Rolex 12 is the collective name of twelve of the closest and most powerful advisers of President Ferdinand Marcos during the martial law years in the Philippines from 1972 to 1981.
During the latter years of his second elected term, Marcos conspired with various leaders of the military and Philippine Constabulary. The goal was for Marcos to gain full authoritarian control of the country during his declaration of martial law in 1972. Marcos gave the military leadership powers during martial law, taking over from democratically elected officials and court judges.
The twelve were responsible for many human rights atrocities, although the extent of their responsibility is still being investigated. These atrocities include torture, murder, seizures of property, displacement from homes, and arrest and detention without due process.
The origin of the name Rolex 12 came from a widespread story and some sources that each associate received a Rolex watch from Marcos himself, although this is allegedly proven to be untrue. Others, however, would pursue the argument that Marcos provided them with watches that appear to be Rolex watches but were actually Omega watches. Historically, each member was just given an ordinary watch by Marcos. But because of the story, the name Rolex 12 stuck and is still used to refer to these twelve Marcos associates. Some of them fled with Marcos when he and his family left the Philippines in 1986, while others like Enrile and Ramos were instrumental in the coup against him.