Marcos in 1982.
|10th President of the Philippines
6th President of the Third Republic
1st President of the Fourth Republic
December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986
|Prime Minister||Himself (1978–1981)
Cesar Virata (1981–1986)
|Vice President||Fernando López (1965–1973)
Arturo Tolentino (Feb. 16–25, 1986)
|Preceded by||Diosdado Macapagal|
|Succeeded by||Corazon Aquino|
|3rd Prime Minister of the Philippines|
June 12, 1978 – June 30, 1981
|Preceded by||Office established
(Position previously held by Jorge B. Vargas)
|Succeeded by||Cesar Virata|
|Secretary of National Defense|
August 28, 1971 – January 3, 1972
|Preceded by||Juan Ponce Enrile|
|Succeeded by||Juan Ponce Enrile|
December 31, 1965 – January 20, 1967
|Preceded by||Macario Peralta|
|Succeeded by||Ernesto Mata|
|11th President of the Senate of the Philippines|
April 5, 1963 – December 30, 1965
|Preceded by||Eulogio Rodriguez|
|Succeeded by||Arturo Tolentino|
|Senator of the Philippines|
December 30, 1959 – December 30, 1965
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte's Second District|
December 30, 1949 – December 30, 1959
|Preceded by||Pedro Albano|
|Succeeded by||Simeon M. Valdez|
|Born||Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos
September 11, 1917
Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
|Died||September 28, 1989 (aged 72)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
|Resting place||Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines|
|Political party||Kilusang Bagong Lipunan|
|Liberal Party (1946–1965)
Nacionalista Party (1965–1978)
|Spouse(s)||Imelda Romuáldez (1954–1989; his death)|
|Children||Ma. Imelda Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
|Alma mater||University of the Philippines College of Law|
formerly Iglesia Filipina Independiente
|Allegiance||Commonwealth of the Philippines|
|Rank|| First lieutenant
|Unit||11th Infantry Division (USAFFE)
14th Infantry Regiment (USAFIP-NL)
|Battles/wars||World War II|
President of the Philippines
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was a Filipino politician who was President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He ruled as dictator under martial law from 1972 until 1981. While his regime started an unprecedented number of infrastructure projects and monuments (known colloquially as an "edifice complex'" and at great taxpayer cost), it also became infamous for its corruption, extravagance and brutality.
Prior to Marcos's presidency, he served as a member of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and of the Philippine Senate from 1959 to 1965, where he was also Senate President from 1963 to 1965. As part of his election campaign, he would later claim to have been "the most decorated war hero in the Philippines", a claim which was later proven to be false. United States Army documents that were uncovered called the claim "fraudulent" and "absurd".
He was elected President in 1965. During his term, the Philippine national debt grew from $2 billion to almost $30 billion—while used to fund development projects, of which the Marcos family had plundered $5-10 billion USD, according to source documents provided by the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
On September 23, 1972, Marcos placed the Philippines under martial law, during which he revamped the constitution, silenced the media, and used violence and oppression against political opposition. A 1976 Amnesty International report had listed 88 government torturers. The same report mentioned "President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile, Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Major General Fidel V. Ramos (Commanding General of The Philippine Constabulary), Brigadier General Guillermo Santos, Judge Advocate General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other senior officials" with responsibility for the administration of prisoners arrested under martial law.
Public outrage led to the snap elections of 1986 and to the People Power Revolution in February 1986, which removed him from power. To avoid what could have been a military confrontation in Manila between pro- and anti-Marcos troops, Marcos was advised by President Ronald Reagan through Sen. Paul Laxalt to "cut and cut cleanly", after which Marcos fled to Hawaii. Marcos was succeeded by Corazon (Cory) Aquino, widow of the assassinated opposition leader Senator Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino, Jr. who had flown back to the Philippines to face the dictator.
The Marcos family enjoyed a decadent lifestyle—taking away billions of dollars from the country in the course of their US-backed rule between 1965 and 1986. His wife Imelda Marcos, whose excesses during the couple's kleptocracy made her infamous in her own right, spawned the term "Imeldific". In 2008, Philippines trial court judge Silvino Pampilo, acquitted Imelda Marcos, then widow of Ferdinand Marcos, of 32 counts of illegal money transfer. As of March 2016[update] she was still active in Philippine politics, along with two of her four children, Imee Marcos and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Military career
- 3 Congressional career
- 4 Presidency
- 4.1 First term (1966–1969)
- 4.2 Second term (1969–1972)
- 4.3 Martial Law and the New Society (1972–1981)
- 4.4 Cabinet
- 4.5 Third term (1981–1986)
- 4.6 Snap election, revolution, and exile
- 4.7 Economy
- 5 Death
- 6 Recognition
- 7 Works
- 8 Reparations
- 9 Legacy
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was born on September 11, 1917, in the town of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, to Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin. He was later baptized into the Philippine Independent Church, but was first baptized in the Roman Catholic Church at the age of three.
In December 1938, Ferdinand Marcos was prosecuted for the murder of Julio Nalundasan. He was not the only accused from the Marcos clan; also accused was his father, Mariano, his brother, Pio, and his brother-in-law Quirino Lizardo. Nalundasan, one of the elder Marcos' political rivals, had been shot and killed in his house in Batac on September 21, 1935 – the day after he had defeated Mariano Marcos a second time for a seat in the National Assembly. According to two witnesses, the four had conspired to assassinate Nalundasan, with Ferdinand Marcos eventually pulling the trigger. In late January 1939, they were finally denied bail and later in the year, they were convicted. Ferdinand and Lizardo received the death penalty for premeditated murder, while Mariano and Pio were found guilty of contempt of court. The Marcos family took their appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, which overturned the lower court's decision on 22 October 1940, acquitting them of all charges except contempt.
Marcos studied law at the University of the Philippines, attending the prestigious College of Law. He excelled in both curricular and extra-curricular activities, becoming a valuable member of the university's swimming, boxing, and wrestling teams. He was also an accomplished and prolific orator, debater, and writer for the student newspaper. He also became a member of the University of the Philippines ROTC Unit (UP Vanguard Fraternity) where he met some of his future cabinet members and Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff. When he sat for the 1939 Bar Examinations, he received a near-perfect score of 98.8%, although some have disputed this score. The Philippine Supreme Court felt justified in altering his scoring. He graduated cum laude despite the fact that he was incarcerated while reviewing. Had he not been in jail for 27 days, he would have graduated magna cum laude. He was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu and the Phi Kappa Phi international honor societies, the latter giving him its Most Distinguished Member Award 37 years later.
In Seagrave's book The Marcos Dynasty, he mentioned that Marcos possessed a phenomenal memory and exhibited this by memorizing complicated texts and reciting them forward and backward, even such as the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, in an interview with the Philippine Star on March 25, 2012, shared her experience as a speech writer to President Marcos: "One time, the Secretary of Justice forgot to tell me that the President had requested him to draft a speech that the President was going to deliver before graduates of the law school. And then, on the day the President was to deliver the speech, he suddenly remembered because Malacañang was asking for the speech, so he said, 'This is an emergency. You just have to produce something.' And I just dictated the speech. He liked long speeches. I think that was 20 or 25 pages. And then, in the evening, I was there, of course. President Marcos recited the speech from memory."
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- Maria Imelda "Imee" Marcos (born 12 November 1955), Governor of Ilocos Norte
- Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (born 13 September 1957), Senator of the Philippines
- Irene Marcos (born 16 September 1960)
His fourth child, Aimee Romualdez Marcos, was adopted and was a musician in 2012
Marcos claimed that he was a descendant of Antonio Luna, a Filipino general during the Philippine–American War. He also claimed that his ancestor was a 15th-century pirate who used to raid the coasts of the South China Sea.
|Ancestors of Ferdinand Marcos|
The subject of Marcos' military career has been the subject of debate and controversy. Before World War II, Marcos was already a Reserve Officers' Training Corps graduate during his time studying law. Hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 8, 1941, the Japanese simultaneously bombed many places in the Philippines, including Clark Field. The 14th Army began its invasion with a landing on Batan Island (not to be confused with Bataan Peninsula), 120 miles (190 km) off the north coast of Luzon on the same day, by selected naval infantry units. Landings on Camiguin Island and at Vigan, Aparri, and Gonzaga in northern Luzon followed two days later. Marcos was one of those who were called into the army as a 3rd lieutenant during the mobilization in the summer and fall of 1941. The U.S. Army has confirmed that Ferdinand Marcos fought on the U.S. side after the December 1941 Japanese invasion of the Philippines until April 1942, before being taken taken prisoner. He also had records showing that he fought on the American side again from December 1944 until the end of the war.
Marcos would be one of the 78,000 Filipino and American troops who surrendered at Bataan on April 9, 1942, four months after the Japanese initiated their invasion of the Philippines. He survived the Bataan Death March that followed the surrender. In 1962, Marcos would claim to be the "most decorated war hero of the Philippines" by garnering almost every medal and decoration that the Filipino and American governments could give to a soldier. Included in his 27 war medals and decorations are that of the Distinguished Service Cross (allegedly pinned by General Douglas MacArthur) and the Medal of Honor (allegedly pinned by General Jonathan M. Wainwright). This was proven to be a hoax. Marcos was not listed in General Douglas MacArthur’s “List of Recipients of Awards and Decorations" issued from December 7, 1941 through June 30, 1945 that was compiled in Tokyo, and General Jonathan Wainwright's list of 120 Americans and Filipinos who were awarded during the Bataan campaign by the War Department shortly before his surrender. Colonel Manriquez and Adjutant Captain Rivera who were the commanders of the 14th Infantry, whom Marcos claimed to have served under, attested that Marcos was not a soldier, but was a non-combatant and a Civil Affairs officer. Marcos did received campaign ribbons given to all combatant and non-combatant participants "in the defense of Bataan and in the resistance."
Later research showed the wartime exploits of Marcos to be mostly propaganda, being inaccurate or untrue. In 1986, research by historian Alfred W. McCoy into United States Army records showed most of Marcos's medals to be fraudulent. According to Ricardo José, former chairman of the Department of History of the University of the Philippines, Marcos's claims in his self-commissioned autobiography Marcos of the Philippines that Gen. Douglas MacArthur pinned on him the Distinguished Service Cross medal for delaying Japanese at Bataan for 3 months was highly improbable. In fact, his father Mariano Marcos was a known Japanese collaborator, who was executed by Filipino guerillas in April 1945, and the younger Marcos was accused of being a collaborator as well, including the finding of "fraudulent and false claims as well as anti-guerilla propaganda files involving his father and his group...." This may also be the reason how he was freed by the Japanese after Bataan. John Sharkey of the Washington Post found records that Marcos was in the list of those that were released due to either "having severe health problems and those whose families have cooperated with the Japanese military authorities." Since Marcos' name did not appear in the 1942 Manila Tribune list of ailing prisoners that were released by the Japanese, he believed that Marcos may have been freed due to his connections with his father.
Marcos also claimed to have led a 9,000-man guerrilla force called Ang Mahárlika (Tagalog, "The Freeman") in northern Luzon during World War II. His account of events was later cast into doubt after a United States military investigation exposed many of his claims as either false or inaccurate. Meanwhile, Marcos claimed that he was able to get the United States Adjutant General to recognize 3,500 individual claims of soldiers then under his command.
House of Representatives
When the Philippines was granted independence on July 4, 1946 by the American government, the Philippine Congress was established. Marcos ran and was three times elected as representative of the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte, 1949–1959. He was named chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry and member of the Defense Committee headed by Ramon Magsaysay. He was chairman, House Neophytes Bloc in which (President) Diosdado Macapagal, (Vice President) Emmanuel Pelaez and (Manila Mayor) Arsenio J. Lacson were members. He was also a member of the House Committee on Industry; LP spokesman on economic matters; member, Special Committee on Import and Price Controls and on Reparations; House Committees on Ways and Means, Banks Currency, War Veterans, Civil Service, Corporations and Economic Planning; and the House Electoral Tribunal.
Marcos won his senate seat in the elections in 1959 and became the Senate minority floor leader in 1960. He became the executive vice president of the Liberal Party in and served as the party president from 1961–1964; Senate President, 1963–1965. During his term as Senate President, former Defense Secretary Eulogio B. Balao was also closely working with Marcos. Marcos led a controversial political career both before and after his term as Senate President. He became Senator after he served as member of the House of Representatives for three terms, then later as Minority Floor Leader before gaining the Senate Presidency. He introduced a number of significant bills, many of which found their way into the Republic statute books.
|Presidential styles of
Ferdinand E. Marcos
|Reference style||His Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Alternative style||Mr. President|
First term (1966–1969)
|Gross Domestic Product|
|1966||₱285,886 million (USD73.3 billion)|
|1971||₱361,791 million (USD56.7 billion)|
|Growth rate, 1966–71 average||4.75%|
|Per capita income|
|USD1 = ₱6.44
₱1 = USD0.16
Marcos ran a populist campaign emphasizing that he was a bemedalled war hero emerging from World War II. In 1962, Marcos would claim to be the most decorated war hero of the Philippines by garnering almost every medal and decoration that the Filipino and American governments could give to a soldier. Included in his claim of 27 war medals and decorations are that of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor. However, the Liberal Party would later confirm that many of his war medals were only acquired in 1962 to aid in his reelection campaign for the Senate, not for his presidential campaign. Marcos won the presidency in 1965.
To the surprise of many, soon after becoming president, Marcos wanted the Philippines to become involved, although limited, in the Vietnam War. He asked Congress to approve sending a combat engineer unit to South Vietnam. When the previous Philippine president, Macapagal, suggested in 1964–1965 to send troops it had been Marcos who had led the opposition against this plan on both legal and moral grounds. Despite opposition against the new plan, the Marcos government gained Congressional approval and Philippine troops were sent from the middle of 1966 as the Philippines Civic Action Group (PHILCAG). PHILCAG reached a strength of some 1,600 troops in 1968 and between 1966 and 1970 over 10,000 Filipino soldiers served in South Vietnam, mainly being involved in civilian infrastructure projects.[unreliable source?]
Second term (1969–1972)
1969 Presidential Election
In 1969, Marcos was reelected for a second term — the first and the last Filipino president to win a second full term. His running mate, incumbent Vice President Fernando Lopez was also elected to a third full term as Vice President of the Philippines.
First Quarter Storm
1970 was a period of leftist unrest in the Philippines, composed of a series of heavy demonstrations, protests, and marches against the government from January to March 1970, or the first quarter of 1970. It was one of the factors leading to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. The protests later became known as the First Quarter Storm.
Martial Law and the New Society (1972–1981)
It is easier perhaps and more comfortable to look back to the solace of a familiar and mediocre past. But the times are too grave and the stakes too high for us to permit the customary concessions to traditional democratic processes.— Ferdinand Marcos, January 1973
Marcos declared martial law on September 23, 1972 when his Press Secretary, Francisco Tatad, announced on Radio that Proclamation № 1081. which Marcos had signed 2 days earlier on September 21, 1972, had come into force and would extend Marcos' rule beyond the constitutional two-term limit. He justified this by highlighting the threats of Communist and Muslim insurgencies. He would later tell historians that he signed Proclamation No. 1081 as early as September 17. Ruling by decree, he curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, closed down Congress and media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists, including senators Benigno Aquino Jr., Jovito Salonga and Jose Diokno. Marcos claimed that martial law was the prelude to creating his Bagong Lipunan, a "New Society" based on new social and political values.
A constitutional convention, which had been called for in 1970 to replace the Commonwealth era 1935 Constitution, continued the work of framing a new constitution after the declaration of martial law. The new constitution went into effect in early 1973, changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary and allowing Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973.
After putting in force amendments to the constitution, legislative action, and securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan, his supposed successor body to the Congress, under his control, President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981. However, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus continued in the autonomous regions of Western Mindanao and Central Mindanao. The opposition dubbed the lifting of martial law as a mere "face lifting" as a precondition to the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Marcos had a vision of a Bagong Lipunan (New Society) similar to Indonesian president Suharto's "New Order administration". He used the years of martial law to implement this vision. According to Marcos' book Notes on the New Society, it was a movement urging the poor and the privileged to work as one for the common goals of society and to achieve the liberation of the Filipino people through self-realization.
During his martial law regime, Marcos confiscated and appropriated by force and duress many businesses and institutions, both private and public, and redistributed them to his own family members and close personal friends. Two of these friends were Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., who would go on to control San Miguel Corporation, and Ramon Cojuangco, late businessman and chairman of PLDT, and father of Antonio "Tony Boy" Cojuangco (who would eventually succeed his father in the telecommunications company). These relatives and associates of Marcos then used these as fronts to launder proceeds from institutionalized graft and corruption in the different national governmental agencies as "crony capitalism" for personal benefit. Graft and corruption via bribery, racketeering, and embezzlement became more prevalent during this era. Marcos also silenced the free press, making the press of the state propaganda the only legal one, which was a common practice for governments around the world that sought to fight communism.
By 1977, the armed forces had quadrupled and over 60,000 Filipinos had been arrested for political reasons. In 1981, Vice President George H. W. Bush praised Marcos for his "adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic processes".[a] No American military or politician in the 1970s ever publicly questioned the authority of Marcos to help fight communism in South East Asia.
Marcos and his close Rolex 12 associates like Juan Ponce Enrile used their powers to settle scores against old rivals such as the Lopezes who were always opposed to the Marcos administration. Enrile and the Lopezes (Eugenio Lopez, Sr. and Eugenio Lopez Jr.) were Harvard-educated Filipino leaders. Leading opponents such as Senators Benigno Aquino Jr., Jose Diokno, Jovito Salonga and many others were imprisoned for months or years. This practice considerably alienated the support of the old social and economic elite and the media, who criticized the Marcos administration endlessly. The old social and economic elite, all of whom relied on trade and agricultural and industrial exports to the United States such as the families of Enrile, Lopez, Cojuangco, and Aquino, sought a free-market economy. At this point, Marcos controlled both the oligarchy and the oligopoly.
Between 1972 and 1976, Marcos increased the size of the Philippine military from 65,000 to 270,000 personnel, in response to the fall of South Vietnam to the communists and the growing tide of communism in South East Asia. Military officers were placed on the boards of a variety of media corporations, public utilities, development projects, and other private corporations, most of whom were highly educated and well-trained graduates of the Philippine Military Academy. At the same time, Marcos made efforts to foster the growth of a domestic weapons manufacturing industry and heavily increased military spending.
From the declaration of martial law in 1972 until 1983 the U.S. government provided $2.5 billion in bilateral military and economic aid to the Marcos regime, and about $5.5 billion through multilateral institutions such as the World Bank.
In a 1979 U.S. Senate report it was stated that U.S. officials were aware, as early as 1973, that Philippine government agents were in the United States to harass Filipino dissidents. In June 1981, two anti-Marcos labor activists were assassinated outside of a union hall in Seattle. On at least one occasion, CIA agents blocked FBI investigations of Philippine agents.
The Marcos regime instituted a mandatory youth organization, known as the Kabataang Barangay, which was led by Marcos' eldest daughter Imee. Presidential Decree 684, enacted in April 1975, required that all youths aged 15 to 18 be sent to remote rural camps and do volunteer work.
Along with Marcos, members of his Rolex 12 circle like Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, Chief of Staff of the Philippine Constabulary Fidel Ramos, and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Fabian Ver were the chief administrators of martial law from 1972 to 1981, and the three remained President Marcos' closest advisers until he was ousted in 1986. Other peripheral members of the Rolex 12 included Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr. and Lucio Tan. Enrile and Ramos would later abandon Marcos' 'sinking ship' and seek protection behind the 1986 People Power Revolution, backed by fellow-American educated Eugenio Lopez Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and the old political and economic elites. The Catholic hierarchy and Manila's middle class were crucial to the success of the massive crusade, but only within Metro Manila because no mass demonstrations or protests against Marcos happened in the provinces and islands of Visayas and Mindanao.
In 1978, the position returned when Ferdinand Marcos became Prime Minister. Based on Article 9 of the 1973 constitution, it had broad executive powers that would be typical of modern prime ministers in other countries. The position was the official head of government, and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. All of the previous powers of the President from the 1935 Constitution were transferred to the newly restored office of Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also acted as head of the National Economic Development Authority. Upon his re-election to the Presidency, Marcos was succeeded as Prime Minister by another American-educated leader and Wharton graduate, Cesar Virata, in 1981.
Cabinet under Martial Law
Third term (1981–1986)
We love your adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic process, and we will not leave you in isolation.
On June 16, 1981, six months after the lifting of martial law, the first presidential election in twelve years was held. President Marcos ran and won a massive victory over the other candidates. The major opposition parties, the United Nationalists Democratic Organizations (UNIDO), a coalition of opposition parties and LABAN, boycotted the elections.
On August 21, 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. was assassinated on the tarmac at Manila International Airport. He had returned to the Philippines after three years in exile in the United States, where he had a heart bypass operation to save his life after Marcos allowed him to leave the Philippines to seek medical care. A few months before his assassination, Ninoy was decided to go back to the Philippines after his research fellowship from Harvard University had expired. The opposition blamed Marcos directly for the assassination while others blamed the military and his wife, Imelda. Popular speculations pointed to three suspects; first was Marcos himself through his trusted military chief Fabian Ver; the second theory pointed to his wife Imelda who had her own burning ambition now that her ailing husband seemed to be getting weaker, and the third was that Danding Cojuangco planned the assassination because of his own political ambitions. The 1985 acquittals of Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver as well as other high-ranking military officers charged with the crime were widely seen as a whitewash and miscarriage of justice.
In August 1985, 56 Assemblymen signed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Marcos for alleged diversion of U.S. aid for personal use, citing a July 1985 San Jose Mercury News exposé of the Marcos' multimillion-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." The impeachment attempt gained little real traction, however, even in the light of this incendiary charge; the committee to which the impeachment resolution was referred did not recommend it, and any momentum for removing Marcos under constitutional processes soon died.
Critics considered Marcos the quintessential kleptocrat, having looted billions of dollars from the Filipino treasury. The large personality cult in the Philippines surrounding Marcos also led to widespread disdain.
During his third term, Marcos' health deteriorated rapidly due to kidney ailments, often described as lupus erythematosus. He was absent for weeks at a time for treatment, with no one to assume command, especially problematic for a centralized, autocratic system. Marcos' regime was sensitive to publicity of his condition; a palace physician who alleged that during one of these periods Marcos had undergone a kidney transplant was shortly afterwards found murdered. Many people questioned whether he still had capacity to govern, due to his grave illness and the ballooning political unrest. With Marcos ailing, his powerful wife, Imelda, emerged as the government's main public figure. Marcos dismissed speculations of his ailing health as he used to be an avid golfer and fitness buff who liked showing off his physique.
By 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan started distancing himself from the Marcos regime that he and previous American presidents had strongly supported even after Marcos declared martial law. The United States, which had provided hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, was crucial in buttressing Marcos's rule over the years, although during the Carter administration the relationship with the U.S. had soured somewhat when President Jimmy Carter targeted the Philippines in his human rights campaign.
Snap election, revolution, and exile
In late 1985, in the face of escalating public discontent and under pressure from foreign allies, Marcos called a "snap election" with more than a year left in his term. He selected Arturo Tolentino as his running mate. The opposition to Marcos united behind two American-educated leaders, Aquino's widow, Corazon, and her running mate, Salvador Laurel.
The elections were held on February 7, 1986. The official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), declared Marcos the winner. The final tally of the COMELEC had Marcos winning with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino's 9,291,761 votes. On the other hand, the final tally of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), an accredited poll watcher, had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos' 7,053,068 points. Cheating was reported on both sides. This electoral exercise was marred by widespread reports of violence and tampering of election results.
The failed election process gave a decisive boost to the "People Power movement." At the height of the revolution, Juan Ponce Enrile revealed that a purported and well-publicized ambush attempt against him years earlier was in fact faked, in order for Marcos to have a pretext for imposing martial law. However, Marcos never ceased to maintain that he was the duly elected and proclaimed president of the Philippines for a fourth term, but unfairly and illegally deprived of his right to serve it. On February 25, 1986, rival presidential inaugurations were held, but as Aquino supporters overran parts of Manila and seized state broadcaster PTV-4, Marcos was forced to flee.
At 15:00 PST (GMT+8) on February 25, 1986, Marcos talked to United States Senator and close associate of the US President Paul Laxalt, asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him to "cut and cut cleanly", to which Marcos expressed his disappointment after a short pause. In the afternoon, Marcos talked to Enrile, asking for safe passage for him and his family including his close allies like General Ver. Finally, at 9:00 p.m., the Marcos family was transported by four Sikorsky HH-3E helicopters to Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, about 83 kilometers north of Manila, before boarding US Air Force C-130 planes bound for Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, and finally to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where Marcos arrived on February 26.
When protestors stormed Malacañang Palace shortly after Marcos' departure, it was famously discovered that Imelda had left behind over 2,700 pairs of shoes in her closet.
To help finance a number of economic development projects, the Marcos government borrowed large amounts of money from international lenders. The Philippines' external debt rose more than 70-fold from USD360 million in 1962 to USD28.3 billion in 1986, making the Philippines one of the most indebted countries in Asia. A sizable amount of this money went to the Marcos family and friends in the form of behest loans. These loans are still being serviced by taxpayers, to this day because they are part of macroeconomic practices known as deficit spending. Some of these loans were ostensibly funded to construct the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant but, after Marcos' ouster, the plant was not utilized even though the same technology was used in Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Today, more than half of the Philippine's revenues go toward the payment of interest on these loans, with the principal amounts remaining largely untouched because of the failure of governments that succeeded Marcos to structure payments in financially-sound ways.
During the term of Corazón Aquino, these debts were repudiated[contradictory] and finance secretary Jaime Ongpin, threatened to resign unless they were repudiated because Aquino declared a "revolutionary" government. The "revolutionary" nature of Aquino's government allowed for a rare opportunity to repudiate the loans. Ongpin had a personal reason: Aurita Villoso, DBP internal auditor, said loans were granted to Ongpin's Delta Ventures Resources Inc (DVRI) amounting to P660 million. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the central bank of the Republic of the Philippines) tried to resist the repudiation bill's passage in the Congress, but due to international pressure mostly from Harvard- and Yale-educated financial advisers Aquino did allow the denial of these debts. 
Foreign capital was invited to invest in certain industrial projects. They were offered incentives, including tax exemption privileges and the privilege of bringing out their profits in foreign currencies. One of the most important economic programs in the 1980s was the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran (Movement for Livelihood and Progress). This program was started in September 1981. It aimed to promote the economic development of the barangays by encouraging its residents to engage in their own livelihood projects. The government's efforts resulted in the increase of the nation's economic growth rate to an average of six percent or seven percent from 1970 to 1980.
In 1981, Ferdinand Marcos issued Letter of Instructions No. 1107 mandating the Central Bank of the Philippines to analyze the probability of establishing and funding the operation of a credit bureau in the Philippines due to the disturbing increase of failures on corporate borrowers. In adherence to the order, Central Bank of the Philippines organized the Credit Information Exchange System under the department of Loans and Credit. It was created to engage in collating, developing and analyzing credit information on individuals, institutions, business entities and other business concerns. It aims to develop and undertake the continuing exchange of credit data within its members and subscribers and to provide an impartial source of credit information for debtors, creditors and the public. On April 14, 1982, Credit Information Bureau, Inc. was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit corporation. CIBI was created pursuant to LOI No. 1107 dated February 16, 1981 and was further strengthened by PD No. 1941 which recognizes and supports CIBI as a suitable credit bureau to promote the development and maintenance of rational and efficient credit processes in the financial system and in the economy as a whole. In 1997, Credit Information Bureau, Inc. was incorporated and transformed into a private entity and became CIBI Information, Inc. CIBI is a provider of information and intelligence for business, credit and individuals. The company also supplies compliance reports before accrediting suppliers, industry partners and even hiring professionals.
As a former colony of the United States, the Philippines was heavily reliant on the American economy to purchase agricultural goods such as sugar, tobacco, coconut, bananas, and pineapple and US corporations prospered.
The Philippine economy, heavily reliant on exports to the United States, suffered a great decline after the Aquino assassination in August 1983 because Filipino business and political leaders who studied in Harvard, Yale, and other US universities began lobbying American and foreign firms to discourage them from investing in the Philippines. This was taking place at the same time that China was beginning to accept free-market capitalism and American businesses were jockeying to establish manufacturing plants in China. The political troubles of the Philippines hindered the entry of foreign investments, and foreign banks stopped granting loans to the Philippine government. In an attempt to launch a national economic recovery program and despite his growing isolation from American businesses, Marcos negotiated with foreign creditors including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for a restructuring of the country's foreign debts – to give the Philippines more time to pay the loans. Marcos ordered a cut in government expenditures and used a portion of the savings to finance the Sariling Sikap (Self-Reliance), a livelihood program he established in 1984.
However, the economy continued to shrink despite the government's recovery efforts because American investors were discouraged by the Filipino economic elite. The failure of the recovery program was caused by civil unrest, rampant graft and corruption within the government, and Marcos' lack of credibility. Marcos himself diverted large sums of government money to his party's campaign funds. The unemployment rate increased from 6.25% in 1972 to 11.058% in 1985.
Between 1972 and 1980, the average monthly income of wage workers had fallen by 20%. By 1981, the wealthiest 10% of the population was receiving twice as much income as the bottom 60%.
With help from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, Marcos brought the "Green Revolution" (industrialized, chemical agriculture) to the Philippines. These reforms resulted in high profits for transnational corporations, but were generally harmful to small, peasant farmers who were often pushed into poverty. After declaring martial law in 1972, Marcos promised to implement agrarian reforms. However, the land reforms "served largely to undermine Marcos' landholder opponents, not to lessen inequality in the countryside", and "encouraged conversion to cash tenancy and greater reliance on farm workers". From 1972 to 1980, agricultural production fell by 30%.
Under Marcos, timber products were among the nation's top exports but little attention was paid to the environmental impacts of deforestation as cronies never complied with reforestation agreements. By the early 1980s, forestry collapsed because most of the Philippines' accessible forests had been depleted—of the 12 million hectares of forestland, about 7 million had been left barren.
Marcos died in Honolulu on the morning of September 28, 1989, of kidney, heart, and lung ailments.
Marcos was interred in a private mausoleum at Byodo-In Temple on the island of Oahu where his remains were visited daily by the Marcos family, political allies and friends.
As of 2015[update] his remains were interred inside a refrigerated crypt in Ilocos Norte, where his son, Ferdinand Jr., and eldest daughter, Imee have since become the local governor and congressional representative, respectively. A large bust of Ferdinand Marcos (inspired by Mount Rushmore) was commissioned by the tourism minister, Jose Aspiras, and carved into a hillside in Benguet. It was subsequently destroyed; suspects included left-wing activists, members of a local tribe who had been displaced by construction of the monument, and looters hunting for the legendary Yamashita treasure.
- Guinness World Records (with wife, Imelda): largest-ever theft: USD860.8 million "salted away" identified in April 23, 1986 with total stolen since November 1965, an estimated 5 to 10 billion dollars.
- Gabon: Grand Cross of the Order of the Equatorial Star (July 8, 1976)
- Indonesia: Star of Indonesia, First Class (January 12, 1968)
- Japan: Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (September 20, 1966)
- Jordan: Grand Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali (March 1, 1976)
- Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Grand Cross of the Order pro merito Melitensi
- Romania: Order of the Star of the Romanian Socialist Republic (April 9, 1975)
- Singapore: Order of Temasek, First Class (January 15, 1974)
- Thailand: Knight of the The Most Auspicious Order of the Rajamitrabhorn (January 15, 1968)
- Thammasat University: Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) honoris causa (January 15, 1968)
- National discipline: the key to our future (1970)
- Today's Revolution: Democracy (1971)
- Notes on the New Society of the Philippines (1973)
- Tadhana: the history of the Filipino People (1977, 1982)
- The democratic revolution in the Philippines (1977)
- Five years of the new society (1978)
- President Ferdinand E. Marcos on law, development and human rights (1978)
- President Ferdinand E. Marcos on agrarian reform (1979)
- An Ideology for Filipinos (1980)
- An introduction to the politics of transition (1980)
- Marcos' Notes for the Cancun Summit, 1981 (1981)
- Progress and Martial Law (1981)
- The New Philippine Republic: A Third World Approach to Democracy (1982)
- Toward a New Partnership: The Filipino Ideology (1983)
- A Trilogy on the Transformation of Philippine Society (1988)
In 1995, some 10,000 Filipinos won a U.S. class-action lawsuit filed against the Marcos estate. The claims were filed by victims or their surviving relatives consequent on torture, execution, and disappearances.
Corazon Aquino repealed many of the repressive laws that had been enacted during Marcos' dictatorship. She restored the right of access to habeas corpus, repealed anti-labor laws and freed hundreds of political prisoners.
From 1989 to 1996, a series of suits were brought before U.S. courts against Marcos and his daughter Imee, alleging that they bore responsibility for executions, torture, and disappearances. A jury in the Ninth Circuit Court awarded USD2 billion to the plaintiffs and to a class composed of human rights victims and their families. On June 12, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court (in a 7–2 ruling penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy in Republic of the Philippines v. Mariano Pimentel) held that: "The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded with instructions to order the District Court to dismiss the interpleader action." The court dismissed the interpleader lawsuit filed to determine the rights of 9,500 Filipino human rights victims (1972–1986) to recover USD35 million, part of a USD2 billion judgment in U.S. courts against the Marcos estate, because the Philippines government is an indispensable party, protected by sovereign immunity. The Philippines government claimed ownership of the funds transferred by Marcos in 1972 to Arelma S.A., which invested the money with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., in New York.
Human rights groups place the number of victims of extrajudicial killings under martial law at 1,500 and Karapatan, a local human rights group's records show 759 involuntarily disappeared with their bodies never found. Military historian Alfred McCoy in his book Closer than Brothers: Manhood at the Philippine Military Academy and in his speech "Dark Legacy" cites 3,257 extrajudicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, and 70,000 incarcerated during the Marcos years. The newspaper Bulatlat (lit. "to open carelessly") places the number of victims of arbitrary arrest and detention at 120,000.
Many laws written by Marcos are still in force and in effect. Out of thousands of proclamations, decrees, and executive orders, only a few were repealed, revoked, modified or amended.
I often wonder what I will be remembered in history for. Scholar? Military hero? Builder? The new constitution? Reorganization of government? Builder of roads, schools? The green revolution? Uniter of variant and antagonistic elements of our people? He brought light to a dark country? Strong rallying point, or a weak tyrant?— Ferdinand Marcos
The amount of theft perpetrated by Marcos's regime was probably less than that by Suharto on Indonesia, but harmed our country more because the sums stolen by Marcos were sent out of the country, whereas Suharto's loot mostly were invested in Indonesia.
According to Jovito Salonga, monopolies in several vital industries were created and placed under the control of Marcos cronies, such as the coconut industries (under Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile), the tobacco industry (under Lucio Tan), the banana industry (under Antonio Floirendo), the sugar industry (under Roberto Benedicto), and manufacturing (under Herminio Disini and Ricardo Silverio). The Marcos and Romualdez families became owners, directly or indirectly, of the nation's largest corporations, such as the Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDC), of which the present name is Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), Philippine Airlines (PAL), Meralco (an electric company), Fortune Tobacco, numerous newspapers, radio and TV broadcasting companies (such as ABS-CBN), several banks (most notably the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank; PCIBank of the Lopezes [now BDO after merging with Equitable Bank and after BDO acquired the merged Equitable PCI]), and real estate in New York, California and Hawaii. The Aquino government also accused them of skimming off foreign aid and international assistance.
Massive foreign loans also enabled Marcos to build more schools, hospitals and infrastructure than all of his predecessors combined, but at great cost. Today, Filipino citizens are still bearing the heavy burden of servicing public debts incurred during Marcos' administration, with ongoing interest payments on the loan schedule by the Philippine government estimated to last until 2025–59 years after Marcos assumed office and 39 years after he was kicked out.
During the ICIJ's (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) expose of offshore leaks in April 2013, the name of his eldest daughter, Imee Marcos, appeared on the list of wealthy people involved in offshore financial secrecy. It was revealed that she is hiding parts of her father's ill-gotten wealth in tax havens in the British Virgin Islands.
Comparisons have also been made between Ferdinand Marcos and Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian style of governance and Singapore's success, but in his autobiography, From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000, Lee relates:
It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics.— Lee Kuan Yew
The Marcos family and their cronies looted so much wealth from the Philippines that, to this day, investigators have difficulty determining precisely how many billions of dollars were stolen. It is estimated that Marcos stole around USD5 to USD10 billion from the Philippine treasury. Adjusted for inflation, this would be equivalent to about USD10.6 to USD21.2 billion or almost 500 billion to 1 trillion Philippine pesos in 2014.
On May 9, 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the searchable database from Panama Papers. His two daughters, Imee Marcos Manotoc and Irene Marcos Araneta, have been named, along with his grandsons Fernando Manotoc, Matthew Joseph Manotoc, Ferdinand Richard Manotoc, his son-in-law Gregorio Maria Araneta III, including his estranged son-in-law Tommy Manotoc's relatives Ricardo Gabriel Manotoc, Teodoro Kalaw Manotoc, Maria Eva Estrada Kalaw. According to The Guardian, Ferdinand Marcos had an accumulated stolen wealth of US $10 billion during his presidency from 1965 to 1986, while earning an annual salary equivalent to US $13,500.00.
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