Ferdinand E. Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos

Sixth President
Third Philippine Republic
December 30, 1965 - February 25, 1986

"There are many things we do not want about the world. Let us not just mourn them. Let us change them."

        Ferdinand E. Marcos is the most infamous president of the Philippines. He made history and change history.

        Marcos was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. Having teachers as parents, he kept on transferring from school to school for his elementary education due to constant change in assignments. He completed his high school at the University of the Philippines where he, later, earned his law degree with honors (cum laude).

        He joined the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity in college and the debating team. In 1938, he was arrested for the murder of Julio Nalundasan, an assemblyman and political rival of his father, Mariano Marcos. He reviewed in prison and topped the bar exams. Due to suspicions of cheating, he was summoned by the university dean and was able to justify his high score. Months later, he was convicted guilty and sentenced to imprisonment. He appealed to the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land and defended himself. He got an acquittal and, in the process, won his first case. He stopped his law practice to join the guerilla units in Luzon.

        In 1948, he served as technical assistant to the president. Within the same year he campaigned for a seat in congress and became the youngest member of the House of Representatives. He was re-elected twice, and in the middle of his third term as a congressman, he ran for senator. As the story of success' continues, he won garnering the highest points in the senate poll. He excelled in the senate and was later, elected senate president.

        It was 1965 when he ran for president under the Nationalista Party and defeated Macapagal by a large margin. During his first term, he acted on the following concerns: he signed the Investment Incentives Act of 1967, he was responsible for the enactment of the Decentralization Act which empowers local government heads to appoint office heads paid out of local funds, and the membership of the Philippines to the ASEAN.

        He ran for re-election on the next election and made history when he won. It was the first presidential re-election. During his second term, he "opened diplomatic and commercial relations with communist and socialist countries like USSR, PROC, Cuba and Romania without old allies in the democratic world , established the Land Bank of the Philippines as its financing arm" and declared martial law all over the country in 1972. He suspended the 1935 Constitution thereby prolonging his term and he removed the office of the vice-president.

        In 1981, he lifted martial law and the first presidential election since martial law was declared, happened. Marcos won for the third time and was, again, proclaimed winner in the 1986 snap election despite discrepancies in the poll count.

        It was the historical event made in February 22-25 that Marcos left the country in exile. Millions of Filipinos revolted against him, initiated by the defection of the military. The people chose Corazon Aquino, widow of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, as president of the Philippines.

        The Marcos administration lasted for fifteen years.

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