Ferdinand Marcos was a politician, lawyer, and kleptocrat from the Philippines. He served as the country’s 10th president between 1965 and 1986. Read on to learn about his rise to power and his influence on Southeast Asia. You’ll also learn about his assassination of Benigno Aquino and Electoral victory.
Anti-Marcos protesters have gathered outside the Commission on Elections to denounce the result, saying that the machine malfunctions resulted in Marcos’ electoral victory. One of these protesters, Etta Rosales, was arrested and tortured twice during the martial law era and says she will not give up her fight against the Marcoses. She has also accused the Marcoses of using historical revisionism to win the elections.
Despite his electoral victory, some analysts have warned against the emergence of a new dictator in the country. In particular, some critics have expressed their concern about Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s inability to lay out concrete policies. In particular, he has failed to address issues such as economic recovery, the COVID-19 pandemic, water scarcity, and climate change.
Marcos’ electoral victory was also boosted by the fact that Duterte’s daughter, Sara, became his running mate. Her victory likely increased his appeal to a wider spectrum of voters than his rival. Meanwhile, human rights groups said the Marcos-Duterte alliance could lead to a further entrenchment of Marcos’ family.
The Marcoses had hoped to rebrand themselves and reestablish themselves in the political scene. However, they have long been surrounded by disinformation and propaganda. Their long-term plan to regain the presidency had been in place for years. In recent surveys, Marcos Jr. was leading with a substantial margin. However, his rival, Leni Robredo, was a human rights lawyer who ran on a platform of good governance and a clean government.
In September 1972, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines. This state of emergency lasted for 14 years. On February 25, 1986, Marcos was expelled from the country. In the years since, the Philippines has reunified under a democratic government. However, the country is still reeling from the ramifications of this dictatorship. There are many questions still unanswered. Whether martial law is a good idea in a democracy is an open question.
The first question to ask anyone who supports martial law is whether the government is truly committed to achieving its stated objectives. In many cases, the government’s aim was to prevent riots and restore peace in the Philippines. The armed forces cannot be at war with their own people, and martial law has corrupted and politicized the military. It will be necessary to re-indoctrinate the military so that they will support the people instead of the ruling elite.
During the martial law years, many of Marcos’ cronies benefitted. During his reign, businessmen did not want to expand their business because they were afraid that Marcos would steal their money. And the national debt rose dramatically during the Marcos years. That was the perfect environment for the cronies of Marcos.
The aforementioned editorial tone was so pronounced that it even led the Department of Public Information to admonish reporters and writers for overly praising the martial law government. However, the Department of Public Information has since said that the editorial tone must be toned down. This is not a good sign for the future of Philippine democracy.
There are a few groups trying to make the history of this period more accurate. One of them is the Martial Law Chronicles Project. Its main goal is to expose the crimes and injustices committed under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The group is working with the Human Rights Foundation and Martial Law Victims and Survivors.
The Assassination of Benigno Aquino is a controversial episode in Philippine history. The alleged killing of Aquino was a result of a conspiracy between Marcos and his aides. As Marcos was ill at the time of the murder, the fear of his death intensified the power struggle among his associates. The Philippine government maintains its innocence in the alleged murder, but many people think that the Marcos family is responsible. The government has appointed a commission to investigate the incident, but there are many questions about whether the investigation is accurate.
The government sought to limit media coverage of public demonstrations during the last days of Aquino’s life. But after public demonstrations began, Marcos ordered the Philippine News Agency to write a calendar story about the “official version” of the assassination.
The Marcos regime spied on opposition leaders and manipulated the narrative about the assassination in the United States. It also began to distance itself from the Reagan administration. Eventually, the situation reached a crisis point, and the world media focused its attention on the Philippines. As a result, numerous exposes of Marcos and his wife’s lifestyle began to appear.
The government claimed that Aquino was murdered by a Communist hitman named Rolando Galman, acting on orders from the Philippine Communist Party chairman Rodolfo Salas. The government broadcast a re-enactment of the crime, claiming that Galman had shot Aquino in the back of the head. Later, the security team shot and killed Galman.
President Marcos ordered a commission of inquiry, which convened in November 1983. After a year of hearings, the Agrava Fact-Finding Board reported on the events that led to the death of Aquino. The commission asked the former vice president, Imelda Marcos, to testify to the alleged murder. The board also requested testimony from General Fabian Ver and Rodolfo Salas, who were both members of the Philippine Communist Party.
In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos junior’s election victory reminded us of the importance of blood in politics, especially in developing countries. We’ve all heard of the Kennedy, Bush, or Clinton families, but in Southeast Asia, political blood is a more serious issue. And the modernisation process has not changed that. Despite the country’s progress, the politics of the Marcos family remain strong.
Southeast Asia has suffered from periods of reformist zeal and openness, followed by periods of illiberal rule. The young population of the region must decide if they want to break free of this cycle. And if they choose to do so, they will be faced with a range of challenges, including a strong military presence and a weak democracy.
The Philippine election is historic, and the outcome could have a profound impact on the region. The return of a democratic president would change the nature of Asean and the region. However, it’s hard to see such a dramatic change in the short term. Regardless, it’s likely that the next president of the Philippines will be a descendant of Ferdinand Marcos.
One of the main priorities of the Marcos administration is improving infrastructure, and he is open to assistance from other countries to finance infrastructure projects. Marcos also promised to revive his father’s housing project. Further, he promised to improve connectivity and improve the digital infrastructure. This, in turn, will help the Philippines’ economy.
The election of Bongbong Marcos is not just a historic moment in Philippine politics. It is also a sign of China’s growing geopolitical influence in the region. Under Xi Jinping, China has increasingly become aggressive, and rivals such as the Philippines and Vietnam are moving closer to Beijing. The new president of the Philippines will want a more enduring relationship with this rising hegemon in the region.
Some media outlets challenged the false claims made by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his inaugural speech. These included Rappler, Baguio Chronicle, News5, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Marcos’ speech focused on food sufficiency, pandemic response, OFW welfare, and new infrastructure. However, a closer examination revealed that many of Marcos’ claims are not true.
For example, Marcos claimed to have earned the second Distinguished Service Cross during World War II. A 1943 document signed by Marcos did not mention the circumstances under which he received the decoration, nor did it indicate the military headquarters that awarded it. Other documents do not mention the award, including documents sent by Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, Marcos’ commander in the Bataan campaign.
During his third term, Marcos was plagued by kidney problems. These were complications of his chronic autoimmune disease, lupus erythematosus. He underwent a kidney transplant in 1983 and a second in 1984, but his regime was highly sensitive to public disclosure of his medical condition. The palace physician who claimed to have performed the transplant was killed and many questioned whether Marcos was still fit to govern. After the assassination of President Aquino in August 1983, his economy suffered greatly.
The new Philippine Constitution abolished the term limits for the President, making MARCOS the sole ruler of the country until a new legislative body could convene. In addition, martial law was declared and Marcos’ armed forces became the arm of the Marcos regime. This imposed strict restrictions on the political opposition and resulted in the formation of many left-wing organizations.
The VERA Files added context to Marcos’ claim that he won the most votes in Philippine history. However, his vote share was only the third-highest among Filipinos, after Ramon Magsaysay and Manuel Quezon. Hence, the inauguration speech raises serious concerns about the accuracy of facts in the next six years. The eloquence of delivery is often used to conceal falsehoods. Therefore, the media should practice checking the claims made from the presidential podium.
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