records of the Department of National Defense – conducted raids, resorted to kidnappings and taken part in other violent incidents numbering 230, in which it inflicted 404 casualties, and in turn, suffered 243 loses. In 1970, its record of violent incidents was about the same, but the NPA casualties more than doubled.

            At any rate, two (2) facts are undeniable: (a) all Communists, whether they belong to the traditional group or to the Maoist faction, believe that force and violence are indispensable to the attainment of their main and ultimate objective, and act in accordance with such belief, although they may disagree on the means to be used at a given time and in a particular place; and (b) there is a New People’s Army, other, of course, than the armed forces of the Republic and antagonistic thereto. Such New People’s army is per se proof of the existence of rebellion, especially considering that its establishment was announced publicly by the reorganized CPP. Such announcement is in the nature of a public challenge to the duly constituted authorities and may be likened to a declaration of war, sufficient to establish a war status or a condition of belligerency, even before the actual commencement of hostilities.

            We entertain, therefore, no doubts about the existence of sizeable group of men who have publicly risen in arms to overthrow the government and have thus been and still are engaged in rebellion against the Government of the Philippines.[24]


            The Supreme Court ruling in Lansang vs. Garcia affirmed the basis of President Marcos’ issuance of Proclamation No. 889, which suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, on August 21, 1971 following the Plaza Miranda bombing.

            On January 7, 1972, President Marcos restored the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus throughout the country.[25]

            Not long thereafter, the country was again faced with a massive resurgence of subversive activities which President Marcos described as a conspiracy of the Radical Left (the Communists) and the Radical Right (the oligarchs) to overthrow the Republic:

            …On one hand, the entrenched oligarchy, which controlled Congress, now set itself adamantly against Mr. Marcos’ program of reform. On the other, firebrands from the Manila student movement fanned the endemic Communist insurgency in the peasant regions of Luzon. Soon the President found himself caught between Radical Left and Radical Right.[26]


            Bombings were intensified, targeting public and private properties and residences of prominent personalities to sow terror to the populace, as shown by the following incidents: 1970 – “A bomb exploded at the Joint US Military Advisory Group Headquarters in Quezon City [27] in January, two Catholic schools and two government buildings in Calbayog City were blasted with dynamites in December; 1971- “Oil firms in the city (Manila) were the object of bombings resulting in death to at least two persons and injuries to others.[28]1972 – In January a grenade was hurled at the ABS-CBN tower in Quezon City; a month later the United States (US) Embassy was bombed; in March, pillbox explosives were hurled at the gate of the Malacañang Palace and an explosion resulted in a fire in the Greater Manila Terminal Food Market in Taguig, Rizal, Arca Building and a branch of the Security Bank and Trust Company in España Street were bombed; in April, the US Embassy was again bombed and hand grenades in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur were thrown resulting in 13 casualties; In May, more explosions occurred in the US Embassy; In June a time bomb exploded in the Court of Industrial Relations; In July, the Philamlife Building in Ermita, Manila was bombed; In September a bomb blast in Carriedo Street in Quiapo, Manila resulted in one death and sixty (60) injuries; the Manila City Hall was bombed injuring two telephone operators, and two time bombs exploded in the Quezon City Hall which disrupted the plenary session of the Constitutional Convention (Con Con) and proceedings in a subversive case before the Court of First Instance.

            The spate of bombings and subversive activities led President Marcos to declare that ‘there is throughout the land a state of anarchy and lawlessness, chaos and disorder, turmoil and destruction of a magnitude equivalent to an actual war between the forces of our duly constituted government and the New People’s Army and their satellite organizations…and that public order and safety and security of the nation demand that immediate, swift, decisive and effective action be taken to protect and insure the peace, order and security of the country and its population and to maintain the authority of the government.[29]” On September 21, 1972 President Marcos issued Presidential Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law but it was announced only two days later. In proclaiming martial law, President Marcos assured the public that “the proclamation of martial law is not a military takeover”[30]and that civilian government still functions.

            The President’s proclamation was met with silence and surprise by the people, but their apprehension disappeared when the President explained that his proclamation did not mean a military takeover. In general, the public showed a favorable reaction to martial law. According to Senator Helena Benitez: “Since the President opted to use the extraordinary powers granted him by the Constitution, we must pray with him and work with him and contribute constructively.”

             Likewise, most businessmen supported the martial law declaration. According to Dr. Wigberto Clavecilla, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines: “the martial law order of President Marcos will in the long run benefit Philippine business as a whole because businesses cannot operate in an atmosphere of terror and tension brought about by daily bombing threats if not actual bombing of business and public establishment.”[31] Similarly, Jose Tambunting of the Tambunting Development Corp. said “we had bad fears over it (martial law) and now that we have it, we find that it is not as bad as we felt and feared it to be[32].”


Martial Law and the New Society


  1. Martial Law


            Initial Measures - In his first address to the nation after issuing Proclamation No. 1081, President Marcos said that martial law has two objectives: (1) to save the republic, and (2) to “reform the social, economic and political institutions in our country.”

            In accordance with the two objectives, President Marcos issued general orders and letters of instruction to that effect[33]:

 General Order No. 1 – The President proclaimed that he should govern the nation and direct the operations of the Government, including all its agencies and instrumentalities, as Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the Philippines;


General Order No. 2 – The President directed the Secretary of National Defense to arrest or cause the arrest and take into his custody the individuals named in the attached list and to hold them until otherwise so ordered by the President or by his duly designated representative, as well as to arrest or cause the arrest and take into his custody and to hold them otherwise ordered released by him or by his duly authorized representative such persons who may have committed crimes described in the Order;


General Order No.3 – The President ordered that all executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, government owned or controlled corporations, as well all governments of all the provinces, cities, municipalities and barrios should continue to function under their present officers and employees, until otherwise ordered by the President or by his duly designated representatives. The President further ordered that the Judiciary should continue to function in accordance with its present organization and personnel, and should try and decide in accordance with existing laws all criminal and civil cases, except certain cases enumerated in the Order.[34]


General Order No. 4 – The President ordered that a curfew be maintained and enforced throughout the Philippines from twelve o’ clock midnight until four o’ clock in the morning.


General Order No. 5 – All rallies, demonstrations and other forms of group actions including strikes and picketing in vital industries such as in companies engaged in manufacture or processing as well as in production or processing of essential commodities or products for exports, and in companies engaged in banking of any kind, as well as in hospitals and in schools and colleges are prohibited.


General Order No. 6 – No person shall keep, possess or carry outside of his residence any firearm unless such person is duly authorized to keep, possess or carry any such firearm.


Letter of Instruction No. 1 – The President ordered the Press Secretary and the Secretary of National Defense to take over and control or cause the taking over and control of newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media of communications for the duration of the national emergency


Letter of Instruction No. 2 – The President ordered the Secretary of National Defense to take over the management, control and operation of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (Nawasa), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Philippine Airlines, Air Manila, Filipinas Orient Airways, and other public utilities.


Letter of Instruction No. 3 – The President ordered the Secretary of National Defense to take over the possession, control, operation of all privately owned aircraft and watercraft of whatever make bearing Philippine registry and to keep such under his custody for the duration of national emergency or until otherwise ordered by the President.


Letter of Instruction No. 4 – The President ordered the Secretary of Foreign Affairs not to issue travel papers such as passports and other like documents to any citizens of the Philippines except to those who are being sent abroad in the service of the Philippines.


Letter of Instruction No. 5 – The President ordered the Secretary of Justice and all subordinate officials under him not to issue any police or immigration clearance to any citizen of the Philippines who may wish to depart for other country.


Letter of Instruction No. 6 – The President ordered the Secretary of Finance and all subordinate officials under him not to issue any tax clearance to any citizen of the Philippines who may wish to depart for other country.



            Pursuant to General Order No. 1, the following were arrested and detained, which in the words of Press Secretary Francisco Tatad “ are living in comfortable quarters with all the conveniences of home including radio and television, by the military: Representatives Roque Ablan, Jr.(Ilocos Norte), Rafael Aquino (Sorsogon) and Rolando Puzon; Senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jose W. Diokno and Ramon Mitra; Governors Rolando Puzon (Kalinga-Apayao) and Lino Bocalan (Cavite); former Senator Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo; Con Con delegates Napoleon Rama, Enrique Voltaire Garcia, II, Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Bren Guiao, Alejandro Lichauco, Jose Nolledo, Jose Concepcion, Jr., and Jose Mari Velez; journalists Joaquin ‘Chino” Roces, Maximo Soliven, Teodoro Locsin, Sr., Amando Doronilla,  Renato Constantino,  and Luis Mauricio. Others arrested are as follows: Hernando Abaya, Ang Nay Quang, Luis Beltaran, Jorge Bocobo, IV, Ramon Chramico, Cipriano cid, Chua Giok Su @ Bob Chua, Herminio Caloma, Romeo Dizon, Armando Eufemio, Rolando Fadul, Rolando Feleo, Jose Fuentes @ Joey, Rosalinda Galang @ Roz, Go Eng Guan, Flora Lansang, Teodosio Lansang, Guillermo Ponce de Leon, Joel Rocamora, etc. Most of the arrested were members of the opposition “sympathetic to the rebels or supporting the rebel movement” and members of the communist movement.

            In October 1972 Iloilo City mayor and former senator Rodolfo Ganzon was arrested by the Philippine Constabulary “for going around the city wearing a military uniforms and lording it over the residents and terrorizing city residents in public places,”[35] in violation of General Order No.3. Likewise, Vice Consul Fernando Santos was arrested for suspected gun-running activities.[36]

            As a result of LOI No. 1, all newspapers, television and radio stations and other means of mass media were closed and placed under military control. Some of them were later permitted to reopen but under strict censorship.[37] On September 22, 1972, the President signed Letter of Authority No.1, authorizing the Press Secretary and the Secretary of National Defense to permit the operation of Radio Philippines Network (RPN), Kanlaon Broadcasting System (KBS), and the Daily Express, “it having been established that they have not participated in a conspiracy to seize political and state power in the Philippines and to take over the government by force and violence.”

            Former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos explained the President’s declaration of martial law in the light of the “cultural genesis of the Filipinos,” si Malakas at si Maganda:

            How did he use power? He even proclaimed Martial Law to get more power. Why did he want to get more power? Because the Communists were already there in the doorsteps of Malacañang. They have an ideology that power comes from the barrels of the gun. So he had to proclaim martial law but he used [that] power for peace. Althroughout the martial law [period] he never implemented a death sentence to a Filipino. I said to him “Ferdinand, if you do not believe in the death sentence, throw it away” and he said “Imelda, the art in the use of power, power is not used, it’s only felt. It’s like a gun with one thousand bullets, once you used the gun once, you no longer have one thousand, you only have nine hundred ninety-nine.” He used power for peace – that should be our culture and we can share the world this [concept].[38]


            When asked by Dan Moser of the National Geographic, why he declared martial law and when would it end? President Marcos replied:

There was no alternative if the republic was to continue. In Luzon, Communist-front organizations were staging violent demonstrations. We had a secessionist movement in the south. Things degenerated until our economy came to a stop. The country was in a state of anarchy.

            When I proclaimed martial law, I announced that the purpose was to extirpate the causes of rebellion – the social injustices, the distortion of our democratic elective process.[39]



            On the other hand, “critics claim that Marcos’s real motive in declaring martial law was to perpetuate his personal power, and that he is simply replacing an old feudalistic order with a new one.[40]

b. The New Society

             The specific areas of the new society envisioned by (President) Marcos for reform were identified during the early years of the martial law regime, namely:(1) Peace and order; (2) Land reform; (3) Education reforms; (4) labor reform; (5) Government reorganization; (6) Economic reform; and (7) Social services.

Peace and Order - Martial Law was proclaimed to restore law and order. Immediately, the military broke up more than 149 private armies, crime syndicates were dismantled, more than half a million loose firearms were confiscated, thousands of criminal and lawless elements were either captured and detained or killed in encounters with the combined military-police operatives.[41] Guntoters have practically disappeared from the streets.[42]

            As a result of a step-up drive against criminality, crime indices fell during the first year of martial law. The crime rate in Greater Manila Area, a notorious haven for criminality as described in the issue of Time Magazine on October 21, 1966, leveled off.[43] In fact Manila had one of the lowest index crime rates among the big cities in the world during the martial law period.

            Dan Moser of the National Geographic observed first-hand the changes brought by the martial declaration in the peace and order situation in the country, especially in Manila:

Supporters of the administration often say to foreign visitors, “You see no tanks on the streets, do you?” And indeed there us little visible evidence that the country is squirming under a dictator’s bootheel. Ordinary people I talked with – taxi drivers, fishermen – were delighted with their freedom from harassment by “holduppers” and the torpedoes hired by local politicians. And the economy has returned from near disaster.[44]



            However in the latter years of the martial law period there was a resurgence in the trafficking of narcotics and illegal drugs, smuggling, counterfeiting, gun-running and illegal gambling despite the numerous operations of the combined Constabulary-police operatives.

            In response to the resurgence of criminality, President Marcos pursued the adoption of “total-approach concept” using punitive police action complemented with prevention programs. Barangay tanods were organized in every community to assist the police in preserving law and order. Barangays were required to report to the police and other law-enforcement agencies the presence of criminal elements in their areas, and to conduct surveillance on crime suspects.[45]

            To bolster the drive against criminality, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 765 in 1975 integrating the local police forces, fire services and jail personnel into the Philippine Constabulary. The Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) was headed by a Director-General who was also the Chief of Constabulary, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos.[46] On orders of President Marcos, salaries of policemen were standardized with a 180-pesos monthly allowance, and police equipment and facilities were upgraded and modernized. In 1979 the President created the National Anti-Organized Crime Committee to curb the resurgence of organized or syndicated crimes in the country. President Marcos likewise issued decrees stiffening the penalties on arson, illegal gambling, and fencing.

            The Communist and Secessionist Movements – The mailed fists policy of the Marcos martial rule regime took a heavy toll on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The important leaders of the communist movements were captured, among them were Jose Maria Sison (Chairman), NPA chief Bernabe Buscayno @ Kumander Dante, and the renegade Lt. Col. Victor Corpus. The insurgency movement lost more than 9,000 of its regulars and support elements, two-thirds of whom surrendered to the government.[47]

            On September 23, 1974 the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP), the Marxist-Leninist communist group, surrendered en masse to the government and agreed to support the New Society from “principle to deeds.” The military arm of the PKP, the Bagong Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (the Huks) turned in all weapons and ammunitions.

            Down south, the Armed Forces waged a precarious war against the Muslim secessionist group, the Moro National Liberation Front (led by Nur Misuari, a former political science student of the University of the Philippines). The purpose of the group was to dismember some parts of Mindanao to create a Bangsa Moro state.

            A month after the declaration of martial law, the MNLF launch a massive offensive in Marawi against the government and followed by a brief occupation of Jolo and Cotabato in 1973.

            On May 21, 1976 six Muslim rebels hijacked the Philippine Airlines BAC-111 jetliner and forcibly landed it in Zamboanga. The passengers were taken hostage for three days which resulted to the death of six persons (including the three rebels).

            In response to the secessionist threat, President Marcos increased the budget of the Armed Forces from Php900 million in 1972 to Php6.9 billion in 1976. Likewise, the President issued decrees, orders, and letters of instructions adhering to the cultural, historical, political, economic and religious aspirations of the Muslim people.[48]

            On November 14-16, 1976 Mrs. Imelda Marcos made a historic visit to Libya and successfully secured a commitment from Libyan President Col. Muamar Al Qathafi, top financial supporter of the MNLF, to resolve the Moro problem in Mindanao – the Tripoli Agreement.

            However, President Marcos’ initial success in the drive against the communist movement and secessionism in Mindanao did not last long. In fact, the United States estimated in 1986 that the NPA had 20,000 rebels, supported by a mass base of more than a million. They controlled at least a fifth of 41,400 barangays.

            Land Reform – One of the social ills that bred insurgency and rebellion in the countryside is the exploitation of the poor and landless peasant by their landlords. In response to the worsening insurgency problem, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 2 on September 26, 1972 proclaiming “the whole country as land reform area. [49]” The following month, on October 21, the President issued a handwritten decree (Presidential Decree No. 27) abolishing tenancy and emancipating the tenants from the bondage of the soil by transferring to them the ownership of the land they till, thus:

In as much as the old concept of land ownership have spawned valid and legitimate grievances that gave rise to violent conflict and social tension,

The redress of such legitimate grievances being one of the fundamental objectives of the New Society,

Since reformation must start with the emancipation of the tiller of the soil from his bondage,

Now, Therefore, I, Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and General Order No.1 dated September 22, 1972 as amended, do hereby decree and order, henceforth from this day on October 21st 1972, the emancipation of tenant-farmers in the Philippines.[50] (Emphasis supplied)


            Land reform was one of the centerpiece programs of President Marcos under the New Society. In the end of April 1974, the government had issued more than 250,000 land transfer certificates covering an area of 360,000 hectares worked by 200,000 tenant-farmers.[51] These accomplishments, however, covered only rice or corn lands fifty hectares and above in size.[52] By the end of martial law in 1981, 532,153 tenant-farmers had become owners of rice and corn lands in forty-five (45) provinces.[53]

            To ensure the success of the land reform program, loans were extended to the land beneficiaries and cooperatives were established nationwide. A total of about Php 300 Million in rural credit were extended under a specific project, Masagana 99. Under the Masagana 99, rice production dramatically increased from 4.4 million tons to 5.5 million tons in the first year of the program. By 1978, the Philippines became self-sufficient in rice. In fact, it even began exporting rice. In launching the program, President Marcos said:

            Masagana 99 is a simple project which aims at getting the farmer to produce 99 cavans of rice per hectare instead of the average 30 cavans per hectare before martial law. Through the application of technology, know-how and system, we are in position to raise our harvest levels in rice farming. It is a program that is aimed directly at meeting the coming rice shortage in the short run, and realizing self-sufficiency in the long run…

            … It will cover 600,000 hectares – 500,000 hectares of irrigated land and 100,000 hectares of rain-fed land. Included in the program are 43 provinces, some of them with very sketchy irrigation systems, especially provinces like Ilocos Norte.

            But this is not a question of area. Masagana 99 is a technological approach to rice production. It is the product of research and agricultural extension programs…[54]


            Despite the success of the program some members of the opposition, notably Rigoberto Tiglao, criticized it as a “classic example of capitalist project” to exploit the farmers. According to him:

            There was a shift from extraction of landlord rent on the basis of land ownership: profits by traders who sold the fertilizers and pesticides assumed a major role in the extraction of surplus value. Even small landowning peasants were drawn in the orbit of commercial exploitation owing to the increasing requirements for inputs. The country’s rice agricultural sector may have been freed from its dependence on nature but it fell within what was perhaps the more volatile influence of the international market economy. The fertilizers and pesticides were petroleum-based: when the second oil price shock came in 1979, the government could no longer subsidize through low interest rates the purchase of these inputs. The result was massive impoverishment of peasant.[55]


            Interestingly, the present administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, of which Rigoberto Tiglao is the Chief of the Presidential Management Staff and former Presidential Spokesman, launched the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program to boost rice production. The GMA program is similar, if not an exact duplicate of the Masagana 99 of President Marcos, since it also calls for the planting of rice varieties that requires huge amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.

            Educational Reforms – According to President Marcos, “true progress is not and should not be confined to the satisfaction of the material needs of man. It must extend to the development of his mind as well as the fulfillment of his spirit. It must fill him with knowledge and wisdom and it must enrich the quality of human life.[56]” Cognizant of the important role of education toward the goal of the New Society, President Marcos vowed that his administration “shall educate our children, our men and women, and ourselves.[57]

            In accordance with the educational reform program of the New Society, President Marcos issued the Education Development Decree of 1972 (Presidential Decree 6-A) “which defines a more responsive role for the education system.”[58] The decree provided a  Ten Year Education Development Program (1973-1982) which included: “the establishment of science education system, accelerated manpower skills training to respond to regional industrial needs; a regional agricultural education programs; emphasis on work-oriented programs; a policy of bilingualism; the National College Entrance Examination which classifies students by profession or vocation; and a “Study Now, Pay Later” plan which is intended to help poor but deserving students.[59]

            Pursuant to the Ten Year Educational Program, curriculum were revised in “almost all levels of the school system in order to improve content and effectiveness of instruction as well as to conform to new educational goals more directly related to national development goals,[60] a Youth Civic Action Program was introduced to enjoin students in community and development projects, teachers were provided advance education and training, a bilingual system of instruction (Pilipino and English) was introduced in 1974, and a National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) was instituted in 1974.

            In 1976 the President issued Presidential Decree No. 932 or the Educational Assistance Act providing loans to poor but deserving students. In its two years of operation, it enabled 3,636 students to pursue higher education with a funding of Php 14.9 million.[61]

            Students, especially elementary pupils, were inculcated with the goals and the changes brought by the New Society. Here is a good example of a Grade-5 Civics and Culture textbook exhorting young students to support the aims of the New Society:           

Ang mga pamilya sa isang pook na maliit ay halos magkakatulad ng pamumuhay. May kani-kaniyang tungkulin ang bawa’t kasapi sa pamilya mula sa ama at ina kasama pati ang mga anak.

Isang halimbawa ay ang pamilya ni Nestor. Siya ay nag-aaral sa ikalimang grado. Naninirahan siya sa isang pook, Kasama niya ang kaniyang mga magulang at isang kapatid na batang babae.

Tuwing umaga pumapasok si Nestor sa paaralang bayan, Pagkatapos niyang kumain ng agahan kinukuha na niya ang kaniyang mga aklat. Pagkatapos magpaalam sa kanyang mga magulang, tumutungo na siya sa paaralang pinapasukan sa bayan, Ngunit ang kanyang kapatid na babae, si Catalina, ay hindi niya kasama dahil sa ito’y sa mababang paaralan sa kanilang pook nag-aaral.

Upang makarating si Nestor sa kaniyang paaralan, siya ay naglalakad lamang kahit may kalayuan iyon sa kanilang bahay. Pagdating niya sa bagtasan ng daang papunta sa kaniyang paaralan, lagi niyang natatagpuan ang kaibigan niyang pulis na si G. Cruz na namamahala ng trapiko sa kanto ng daan.

Samantalang naghihintay si Nestor na makatawid, napupuna niya ang mahusay na pag-aayos ng trapiko. Pagsenyas ng pulis na si G. Cruz, hinto agad ang mga sasakyan pati ang mga taong tumatawid.

Naiisip ni Nestor, “Kailangan talaga ang tuntunin sa trapiko, at lalong kailangan ang mahigpit na pagsunod sa mga tuntuning ito. Kung hindi ay maraming masasaktan sa malimit na banggaan ng matutuling sasakyan.”

Samantalang nasa paaralan siya, sumaisip niya na kahit sa paaralan ay may mga tuntunin ding dapat sundin ng bawat mag-aaral at pati ng mga guro. Isa na riyan ang tungkulin mag-aral ng liksiyon ang bata bago pumasok sa kanilang klase.

Pagkatapos ng klase, si Nestor ay naglalakad na pauwi. Iniisip niyang kailangang sumunod sa mga tuntunin, hindi lamang sa trapiko kundi pati sa tahanan, sa paaralan at sa mga pook sa baryo. Lahat ng iyon ay ipinag-uutos ng pamahalaan sa Bagong Lipunan..[62](emphasis supplied)


            The preceding excerpt of a grade 5 textbook inculcated to the young students the slogan of the New Society movement – “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” It emphasized that discipline means law and order and a maturing democracy. Hence, economic and social development.

            In 1985, President Marcos implemented the National Service Law (Presidential Decree No. 1706, dated 8 August 1980). It provided for the training of students not only for military service but also for civic welfare and law enforcement under the direction of the Ministry of National Defense. Although students could opt for any of the three programs – civic welfare, law enforcement, military service – only the latter was implemented and made compulsory for all senior high school students and at the college level, all male freshmen and sophomores.[63] Maria Serena Diokno, daughter of civil rights activist and former Senator Jose W. Diokno, described the law as a militarization of Philippine education.[64]

            Labor Reforms – President Marcos declared on the first Labor Day under martial law that “ the struggle for development and growth, the establishment of a new society, the restructuring of our economic, social and political institutions – all of these are for one purpose alone, the upliftment of the Filipino common man.[65]

            In accordance with the objectives of the New Society respecting labor, President Marcos issued numerous decrees to that effect: Presidential Decree No. 21, providing for the speedy and just settlements of labor disputes through the National Labor Relations Commission; Presidential Decree 99, establishing minimum wages for household helpers; Presidential Decree No. 143, repealing the Blue Sunday Law and providing a mandatory rest for every worker once a week; Presidential Decree No. 148, eliminating the discriminatory and anti-employment provisions of the Woman and Child Labor Law; and Presidential Decree No. 197, providing a more effective adequate apprenticeship program.

            In May 1, 1974 the President signed into law Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. The said law was drafted by the Labor-Management Congress, composed of members of the labor sector, with some revisions by the President and the Secretary of Labor, Blas Ople. The Labor Code made labor laws more concise, simpler and, in the words of President Marcos, “more development-oriented and more employment-oriented.” The Code aimed to “afford protection to labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed, and regulate the relations between worker and employers.[66] Further, the Code assured “ the rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just humane conditions of work.[67]

            The Code was amended by Presidential Decree No. 823 “to encourage and fortify” the right of the workers “to self –organization and to free collective bargaining.” On May 1, 1976, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No.928 increasing across-the-board the minimum wage from Php 8.00 to 10.00 a day in Metro Manila, and Php 9.00 a day for outside Metro Manila. Likewise minimum wage for agriculture workers ranged from Php 6.00 – 7.00, subject to regional adjustments. Further, an emergency allowance is guaranteed for employees receiving less than Php 6.00. A 13th month pay was also guaranteed. President Marcos established the Medicare to secure the health and welfare of workers and their dependents.

 In response to unemployment, the Department of Labor set up regional skills training centers “to facilitate the matching of skills with jobs, provide employment counseling and gather labor market information.[68]” 

            With the rapid growth of the economy and the various social legislations issued by President Marcos, labor conditions relatively improved during the martial law period.

 Government Clean-up and Reorganization- On September 24, 1972, the day after Martial law was announced, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No.1 adopting the Integrated Reorganization Plan. The plan aimed to weed out corrupt officials of the government. As a result, 6,655 employees were dismissed or forced to retire from government service during the first year of martial law. The most affected agencies were the corrupt-ridden Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs.

            The President’s crackdown on corruption was not limited to “small fry” employees only  but included high-ranking officials as well. For instance, on September 26, 1972, President Marcos terminated the services of Commissioners Jose Evangelista and Associate Commissioners Filemon Kintanar, Gregorio Panganiban, Josue Cadiao, and Paz Veto Planas of the Public Service Commission, which was abolished by PD No. 1; dismissed Justiniano N. Montano, Jr. as chairman of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) on various charges[69]; accepted the resignation of Alfredo Lozano as member of the GAB; removed Wenceslao l. Cornejo as city judge of Manila for (a) willful violation of the Constitution and the Rules of Court and (2) intervention in the disposition of a case in another branch of the City Court of Manila; and removed Enrique A. Cube as assistant city fiscal of Pasay City for gross misconduct and dereliction of duty.

            From September 29 to October 5,1972 the President issued Letters of Instruction in relation to government re-organization and clean-up, to wit:

Letter of Instruction No. 11 - directing all officers of the national government to submit their resignations through their department heads “to make the government machinery more responsive to the needs of the people and effect economy.”


Letter of Instruction No.12 – the President directed the Secretary of Finance to dismiss all officials and employees of the department (including those in the BIR and Customs) as recommended by the Secretary.


Letter of Instruction No.13 – The President directed all heads of departments and government agencies and offices to require all officials and employees in their department, office or agency who are facing charges or notoriously undesirable to tender their resignations immediately or else face charges and immediate suspension.


Letter of Instruction No. 17-A, dated October 1, 1972 – The President directed the Secretary of Social Welfare and the sub-ordinate directors to dismiss or to require resigning certain officials and employees of the department as recommended by the Secretary.


Letter of Instruction No. 20, dated October 2, 1972 – The President directed the Secretary of Public Works and Communications to dismiss immediately or to consider as resigned or to suspend for one year all officials and employees as recommended by the Secretary


Letter of Instruction No.21, dated October 4, 1972 – The President directed the Secretary of Education to dismiss or to consider as resigned or retired certain officials of the Department as recommended by the Secretary.

            The immediate effect of the crackdown against corrupt government officials and employees was the improvement of revenue collections and renewed public trust and confidence in public servants. Further, the President’s popularity was enhanced.

To facilitate efficient, effective and responsive services to the public, new executive departments were created starting with the Department of Public Information[70] and the Department of Local Government. Later, it was followed by the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Furthermore, the plan also called for the creation of an economic planning agency – the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

            However, by the end of his 20-year rule, all the initial gains and successes of his reform programs in the bureaucracy were all but forgotten. The President suffered the same fate as those officials and employees he ordered to be dismissed. He was ungracefully removed from office on various allegations of corruption, nepotism and for “plundering” the economy.

            Barangay Democracy – On December 31, 1972 President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 86 creating citizen assemblies in each barrio (or barangay) in municipalities and cities “to broaden the base of citizen participation in the democratic process and to afford ample opportunities to express their views on important national issues.” Later Presidential Decree No. 557 amended the Barrio Charter and changed the barrio into the barangay as the basic political unit. According to Mrs. Marcos:

            The institution that President Marcos founded in this country was not anchored on the institution of democracy like America. Marcos anchored it on natural law, God’s fundamental law. Our democracy, perhaps the only democracy in the world anchored on natural law. The smallest unit of society is the family, and the extended family is the barangay> In our culture when we were only 51 million, we identified 42,000 barangays. Each barangay has two sets of leaders, the older and the youth. When we were only 51 million, we had 3 million elected officials. In America they don’t even have half a million and there are hundred of millions of people. That is our democracy, none like that.[71]


            The barangay as a basic political unit, became a forum for the discussion of national issues and an effective tool for Marcos to project to the world that democracy still existed in the Philippines under martial law.

            Later, President Marcos established legislative councils in the provinces (Sangguniang Panlalawigan in lieu of Kapulungang Panlalawigan), cities (Sangguniang Panlungsod in lieu of hunta municipal) and municipalities (Sangguniang Pambayan). In Metro Manila, the President created the Metro Manila Commission with the First Lady as its governor.

            The President divided the country into thirteen regions with Metropolitan Manila[72] as the National Capital Region

Economic Development – At present, one often hears from those who lived during the martial law period: “Mabuti pa noong panahon ni Marcos” (life is better during the time of Marcos). With rapid economic growth and lower prices of commodities during the early years of martial rule, no wonder several people these days are nostalgic of the good old days.

            The economic performance of the country during the martial law period was remarkable, from a near economic collapse in 1972 to a rapid economic growth from 1973 until the lifting of martial rule in 1981. In 1973, the Gross National Product grew at the rate of 9.3 percent. From 1973- 1979, the country’s GNP grew at an average of 6 per cent annually. The economic resiliency of the country was spurred by renewed optimism and business confidence in the government.

            Employment increased by about 5 percent annually from 1972-1977[73] while unemployment fell to an average of 4 percent from 1973 –1980. The fall of unemployment rate was brought by the influx of foreign investments and the deployment of skilled and unskilled workers abroad, known then as OCW’s (Overseas Contract Workers).

            President Marcos prioritized industrialization in his economic development program. The industrialization program of the regime was geared on expansion of the cement industry, electronics industry, textile, petro-chemical, heavy engineering and integrated skills, coconut industry rationalization and even shipbuilding.

            In 1972, the domestic electronic industry produced 20,073 radio-phonographs worth 30 million pesos and 58,212 television sets worth 70 million pesos. The fledging textile industry was strengthened with the infusion of $120 million by the government through machineries and technical support. The local cottage industry which includes bag-making, hat-making, patis-making (fish sauce-making), and others were promoted by the government. In fact, the government set up trade centers to promote locally-made products abroad. Aside from that, the government also provided financial (through the Asian Development Bank, SSS, and other financial institutions) and technical assistance (through NACIDA) to foster the local cottage industry.

            The local shoe industry also boomed during this period. No wonder many local shoemakers were grateful to former First Lady Imelda Marcos, one of their avid patrons. There were approximately 700 “shoe factories” in the country employing 50,000 workers. In 1976 the country exported four million pairs of shoes worth $ 6 million dollars to the United States, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia.

Table 1

GNP Growth Rate



Annual Rate of Growth











Source: National Economic and Development Authority as cited by Cristobal Pagoso, Progress and Development, (Manila: Rex Bookstore, 1984), p. 70


Table No. 2

Six Key Industries of the Philippines

Pre-War (1920-1940)

Post-War (1946-1970)















Centrifugal Sugar


Copper/iron concentrates


Miscellaneous manufactures

Source: J.P. Estanislao & Vaugh F. Montes, Philippine Economic Structure From the 20’s to the 70’s (Manila: SinagTala Publishers, Inc., 1975), pp.24-28 as cited by Cristobal Pagoso, Progress and Development, (Manila: Rex Bookstore, 1984), p.69


            On May 11, 1973, President Marcos created the Department of Tourism to intensify the tourism industry in the country. This industry did not only generate employment but earned foreign exchange for the country from tourist receipts. World-class hotels, convention and cultural centers and tourist amenities were constructed. Public beaches, resorts, gardens and parks, golf courses were developed. Historical and cultural sites were, likewise, preserved. With all these plus, the world-renowned Filipino hospitality, tourism became the fourth largest dollar-earning industry in the country. In fact, in 1980 tourist arrivals reached more than one million which generated an approximately $450 Million of tourist receipts.

            Filipinos living abroad were lured by the Department to visit the country to see for themselves the changes and improvements made under the New Society. Many were attracted to return because of the privileges and benefits accorded to them under the Balikbayan program.

            Despite the positive macroeconomic fundamentals of the Philippines during the New Society, mass poverty remained to be the problem, especially in the slum areas of Manila (the infamous Smokey Mountain of Tondo) and other urban areas of the country, due to unequal distribution of wealth. The poor became poorer and the rich became richer.

            The lopsided distribution of wealth in addition to exposes in the early 80s of the alleged unexplained wealth of the Marcoses and their “cronies” led to the demise of the Marcos regime and the New Society in 1986.

Infrastructure – To facilitate better transportation and delivery of goods and to encourage foreign investment, President Marcos embarked on a massive infrastructure project in history. On September 26, 1972, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 3[74] appropriating funds for public works involving rehabilitation and capital development.

The following sum were appropriated for rehabilitation of: (a) school buildings, Php 50 million; (b) highways, Php 331 million; (c) flood control and drainage, Php 14 million; (d) Php 75 million. On the other hand, the following sum were appropriated for capital development projects, such as: (a) school buildings, Php 90 million; (b) highways, Php 2,550,500,000; (c) national railways, Php 40,500,000; (d) water supply and sewerage, Php 504,000,000; (e) flood control and drainage, Php 500 million; (f) irrigation, Php 200 million; (g) airports, Php 500 million; (h) portworks and maritime navigation, Php 274 million; (i) telecommunications, Php 195 million; and (j) preliminary studies, Php 50 million.

During the martial law period, the Pan Philippine Highway was constructed connecting Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through land and sea transport. The San Juanico Bridge, one of the longest bridges in Asia was built linking Samar and Leyte.

The massive infrastructure project of the martial law regime had a profound effect on the economy: it provided jobs and boosted domestic trade.

Social Services – The Marcos administration extended social services available to the people, especially the poor and rural folks. The social welfare program aimed at making them self-reliant and productive. According to Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, “social services must lead the poor to a life of self-reliance and not to a lifetime of begging.”

            Health and Nutrition - Before martial law, the Philippines’ health service was inadequate and unsatisfactory, the rapid population growth was unchecked, and housing was a serious problem.

            In response to the inadequate health service in the country, the martial law regime restructured the health-care delivery system. The government renovated 2,135 of the 3,172-barangay health centers and made them more functional.[75] A total of 1,707 additional rural health centers were  established throughout the country. Fifty (50) mobile hospitals and eighty (80) community hospitals and health centers were made available. Further, four (4) regional hospitals and seventy-three (73) emergency hospitals were built by 1979.

            In Manila, the government constructed highly specialized hospitals, namely: The Philippine Heart Center; Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney Center Institute; and the National Mental Hospital.

            To make health services more accessible to the rural masses, medical and nursing graduates were mobilized in the countryside under the Rural Health Practice Program. Barangay residents were trained in first aid and health care to provide immediate assistance in remote areas.

            In 1978 the government extended Medicare to almost the entire population.[76]

            To eradicate the serious problem of malnutrition, the government set up nutri-pak plants and processing centers throughout the country.

            The government implemented the Philippine Nutrition Program, which included “food assistance to families with malnourished children, health protection, food production, family planning and nutrition information and education.”[77]

            Day-care centers were “established to stave off malnutrition and ensure the adequate and normal development of preschool children from sub marginal-income families. These centers provide creative group activities and supplementary feeding for children, nutritional education, and family-planning motivation and information for mothers. [78]

            Family Planning – With a population of 45 million increasing at an annual rate of 2.9 (the highest in Asia), President Marcos vigorously pursued its family-planning program nationwide despite the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church. The program offered a variety of birth-control methods in consonance with the policy to make available to the people the right to select the methods that suit them well.[79]

            Housing and Human Settlements – The human settlement program of the Marcos administration aimed to “liberate human communities from blight, congestion, and hazard and to promote their development and modernization.[80] Many squatter families from Metro Manila were relocated to major resettlement sites in Carmona, Cavite and in Sapang Palay (San Jose del Monte, Bulacan).

            In the financing of private housing, government lending institutions contributed substantially through the extension of individual residential loans and participation in mass-housing projects.[81] From 1973-1979, the government financed a total of 58,623 houses with total disbursements of Php 1.5 billion.

            Bagong Lipunan Sites and Services (BLISS) communities were established in several areas in Metro Manila through the initiative of First Lady Imelda Marcos, whom President Marcos appointed as Governor of Metro Manila and Minister of Human Settlements. The BLISS project was inaugurated in 1979 to improve the living conditions of low-income workers by providing them the “11 basic needs.[82]

            The first three BLISS projects were in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Paco; Barangay Sta. Rita, Makati and Barangay Tadlak in Los Baños, Laguna. The project revolutionized the government’s housing policy from a single unit to a condominium-apartment concept in order to accommodate more families in a limited space.


  1. Constitutional Authoritarianism

The 1973 Constitution – On March 16, 1967, the Philippine Congress passed Resolution No. 2 calling for a Constitutional Convention to change the Constitution. Election of the delegates to the Convention were held on November 20, 1970 pursuant to Republic Act No. 6132, otherwise known as the “1970 Constitutional Convention Act.”

The Constitutional Convention formally began on June 1, 1971. Former President Carlos P. Garcia, a delegate from Bohol, was elected President. Unfortunately he died on June 14, 1971 and was succeeded by another former President, Diosadado Macapagal of Pampanga.

Before the Convention could finish its work, martial law was proclaimed. Several delegates were placed under detention and others went into hiding or voluntary exile. The martial law declaration affected the final outcome of the convention. In fact, it was said, that the President dictated some provisions of the Constitution.[83] On November 29, 1972, the Convention approved its Proposed Constitution of the Philippines.

On November 30, 1972, the President issued Presidential Decree No.73 setting the date of the plebiscite on January 15, 1973 for the ratification or rejection of the proposed Constitution. On January 7, 1973, however, the President issued General Order No. 20 postponing indefinitely the plebiscite scheduled on January 15.

Suprisingly, on January 17, 1973 the President issued Proclamation No. 1102 announcing that the proposed Constitution had been ratified by an overwhelming vote of the members of the Citizen Assemblies, organized by Marcos himself through Presidential Decree No. 86.[84]

Various legal petitions were filed with the Supreme Court assailing the validity of the ratification of the 1973 Constitution. On March 30, 1973, a divided Supreme Court ruled in Javellana vs. Executive Secretary (6 SCRA 1048) that “there is no further obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect.”

The 1973 Constitution would have established in the Philippines a parliamentary government, with the President as a ceremonial head of state and a Prime Minister as the head of government. This was not implemented as a result of the referendum-plebiscite held on January 10-15, 1972 through the Citizen Assemblies whereby an overwhelming majority rejected the convening of a National Assembly. From 1972 until the convening of the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978, the President exercised absolute legislative powers.

On October 16-17, 1976 majority of barangay voters (Citizen Assemblies) approved that martial law should be continued and ratified the amendments to the Constitution, proposed by President Marcos.[85]

The 1976 Amendments were: an Interim Batasang Pambansa (IBP) substituting for the Interim National Assembly, the President would also become the Prime Minister and he would continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law should have been lifted. The Sixth Amendment authorized the President to legislate:

Whenever in the judgment of the President there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the Interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the necessary decrees, orders or letters of instructions, which shall form part of the law of the land.


The Batasang Bayan and the IBP - The Interim Batasang Pambansa was not immediately convened. Instead, President Marcos created the Batasang Bayan through Presidential Decree No. 995. The Batasang Bayan is a 132-member council that advised the President on important legislature measures.

On April 7, 1978, the first national election under martial law was held. The election for 165- members of the Interim Batasang Pambansa resulted to the massive victory of the administration coalition party, the “Kilusang Bagong Lipunan ng Nagkakaisang Nacionalista, Liberal, at iba pa[86]” or KBL. First Lady Imelda Marcos, KBL Chairman for NCR, won the highest number of votes in Metro Manila. Only 15 opposition candidates in other parts of the country won.

On June 12, 1978 the Interim Batasang Pambansa was convened with Ferdinand E. Marcos as President-Prime Minister and Querube Makalintal as Speaker.

The 1980 and 1981 Amendments[87] – The 1973 Constitution was further amended in 1980 and 1981. In the 1980 Amendment, the retirement age of the members of the Judiciary was extended to 70 years. In the 1981 Amendments, the parliamentary system was modified: executive power was restored to the President; direct election of the President was restored; an Executive Committee composed of the Prime Minister and not more than fourteen members was created to “assist the President in the exercise of his powers and functions and in the performance of his duties as he may prescribe;” and the Prime Minister was a mere head of the Cabinet. Further, the amendments instituted electoral reforms and provided that a natural born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his citizenship may be a transferee of private land for use by him as his residence.

The 1984 Amendments – The Constitution was further amended. It abolished the Executive Committee, restored the office of the Vice President, provided for the election of members of the Batasang Pambansa by province instead of by regions, provided that the agrarian reform program included the grant on distribution of alienable lands of the public domain to qualified tenants farmers and other landless citizens, and the state was tasked to take urban land reform and social housing programs.

The 1973 Constitution, as amended legalized and further consolidated the extraordinary powers, including legislative and constituent powers and even judicial powers, of the President. According to a respected constitutionalist, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, “‘constitutional authoritarianism’ as understood and practiced in the New Society…is authorized by the letter or at least by the spirit of a legitimately enacted Constitution.”[88]

The Fourth Republic, 1981-86

The end of martial law and the 1981 Presidential Elections - After putting in force amendments to the Constitution and legislations securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan under his control, President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981.

            On June 16, 1981, six months after the lifting of martial law, the first presidential election in twelve years was held. As to be expected, President Marcos run and won a massive victory over the other candidates – Alejo Santos of the Nacionalista Party and Cebu Assemblyman Bartolome Cabangbang of the Federal Party. The major opposition parties, Unido (United Democratic Opposition, a coalition of opposition parties, headed by Salvador Laurel) and Laban, boycotted the elections.

            Unido alleged that Marcos failed to meet the “minimum and reasonable requirements” to ensure honest, orderly and clean elections. Marcos countered the allegations in an interview:

            We granted most of their conditions. They demanded 120 days for campaigning. This is not allowed by our Constitution, which allows anywhere from 45-60 days. It would be preposterous to violate our own Constitution.

            Secondly. They wanted a review of voter’s lists. We gave them this by authorizing a meeting of the voting committee before the election and prohibiting the registration of voters ten days before the election, so there can be no padding. This gives sufficient time to exclude non-resident or unqualified voters.

            So we have kept our part of the bargain. But apparently they also received the independent survey report that their strongest candidate would get only 12% of the vote and that in some places they’d get 6% to 8%. I would get anywhere from 57% to 78%. This disorganized and demoralized the entire Opposition.[89]

            In an almost one-sided election, President Marcos won an overwhelming 80% of the votes, the highest in Philippine electoral history. The Nacionalista candidate Alejo Santos won more than 10% of the votes.

            On June 30, 1981, President Marcos was inaugurated in grandiose ceremonies and proclaimed the “birth of a new Republic.” The new Republic lasted only for less than five years. Economic and political crises led to its demise.

            State of Economy – After seven years of rapid economic growth, the Philippine economy began to slow down in 1979 and it continued in the early years of the 1980s. In 1979 the GNP growth slowed to 5.4%, in 1980 it was 4.9% and in 1981 the economy grew only by 2.3%. The economic slowdown from 1979 – 1983 were attributed to external forces such as (a) weak export demands; (b) unfavorable trade deficits; (c) recessionary pressures brought by the worldwide oil crisis; and (d) the fall on world prices of our traditional export crops – sugar and copra. Moreover, financial scandals and bank closure, such as the closure of Banco Filipino, also dampened the economy.

            The 1983 assassination of former Senator Ninoy Aquino and the political crisis it brought further devastated the economy. The GNP fell to negative 7.1% in 1984 and negative 4.1% in 1985. According to economist Bernardo Villegas: “Crony capitalism and dictatorship led to the destruction of the economy and society. ”[90]

            The Philippine National Bank and other financial institutions were almost bankrupt with billions of behest loans it extended to alleged Marcos “cronies.” Several banks were forced to close, such as Banco Filipino.

            The Philippines foreign debt ballooned to $27 Billion in 1983 from $600 Million in 1965. From 1983 until 1985 the country failed to make principal payments for its debts.

            According to President Aquino’s Finance Secretary Jaime Ongpin: “This is the worst economic disaster to hit this country since World War II. ”[91]

            Poverty was widespread. Arthur Zich and Steve McCurry described in the National Geographic the sad condition of the country:

            Leveriza is one of Manila’s densest most dispiriting slums. Here 25,000 people live on one-fifth of a square mile with communal water faucets, only occasional electricity, and no public sanitation whatever. Here I met Nita, a husky, forthright mother of ten- five of them married with five more children of their own. Nita’s whole family, 24 strong, lives together in a one-room hut. Her husband works as a janitor for 700 pesos ($35) a month and is grateful for the work: Unemployment in Manila runs more than 20 percent. Breakfast that morning, Nita said, had been coffee and a thumb-size piece of bread Lunch was sugared rice with the cold leftover coffee. And supper would be one three-peso bag of vegetables split 24 ways. “Things were better a couple months ago,” Nita said apologetically. “My son had a job.” What happened? I asked. “He got stabbed to death,” Nita explained. [92]


            The Aquino Assasination – After seven years of detention, President Marcos allowed former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. to leave the country for a coronary by-pass operation in the United States. Aquino agreed to the President’s request that he would not make any statements criticizing the Marcos regime. Before he left, Aquino told the First Lady: “I would like to express my profoundest gratitude for your concern …In the past, I’ve been most critical of the First Lady’s project… I take back all my harsh words – hoping I do not choke.”

            However, Aquino broke his promise and called on President Marcos to return the Philippines to democracy and end martial rule. He urged reconciliation between the government and opposition.

After three years of exile in the United States, Aquino decided to return. The First Lady tried to dissuade him but in vain.

            On August 21, 1983, former Senator Aquino returned to the Philippines. He was shot dead at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport while in the custody of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM). The assassination stunned the whole nation, if not, the whole world.

            In a mass show of sympathy and awe, about two million people attended the funeral of the late senator from Sto. Domingo Church to Manila Memorial Park.

            Meanwhile, President Marcos immediately created a fact-finding commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, to investigate the Aquino assassination. However, the commission lasted only in two sittings due to intense public criticism. President Marcos issued on October 14, 1983, Presidential Decree No. 1886 creating an independent board of inquiry.[93] The board was composed of former Court of Appeals Justice Ma. Corazon J. Agrava as chairman, Amando Dizon, Luciano Salazar, Dante Santos and Ernesto Herrera.

            The Agrava Fact-Finding Board convened on November 3, 1983. But, before it could start its work. President Marcos charged the communists for the killing of Senator Aquino: “The decision to eliminate the former Senator, Marcos claimed, was made by none other than the general-secretary of the Philippine Communist Party, Rodolfo Salas. He was referring to his earlier claim that Aquino had befriended and subsequently betrayed his communist comrades.”[94]
            The Agrava Board conducted public hearings, and invited several persons who might shed light on the crimes, including AFP Chief of Staff Fabian Ver and First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.

            After a year of thorough investigation – with 20,000 pages of testimony given by 193 witnesses, the Agrava Board submitted two reports to President Marcos  – the Majority and Minority Reports. The Minority Report, submitted by Chairman Agrava alone, was submitted on October 23, 1984. It confirmed that the Aquino assassination was a military conspiracy but it cleared Gen. Ver. Many believed that President Marcos intimidated and pressured the members of the Board to persuade them not to indict Ver, Marcos’ first cousin and most trusted general. Excluding Chairman Agrava, the majority of the board submitted a separate report – the Majority Report – indicting several members of the Armed Forces including AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Fabian Ver, Gen. Luther Custodio and Gen. Prospero Olivas, head of AVSECOM.

            Later, the 25 military personnel, including several generals and colonels, and one civilian were charged for the murder of Senator Aquino. President Marcos relieved Ver as AFP Chief and appointed his second-cousin, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos as acting AFP Chief. After a brief trial, the Sandiganbayan acquitted all the accused on December 2, 1985. Immediately after the decision, Marcos re-instated Ver. The Sandiganbayan ruling and the re-instatement of Ver were denounced by several sectors as a “mockery” of justice.

            The Impeachment Complaint – On August 13, 1985, fifty-six Assemblymen signed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Marcos for graft and corruption, culpable violation of the Constitution, gross violation of his oath of office and other high crimes.

            They cited the San Jose Mercury News exposé of the Marcoses’ multi-million dollar investment and property holdings in the United States. The properties allegedly amassed by the First Family were the Crown Building, Lindenmere Estate, and a number of residential apartments (in New Jersey and New York), a shopping center in New York, mansions (in London, Rome and Honolulu), the Helen Knudsen Estate in Hawaii and three condominiums in San Francisco, California.

            The Assemblymen also included in the complaint the misuse and misapplication of funds “for the construction of the Film Center, where X-rated and pornographic films are exhibited, contrary to public morals and Filipino customs and traditions.”[95]

            The following day, the Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Good Government dismissed the impeachment complain for being insufficient in form and substance:

            The resolution is no more than a hodge-podge of unsupported conclusions, distortion of law, exacerbated by ultra partisan considerations. It does not allege ultimate facts constituting an impeachable offense under the Constitution.


            In sum, the Committee finds that the complaint is not sufficient in form and substance to warrant its further consideration. It is not sufficient in form because the verification made by the affiants that the allegations in the resolution “are true and correct of our own knowledge” is transparently false. It taxes the ken of men to believe that the affiants individually could swear to the truth of allegations, relative to the transactions that allegedly transpired in foreign countries given the barrier of geography and the restrictions of their laws. More important, the resolution cannot be sufficient in substance because its careful assay shows that it is a mere charade of conclusions.[96]


The 1986 Snap Elections – The growing strength of the communist movement, estimated by the US to be 16,000-20,000 strong, and the threat it posed to American interests in the country, and the worsening economic and political situation of the country forced President Marcos to call for a snap presidential elections.[97]The election was set on January 17, 1986 but was later moved to February 7, 1986.[98]

        Initially the announcement was met with stiff opposition from some members of the administration party (KBL) and the opposition. Manila Assemblyman Arturo Tolentino, Marcos’ would-be running-mate, said “neither President Marcos nor the Batasang Pambansa by law can validly shorten the President’s constitutional six-year term”[99]unless he resigns.
            Opposition Quezon City Assemblyman Alberto Romulo concurred with Tolentino and said “President Marcos automatically ceases to be president if he runs for the same office, in which situation he is required to resign first…

            On November 11, 1985 President Marcos tendered his conditional resignation to the Batasan: “I hereby irrevocably vacate the position of President effective only when the election is held and after the winner is proclaimed and qualified as President by taking his oath of office ten days (10) after his proclamation.”

            Many questioned the “conditional resignation” of President Marcos but the Supreme Court upheld its validity.

            In December, 1986 Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino accepted the request of her supporters to run against President Marcos. Former Senator Salvador Laurel, who at first declared his intention to run for the presidency, was persuaded to be Mrs. Aquino’s running-mate.

            Mrs. Aquino was a formidable foe. She had the support of the Catholic Church and most of the businessmen. She was leading in voters-rich areas of Metropolitan Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Davao, Baguio, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region and Western Visayas. However, Marcos controlled the “Solid North” and several provinces of Visayas and Mindanao.

In his campaign sorties, Pres. Marcos would usually boast of his experience and capability to run the government. He said that a President must possess the proper training drawn from the past and present generations so that he could lead the people with wisdom, lucidity, and creative mind. The President charged Mrs. Aquino of inexperience and of being a communist sympathizer: “Inexperience can lead to national disintegration…there is simply no way to craw for the presidency.[101] In a political sortie in Caloocan City, he ridiculed Mrs. Aquino’s capability: “The model Filipino woman is demure, does not challenge men, is intelligent but keeps it to herself, teaches her husband – but only inside the bedroom”.[102]

            Mrs. Aquino responded: “I concede that I cannot match Mr. Marcos when it comes to experience. I admit that I have no experience in cheating, stealing, lying or assassinating political opponents… they are issues which only a dying dictator can think up… the real issue is Marcos himself.”[103]

            Aside from tirades of political mudslinging and accusation between President Marcos and Mrs. Aquino, turncoatism was also common during the election period. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, sister of AFP Vice Chief-of-Staff Fidel Ramos and distant cousin of the President, and Ambassador Norberto Romualdez, III, Mrs. Marcos’ nephew, defected to Mrs. Aquino. Several KBL governors and mayors also pledged their support to Mrs. Aquino.

            After a tumultuous campaign, 26 million registered voters went to their respected precincts to cast their ballots in the most bitterly contested elections in history. According to foreign observers and the opposition, there were massive irregularities, cheating, intimidation, electoral fraud, violence, terrorism and vote-buying during the election.

On February 15, 1986 the KBL-controlled Batasang Pambansa proclaimed President Marcos and Assemblyman Arturo Tolentino as the duly-elected President and Vice President, respectively. President Marcos received 10,807,197 votes against 9,292,716 votes for Mrs. Aquino. However, the unofficial canvass of the National Movement For Free Elections (Namfrel) showed otherwise: Mrs. Aquino was leading at around 800,000 votes against President Marcos.

            On February 16, 1986 the opposition held a huge rally in Luneta attended by a mammoth crowd of more than 650,000 people. Mrs. Aquino called for a peaceful non-violent civil disobedience and boycott of companies identified with the Marcoses.

On February 22, 1986 Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, the “architect of martial law,” and AFP Vice Chief-of-Staff Fidel V. Ramos, the “chief implementer of martial law,” announced their withdrawal of support for the government of President Marcos. Enrile accused the President of massive cheating in the snap election and declared that it was Mrs. Aquino who had won the election.

Later, the Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin appealed to the people to protect the two defectors. Thousands of people heed the request and immediately went to EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) to form a human barricade around the two camps (Camp Aquinaldo [headquarter of the AFP] and Camp Crame [headquarter of Ramos’ PC-INP]). The event became what is now known as Edsa People Power 1.[104] Several soldiers, including the members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (who had initially planned to stage a coup) supported Enrile and Ramos.

            Several high ranking officials of the Marcos regime likewise defected, such as Gen. Ramon Farolan of the Bureau of Customs,[105]Postmaster General Roilo Golez,[106] and former AFP Chief of Staff Romeo Espino.Even “Superstar” Nora Aunor, crowd-drawer in Marcos political campaign rallies, joined the defectors.[107]

        On February 24, 1986 President Marcos appeared on MBS (Maharlika Broadcasting System) Channel 4 to dispel rumors that he had already left the country. On-air, General Ver told President Marcos: “The air force is ready to mount an attack. Fighters are flying now.” President Marcos fearing a bloodbath in Edsa restrained him and instead declared a state of emergency and a curfew. The curfew was never implemented.

            President Marcos was silly enough to make one desperate effort to regain what he cannot help seeing he had lost. He made a last ditch effort to hang on to the presidency and called Enrile:

President Marcos: I am waiting for a graceful way out. Why don’t I cancel the election and name a provisional government? Then I will remain as honorary president until 1987. You can run the government in the manner you want.


Minister Enrile: Mr. President, it was never the intention of my group to take over. Our main intention was merely to see to it that the will of the people, the sovereignty of the people must be respected. And besides, it’s too late even to discuss any arrangement because we have already committed ourselves to Cory and Doy.[108]


            Referring to his telephone conversations with President Marcos, US Senator Paul Laxalt described the President as a “desperate man grasping at straws.” The President suggested to Sen. Lazalt that he would share power with the opposition in a transitional government. But the American senator told him that power-sharing would be impractical and instead suggested: “I think you should cut, and cut cleanly. I think that the time has come. ”[109] Sen.Laxalt described the response of President Marcos: “the pause was so long I thought he left the line. At last Marcos said softly, ‘I am so very, very disappointed,’ and hung up.”[110]

            On February 25, 1986 Mrs. Aquino took her oath of office as the eleventh president of the Philippines before Supreme Court Justice Claudio Teehankee at Club Filipino in San Juan. Likewise, Salvador Laurel took his oath as Vice President of the Philippines before Justice Vicente Abad Santos. The inauguration was televised over Channel 4 (renamed People’s Television). President Marcos held his own inauguration before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino in Malacañang. On the night of his inauguration, President Marcos and his family left the Philippines for a five-year exile in the United States. Quirico Lim, a political leader in Mindanao, recounted the events in Malacañang that night: “I saw President Marcos cry… The President tried to comfort his wife. ‘I will be by your side to the lost moment.’ ‘I know, I know was her mournful reply.”




·        Immediately after assuming office, President Corazon Aquino removed all appointed and elected officials of the previous regime. Enrile and Ramos were appointed Defense Minister and AFP Chief-of-Staff, respectively.

·        Marcos lawyer Oliver Lozano questioned the legitimacy of the Aquino government with the Supreme Court. The Aquino-appointed Justices of the Supreme Court dismissed the petition.

·        On July 6, 1986 a group of soldiers and politicians loyal to President Marcos took over the Manila Hotel and installed Arturo Tolentino as Acting President of the Philippines. The coup failed.

·        Six successive RAM led military coups followed. In November 1986, Defense Minister Enrile resigned from the Aquino Cabinet. Enrile ran in the 1987 senatorial elections under the pro-Marcos Grand Alliance for Democracy coalition.

·        Vice President Salvador Laurel resigned as Foreign Affairs Minister and joined the opposition. He was implicated in the failed 1989 coup attempt.

·        President Marcos died in exile on September 29, 1989. President Aquino refused to allow the return of the Marcos remains due to national security. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the government in Marcos vs. Manglapus (178 SCRA 760). In July 1993, the remains of the late president was finally returned to the country. His body up to now remains unburied.

·        In 1991 Former First Lady Imelda Marcos was finally allowed to return home. The former First Lady ran and finished fifth in the seven-way presidential race in 1992. ( Note: the Marcos vote was split between her (with 2,338,294 votes) and Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, a Marcos crony, who had 4,116,376 votes. Ramos, Aquino’s anointed candidate , received 5.3 million.). In 1995 she was elected Congresswoman of Leyte.

·        In 1992 Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was elected to Congress. He is the present Governor of Ilocos Norte.

·        Imee Marcos is the present Congresswoman of the second district of Ilocos Norte




Marcos, Imelda Romualdez. Makati City, August 26, 2004


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[1] The facts of the case is stated in People vs. Marcos , 70 Phil. 468, excepts:


                “In the elections of 1934 in which Mariano Marcos and Julio Nalundasan, both of Batac, Ilocos Norte, were rival candidates for the office of representative for the second district of said province, Nalundasan was elected. The term for which the latter was elected was, however, cut short as a result of the approval of the Constitution of the Philippines under which the general elections for members of the National Assembly were by law set for September 17, 1935. In these general elections Julio Nalundasan and Mariano Marcos resumed their political rivalry and were opposing candidates for assemblyman in the same district. In the strife Nalundasan again came out triumphant over Marcos. In the afternoon of September 19, 1935, in celebration of Nalundasan’s victory, a number of his followers and partymen paraded in cars and trucks through the municipalities of Currimao, Paoay and Batac, Ilocos Norte, and passed in front of the house of the Marcoses in Batac. The parade is described as provocative and humiliating for the defeated candidate, Mariano Marcos. The assemblyman-elect, Julio Nalundasan, was not, however, destined to reap the fruits of his political laurels for on the night of September 20, 1935, he was shot and killed in his house in Batac. Very intensive investigation of the crime by the Government authorities, particularly the Philippine Constabulary, followed as a consequence of which an information was filed in the Court of  First Instance of Ilocos Norte charging one Nicasio Layaoen, a businessman of Batac, Ilocos Norte, with having committed the murder of Nalundasan. After trial, however, Layaoen was acquitted. The acquittal resulted in another protracted investigation and detective work by Governmental agencies, particularly the Division of Investigation of the Department of Justice, with a view of solving the Nalundasan murder. On December 7, 1938, or more than three years after the death of Nalundasan, Mariano Marcos, Pio Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos and Quirino Lizardo were prosecuted for the crime of murder in the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte…” After the conclusion of the trial, the Court of First instance found Ferdinand Marcos guilty of the crime of murder. (See People vs. Marcos in the Appendices)

[2] Interview with Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos, 26 August 2004, Pacific Plaza, Makati City.

[3] In Marcos of the Philippines, written by Hartzell Spence,  Marcos alleged that his conviction was politically motivated by Manuel Quezon, President of the Commonwealth. His father, Mariano Marcos, supported the candidacy of Bishop Gregorio Aglipay for the presidency in 1935. (see Marcos of the Philippines by Hartzell Spence, p. 102-04)

[4] Justice Jose P. Laurel penned the ponencia and concurred by Chief Justice Avanceña and Justices Imperial, Diaz, and Horilleno.

[5] He was the leader of the Maharlika guerilla unit in Northern Luzon.

[6] Senator Almendras of Davao, a Nacionalista, voted for Marcos because of his enmity with Senate President Eulogio Rodriguez and Senate President Pro-tempore Fernando Lopez. In spite of Marcos presidency in the Senate, the Nacionalistas still controls most of the committee chairmanships in the Senate.

[7] President Marcos’ predecessors are Presidents Manuel A. Roxas (the last President of the Commonwealth and the first President of the Third Philippine Republic), Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia and Diodado Macapagal.

[8]“Mandate for Greatness,” First Inaugural Speech of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, 30 December 1965.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Manuel A. Caoili. “The Philippine Congress and the Political Order,” Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol.XXX no. 1 (January, 1986), p. 21.

[11] To name a few: Carlos P. Romulo, Secretary of Education (later Secretary of Foreign Affairs); Rafael Salas, Executive Secretary; Jose Yulo, Secretary of Justice; Marcelo Balatbat, Secreatary of Commerce; Cesar Virata, Secretary of Finance; Jose Aspiras, Press Secretary; Paulino Garcia, Secretary of Health; Narciso Ramos, Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Claudio Teehankee, Undersecreatary of Justice; Onofre Corpuz , Undersecretary (later, Secretary)  of Education; Juan Ponce Enrile, Undersecretary of Finance (later Secretary of National Defense); Fernando Campos, Undersecretary of Commerce; Romeo Edu, Commissioner on Land Transportation; Teotino Aguilar, Undersecretary of General Services; Benjamin del Rosario, General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System; Blas Ople, Social Security Commissioner (later, Secretary of Labor and Employment); Col. Salvador Villa, Chairman of the Philippine National Railways; former Press Secretary Jose Nabu, Presidential Assistant on Housing; and Jose Zulueta, Presidential Consultant on Local Government.

[12] Manuel Caoili, op. cit

[13] “Privilege Speech of Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., 5 February 1968,” Congressional Records (Senate), Vol.III, No. 9, p. 130-141. Speech available at the Appendices.

[14] Robert de Roos. “The Philippines: Freedom’s Pacific Frontier,” National Geographic (September 1966) p. 319.

[15] Hartzell Spence, Marcos of the Philippines (Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1969),p. 359.

[16] “The Student Unrest,” Address over Radio and Television, 9 February 1969.

[17] The 15 student organizations were as follows: Student Councils Association of the Philippines, The National Union of Students of the Philippines, The National Students’ League, the Confederation of Student Leaders in the Philippines, the Kabataang Makabayan, the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines, the Student Catholic Action, the Student Christian Movement, the World Union of Students, the Philippine Youth Corps, the Conference Delegates Association of the Philippines, the National Students Conference, the School Volunteer Program, the Muslim Students Association of the Philippines, and the Student Reform Movements.

[18]  Likewise, President Marcos authorized the release of Php 1.6 Million for the National Science Research Center of the University of the Philippines, and Php 300,000 for Mass Communications Building. Further, the President also released Php 300,000 for the UP Iloilo.

[19] Ferdinand E. Marcos, Today’s Revolution:Democracy,(Manila, 1971), p. v

[20] “The Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” Address given by President Ferdinand Marcos at a meeting with local executives, Malacañang, 1 September 1971

[21] Ferdinand E. Marcos, op cit.

[22] Aquino vs. Enrile, 59 SCRA 183, Concurring Opinion of Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma citing issues of the Manila Times on October 1,3,4,5,8,13,23 and 24, 1970.

[23] Some of the violent student demonstrations reported are as follows: On February 2, 1971, Manila Times - A freshman student of the University of the Philippines was shot and critically wounded, 35 injured, 26 were arrested in violent incidents at the campus which at that time was in barricades, while in downtown Manila more than 2,000 students occupied Claro M. Recto Avenue and 16 persons were injured in separate clashes between the police and students; February 3, 1971, Manila Times – A senior engineering student was shot when government forces drove into the heart of the University of the Philippines campus to disperse students who had set up barricades in the area, and at least 30 women students were wounded in the climax of the day-long pitch battle in the University between students and the local police and soldiers”; February 13, 1971, ibid – “The UP Los Baños Armory was blasted by an explosion”; February 17, 1971, ibid – “In the Province of Davao student riots erupted in the University of Mindanao killing at least one student”; May 2, 1971, The Philippine Herald – “Labor Day, May 1, was celebrated by the workers and student activists with a demonstration before Congress , and a clash between demonstrators and the police and the Metrocom forces resulted in death to several demonstrators and injuries to many.”; In March, 1972 , Manila Times – “The student demonstration on its way to Congress to agitate for the repeal of the anti-subversion law resulted to injuries to a good number of student demonstrators when they clashed with security guards  in front of the University of Sto. Tomas”; and June 13, 1972, ibid – “The Philippine Independence Day was marred by rallies of youth and worker groups which denounced US imperialism, with demonstrators numbering about 10,000 from Southern Luzon, central Luzon and the Greater Manila Area converging at Plaza Miranda and during the demonstration explosions of pillbox bombs occurred.”

[24] Lansang vs. Garcia, 42 SCRA 449. The ponencia was penned by Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion and concurred by Justices J.B.L. Reyes, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Teehankee, Barredo, Villamor and Makasiar. Justices Castro and Barredo concurred fully in a separate opinion. 

[25] On September 18, 1971, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 889-B, lifting the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in the following: provinces Batanes, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Pangasinan, Batangas, Catanduanes, Masbate, Romblon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Leyte, Leyte del Sur (Southern Leyte), Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Western Samar; sub-provinces: Guimaras aand Biliran; and cities: Laoag (Ilocos Norte), Dagupan (Pangasinan), San Carlos (Pangasinan), Batangas City and Lipa (Batangas), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), San Carlos (Negros Occidental), Cadiz, Silay, Bacolod City, Bago City, Kalaon ,La Carlota, bais, Dumaguete, Iloilo City, Roxas, Tagbilaran (Bohol), Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu City, Mandaue, Danao, Toledo, tacloban, Ormoc, and Calbayog.

On September 25, 1971, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 889-C, restoring the writ of habeas corpus in the following: provinces: Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sulu; and cities: Surigao, Davao, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, Ozamiz, Oroquieta, Tangub, Dapitan, Dipolog, Zamboanga, Isabela de Basilan and Pagadian.

On October 4, 1971, the President issued Proclamation No. 889-D further restoring the writ in the following provinces and cities: Provinces: Cagayan, Cavite, Mountain Province, Kalinga-Apayao, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon; Cities: Cavite City, Tagaytay, Trece Martires and Legaspi.

On January 7, 1972, the President restored the writ in the remaining eighteen (18) provinces, two (2) sub-provinces and eighteen (18) cities, namely: Provinces: Bataan, Benguet, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Ifugao, Isabela, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal (Greater Manila Area), South Cotabato, Tarlac and Zambales; Sub-Provinces: Aurora and Quirino; Cities: Angeles, Baguio, Cabanatuan, Caloocan, Coatabato, General Santos, Iligan, Iriga, Lucena, Manila, Marawi, Naga, Olongapo, Palayan, Pasay City, Quezon City, San Jose and San Pablo.

[26] Bureau of National and Foreign Information, Marcos of the Philippines, (Manila: Department of Public Information, 1975), p. 108.

[27] Philippine Herald, 22 January 1970

[28] Manila Times, 23 January 1971

[29] Proclamation No. 1081, Proclaiming a State of Martial Law in the Philippines.

[30] “First Address to the Nation Under Martial Law,” Radio-TV Address of President Marcos, 23 September 1972

[31] “Exec says martial law good for RP business,” Daily Express, 25 September 1972

[32] ibid

[33] The full text of the General Order Nos. 1-5 and Letter of Instruction Nos. 1-5 are available at the Appendices.

[34] 1. Those involving the validity, legality or constitutionality of any decree, order or acts issued, promulgated or performed by me (the President) or by my (his) duly designated representative pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972; 2. Those involving the validity, legality or constitutionality of any rules, orders, or acts promulgated or performed by public servants pursuant to decrees, orders, rules and regulations issued and promulgated by me (the President) or by my (his) duly designated representative pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972; 3. Those involving crimes against national security and the law of nations [Researcher’s note: Crime under this category (Book Two, Title I of the Revised Penal Code) are as follows: Treason and espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, and piracy and mutiny on the high seas in Philippine water]; 4. Those involving crimes against the fundamental laws of the State [Researcher’s Note: Crimes under this category (Book Two, Title Two of the Revised Penal Code) are as follows: Arbitrary Detention or Expulsion, Violation of Dwelling, Prohibition, Interruption, and Dissolution of Peaceful Meeting and Crimess Against Religious Worship]; 5. Those involving crime against public order [note: such as rebellion, sedition and disloyalty, illegal assemblies and association, assault upon and resistance and disobedience to persons in authority and their agents, etc); 6. Those crimes involving usurpation of authority, rank, title, and improper use of names, uniforms, and insignia; 7 Those involving crimes committed by public officers [Note: Crimes under this category in the Revised Penal Code are as follows: Malfeasance and Misfeasance in Office – Dereliction of Duty and Bribery, Frauds and Illegal Exactions and Transactions, Malversation of Public Funds or Property, Infidelity of Public Officer, Other Offenses or Irregularities by Public Officers – Disobedience, refusal of assistance and maltreatment of prisoners; Anticipation , prolongation and abandonment of the duties and powers of public office; usurpation of powers and unlawful appointments; and abuses against chastity.]

[35] Philippine Daily Express, 14 October 1972

[36]  ibid.

[37] Sonia Zaide, The Philippines: A Unique Nation, (Quezon City: All Nations Publishing Co., Inc., 1993), p. 374

[38] Mrs. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, interview by author, tape recording, Makati City, Metropolitan Manila, 26 August 2004

[39] President Ferdinand E. Marcos, interview by Dan Moser, in “The Philippines: better Days Still Elude an Old Friend,” National Geographic (March 1977), p.368

[40] Dan Moser, “The Philippines: Better Days Still Elude an Old Friend,” National geographic (March 1977), p. 369.

[41] Peace and Order: Toward a Safer Society, p.1

[42] ibid,

[43] “… Behind broad Roxas Boulevard, where young hotrodders zigzag furiously, is one of Manila’s commercial centers: boutiques, which attract American wives all the way from Hong Kong, stand side by side with gun shops that sell everything from matchbox size pistols to automatic riffle. The Philippines’ private citizenry owns more weapons (365,000) than the entire military and police forces. Nightclubs, bars, even the Supreme Court mount signs reading: “Check Your Firearms Before Entering.” No self-respecting, lawless Filipino would think of complying.

All that firepower is bound to lead to trouble, as the Philippine crime rate proves. According to the National Bureau of Investigation, crimes in the Philippines jumped ten times in 1965. There were 8750 murders (many times more than in New York), 5000 rapes and 6519 robberies. In Manila’s Tondo slums is a combination of the worst American and Asian street gangs: the “Canto Boys,” with their distinctive made tattoos, who would soon knife a stranger as zip-gun a passing police car.” (Time Magazine, 21 October 1966 as cited by Carlos P. Romulo in his Foreword in Ferdinand E. Marcos, The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines [Manila, National Media Production Center], p. 14)

[44] Dan Moser, op cit, p.369

[45] Peace and Order, p.2

[46] Gen. Fidel V. Ramos was a distant cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos. He is one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted President Marcos from power. President Corazon Aquino, who succeeded Marcos, appointed him as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and later as Secretary of National Defense. In 1992 he became President of the Philippines until 1998.

[47] Ferdinand E. Marcos. Five Years of the New Society, (Manila,1977), p.14

[48] “The Situation in the South.”

[49] Presidential Decree No. 2 – Proclaiming the Entire Country as a Land Reform Area, states:

WHEREAS, there is pressing need to accelerate the Agrarian Reform Program of the Government for the early attainment of the objectives set forth in Republic Act No. 3844, as amended;

WHEREAS, among such objectives is to achieve dignified existence for the small farmers free from the pernicious institutional restraints and practices which have not only retarded the agricultural development of the country but have also produced widespread discontent and unrest among farmers, one of the causes of existing national emergency; and

WHEREAS, it is believed that the lasting objectives of land reform may be sooner realized if the whole country is declared a land reform area;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No.1, dated September 22, 1972, as amended, whereby I have assumed direction of the operation of the entire Government, do hereby proclaim the whole country as land reform area.

All agencies and offices of the Government are enjoined to extend full cooperation and assistance to the Department of Agrarian Reform to insure the successful prosecution of the Agrarian Reform Program.

The Agrarian Reform Coordinating Council created under Executive Order No. 347, series of 1971, is hereby directed to convene immediately to exercise its functions

The Secretary of Agrarian Reform shall take the necessary steps for the prompt and effective implementation of this decree.

[50] See the Appendices for the full handwritten text of Presidential Decree No. 27

[51] Ferdinand E. Marcos, The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines (Manila: National Media Production Center), p. 205

[52] ibid

[53] Sonia Zaide, op.cit, p. 385

[54] “ A Program of Survival,” address delivered by President Marcos at the launching of the Masagana 99 Program, 21 May 1973.

[55] Rigoberto D. Tiglao, “The Consolidation of the Dictatorship,” Dictatorship and Revolution: Roots of People’s Power, edited by Aurora Javate-de Dios, et al., (Quezon City: Conspectus Foundation, Inc., 1988), p. 36-37.

[56] “The Four Freedoms” Opening statements of President Marcos at radio-TV interviews, Malacañang, 20 May-10 June 1973

[57] ibid

[58] Ferdinand E. Marcos, Notes on the New Society of the Philippines II (Manila: National Media Production Center, 1976), p. 26.

[59] ibid

[60] Ferdinand E. Marcos, Five Years of the New Society (Manila: National Media Production Center, 1977), p. 117.

[61] Ibid (This program is funded by GSIS, SSS, PNB, Landbank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines [DBP].)

[62] Josefina R. Serion, et al., Ugnayan ng Pamahalaan at Mamamayan 5 (Manila, Bede’s Publishing House, Inc., 1979), p. 12-13

[63] It was only in 2002 that the other two options- civic welfare and law enforcement- were implemented pursuant to the directives of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

[64] Maria Serena Diokno, “Unity and Struggle,” Dictatorship and Revolution, p.137

[65] “Labor Reforms in the New Society,” Address on Labor Day, Malacañang Palace, 1 May 1973.

[66] Presidential Decree No. 442, Art. 3

[67] ibid

[68] “Labor Reforms in the New Society”

[69] Administrative Order No.339, dated September 26, 1972 states: Mr. Justiniano N. Montano, Jr., Chairman, Games and Amusement Board , is charged with various irregularities in three (3) complaints along with other officials of the Board. The first case, filed by the Philippine Racing Club, Inc. (PRCI), on March 7, 1967, is for (a) fixing of races, (b) falsification, (c) usurpation of functions and (d) oppressive exercise of authority. The second case, filed by Carlos H. Reyes on April 23, 1969, is for (a) gross insubordination, (b)dereliction of official duty, and (c)willful violation of lawful order. The third case, filed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), on June 23, 1969, is for (1) usurpation of official function and gross disobedience, (2) willful violation of law, (3)oppressive exercise of authority, (4) grave abuse of authority and (5) dereliction of duty.

[70] Pursuant to President Decree No. 1, President Marcos created the Department of Public Information through Letter of Instruction No. 12. The department is “ primarily responsible for the conduct of overall and integrated information program for the Government and to render such program a relevant and effective instrument of development consistent with national interest and goals for the accelerated social and economic development of the nation.”

[71] Mrs. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, interview by author, tape recording, Makati City, Metropolitan Manila, 26 August 2004

[72] The National Capital Region comprises what was then known as the Greater Manila Area (Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City and Pasay City) , the former twelve municipalities of Rizal (Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinglupa, Navotas Parañaque, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan and Taguig) and Valenzuela (from Bulacan)

[73] Ferdinand E. Marcos, Five Years of the New Society, p. 54

[74] For the text of this decree, see Appendices

[75] “A Package of Services in the New Society,” (Manila: Ministry of Public Information, 1979)

[76] ibid

[77] ibid

[78] ibid

[79] ibid

[80] ibid

[81] ibid

[82] The “11 basic needs,” according to Mrs. Marcos, are water, power, food, clothing, shelter, medical services, education and culture, sports and recreation, economic base, mobility and ecological balance.

[83] See Augusto Caesar Espiritu. How Democracy was Lost: A Political Diary of the 1971-1972 Constitutional Convention (Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1993).

[84] On January 10-15, 1973 Plebiscite, the Citizen Assemblies voted for (1) ratification of the 1973 Constitution, (2) the suspension of the convening of the Interim National Assembly, (3) the continuation of martial law, and (4) moratorium on elections for a period of at least seven years.

[85] In Sanidad vs. Comelec, L-44640, October 12, 1976 the Supreme Court ruled that on the basis of absolute necessity both the constituent power (the power to formulate a Constitution or to propose amendments or revision to the Constitution and to ratify such proposal, which is exclusively vested to the National Assembly, the Constitutional Convention, and the electorate) and legislative powers of the legislature may be exercised by the Chief Executive.

[86] The KBL Regional Leaders were as follows: First Lady Imelda Marcos, NCR; Minister Conrado Estrella, Region I; Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, Region II; Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., Regional III; Felicisimo San Luis, Region IV; Felix Fuentevella, Region V; Roberto Benedicto, Region VI; Lorenzo Teves, Region VII; Ambassador Benjamin Romualdez, Region VIII; Vicente Cerilles, Region IX; Minister Emmanuel Pelaez, Region X; Minister Antonio Floirendo, Region XI; Mohamad Ali Dimaporo, Region XII

[87] The amendments were proposed by the Interim Batasang Pambansa  (IBP).

[88] Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J. The 1973 Philippine Constitution: A Reviewer-Primer, (Manila: Rex Book Store, 1981), p. 211.

[89] President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Interview by Antonio Lopez, Asiaweek (May 15, 1981).

[90] Bernardo Villegas. Economic Development, (Mandaluyong City: National Book Store, 1994), p. 221

[91] Arthur Zich and Steve McCurry. “Hope and Dangers in the Philippines,” National Geographic (July 1986), p. 92.

[92] ibid

[93] Sonia Zaide. The Philippines: A Unique Nation, (Quezon City: All Nations, Publishing Co., Inc., 1993), p.394.

[94] Chee Soon Juan. To be free: Stories from Asia’s Struggle against Oppression, (Clayton, Australia: Monash Asia Institute, 1999), p. 188-189.

[95] Resolution No.644 – Resolution Calling for the Impeachment of Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines, for Graft and Corruption, Culpable Violation of Constitution, Gross Violation of His Oath of Office and Other High Crimes.

[96] Committee Report No. 154 Re: Resolution No. 644 calling for the impeachment of Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines, for graft and corruption, culpable violation of constitution, gross violation of his oath of office and other high crimes, filed by Jose B. Laurel, Jr. et al.

[97] In an interview at “This Week with David Brinkley: on November 3, 1985, President Marcos said, “I understand that the opposition has been asking for an election. In answer to their request, I announce that I am ready to call a snap election, perhaps in three months or less than that…”

[98] A superstitious man, the President moved the election to February 7 because he was scared of any number which is not a multiple of seven.

[99] C. Valmora, Jr. “Caucus on polls set today,” Bulletin Today (8 November 1985), p. 10

[100] ibid

[101] “Reaching Fever Pitch,” Asiaweek (2 February 1986), p.34

[102] ibid

[103] ibid

[104] Edsa People Power 2, on the other hand, was held on January 16-20, 2001. Edsa 2 ousted impeached President Joseph Estrada. Like Edsa 1, the event was led by Cardinal Sin, former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos. However, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Teresita Aquino Oreta (late Senator Aquino’s sister), and Gregorio Honasan (former colonel of the AFP and head of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement) were on the other side of the fence – Estrada’s camp.

[105] Farolan was appointed by President Estrada to head  the Bureau of Customs again. During the height of Edsa 2, he resigned and defected to Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

[106] Roilo Golez joined the party of President Estrada in 1998. In 2000, after the Juetengate scandal, Golez resigned from the party and joined the opposition’s call for Estrada’s ouster. In 2001, the newly-installed President Gloria M. Arroyo appointed him as National Security Adviser. In 2004, Golez ran and won as congressman of Parañaque under the Lakas-CMD –Kampi-K4 party of President Arroyo. At the height of the “Hello Garci Scandal” he defected to the opposition and called for the resignation or impeachment of President Arroyo.

[107] Nora Aunor, a close friend of President Estrada, defected to Vice President Arroyo in Edsa 2.

[108] Antonio Lopez, Lisa Beyer and Luningning Salazar. “Four Days that Ended an Era,” Asiaweek, 9 March 1986.

[109] ibid

[110] ibid

[111] See Lawyers League for a Better Philippines and/ or Oliver A. Lozano vs. President Corazon Aquino, et al, GR. No, 73748, May 22, 1986