FFE Magazine

Ferdinand E. Marcos

Image from the Presidential Museum & Library

10th President of the Philippines

Term of Office: December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986

Vice President: Fernando Lopez (1965-1972), Arturo Tolentino (1986)

Birth: September 11, 1917

Place: Sarrat, Ilocos Norte

Death: September 28, 1989

Spouse: Imelda Trinidad Romualdez

Children: Maria Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Irene Marcos-Araneta

Philippine lawyer and politician who, as head of the States from 1966 to 1986.

He was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte on September 11, 1917. His parents are; Don Mariano Marcos and Doña Josefa Edralin. His father is a politician, while his mother is a teacher in their hometown.

Marcos attended school at the age of five years old in Sarrat Central School, later he transferred to Manila. According to his scholastic records, Marcos always got an honor from his elementary and secondary course. He is best in oratory speeches as well as in debate and declamatory speeches.

Marcos attended school in Manila and studied law in the late 1930s at the University of the Philippines, in Quezon City. Tried for the assassination in 1933 of a political opponent of his politician father, Marcos was found guilty in November 1939. But he argued his case on appeal to the Philippine Supreme Court, acquittal a year later. He become a trial lawyer in Manila. During World War II he served as an officer with the Philippine Armed Forces. Captured by the Japanese, he survived the Death March from Bataan to Central Luzon and then escaped. Marcos subsequent claims to being an important leader in the Filipino guerrilla resistance movement were a central factor in his later political success, but U.S. government archives revealed that he actually played little or no part in anti-Japanese activities during 1942-45.

From 1946 to 1947 Marcos was a technical assistant to Manuel Roxas, the first president of the independent Philippine Republic. He was a member of House of Representatives (1949-1959) and of the Senate (1959-1965). Serving as Senate President (1963-1965). In 1965, Marcos, who was a prominent member of the Liberal Party founded by Roxas, broke with it after failing to get his party’s nomination for president. He then ran as the Nationalist Party candidate for president against the Liberal president, Diosdado Macapagal. The campaign was expensive and bitter. Marcos won and was inaugurated as president. On December 30, 1969, Marcos was reelected, the first he had made progress in agriculture, industry, and education. Yet his administration was troubled by increasing student demonstrations and violent urban-guerilla activities.

On September 21, 1972, Marcos imposed martial law. Holding that communist and subversive forces precipitated the crisis, he acted swiftly; opposition politicians were jailed and the armed forces became an arm of the regime. Opposed by political leaders- notably Benigno Aquino Jr., who was jailed and held in detention for almost eight years, Marcos was also criticized by church leaders and others. In the provinces Maoist communists (New Peoples Army) and Muslim separatist undertook guerrilla activities intended to bring down the central government.

Under Martial Law the president assumed extraordinary powers, including the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Marcos announce the end of Martial Law in January 17, 1981 but still ruled in an authoritarian fashion thereafter under various constitutional formats. He won election to the newly created post of president against only token opposition in June 1981.

Marcos wife from 1954 was Imelda Romualdez Marcos, a former beauty queen. Imelda became a powerful figure in her own right after her husband instituted martial law in 1972. She was frequently criticized for her appointment of relatives to lucrative government and industrial position while she held the post of Governor of Metropolitan Manila (1975-1986) and Minister of Human Settlements and Ecology (1979-1986).

Marcos later years in power were marred by rampant government corruption, economic inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the steady growth of a communist guerrilla insurgency active in the rural areas of the Philippines innumerable islands.

By 1983 Marcos health was beginning to fall, and opposition to his rule was growing. Hoping to present an alternative to both Marcos and the increasingly powerful New Peoples Army. Benigno Aquino Jr. return to Manila on August 21, 1983, only to be shot dead as he stepped off the plane. The assassination was probably the work of the government and touch off massive anti-government protest. An independent commission appointed by Marcos concluded in 1984 that high military officers were responsible for Aquino’s assassination. To reassert his mandate, Marcos called for presidential election to be held in 1986. But a formidable political opponent soon emerged in Aquino’s widow, Corazon C. Aquino, who became the presidential candidate of the opposition. It was widely asserted that Marcos managed to defeat Aquino and retain the presidency in the election of February 7, 1986, only through massive voting fraud on the part of his supporters. Marcos held to his presidency as the Philippine military split between supporters of his and of Aquino’s legitimate right to the presidency. A tense stand off (EDSA Revolution, People’s Power) that ensued between the two sides ended only when Marcos fled the country on February 25, 1986 at United States urging, and went into exile in Hawaii, USA.

Evidence subsequently emerged that during his year in power, Marcos, his family, and his close associates had looted the Philippines economy of billions of dollars through embezzlements and other corrupt practices. Marcos and his wife were subsequently indicted by the U.S. government on racketeering charges. After a trial a year later, Imelda won acquittal by the board of jury. Imelda return to the Philippines to face the charges against her and her family.

Marcos died on September 28, 1989 at Waikiki, Hawaii. His bereaved wife, Imelda R. Marcos and children Imee Marcos Manotoc, Irene Marcos Araneta and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a former congressman of Ilocos Sur and a senatorial candidate in May 8, 1995 election. He serve as congressman under Ramos administration.

Ferdinand Marcos died at the age of seventy two (72).

(By Charles Keng / The Presidents, Republic of the Philippines by Rheno A. Velasco. 1996)



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