Proclamation No. 1081

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Proclamation № 1081
Coat of arms of the Philippines (1985–1986).svg
Proclaiming a State of Martial Law in the Philippines
Territorial extent Philippines
Enacted by Ferdinand Marcos
Date enacted September 21, 1972
Date signed September 23, 1972
politics, law
Status: Repealed

Proclamation № 1081 was the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It became effective throughout the entire country on 21 September 1972, and was announced to the public two days later. It was formally lifted on 17 January 1981—six months before the first presidential election in the Philippines in twelve years.


Under the pretext of an assassination attempt on then-Defence Secretary (now Senator) Juan Ponce Enrile and an ensuing Communist insurgency, President Marcos enacted the Proclamation that he might be able to rule by military power.

He initially signed the Proclamation on 17 September 1972, but it was postdated to 21 September because of his superstitions and numerological beliefs that were related to the number seven. Marcos formally announced the Proclamation in a live television and radio broadcast from Malacañang Palace a further two days later on the evening of 23 September 1972.

The following year, President Marcos replaced the 1935 Constitution with a new one that changed the system of government from a presidential to a parliamentary one, with himself remaining in power as both head of state (with the title "President") and head of government (titled "Prime Minister"). President Marcos also manipulated elections and had his political coalition–the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL; English: New Society Movement)–control the unicameral legislature he created, known as the Batasang Pambansa.

President Marcos formally lifted Martial Law on 17 January 1981, several weeks before the first pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz.

General orders .1.[edit]

Listed below are the general orders promulgated by President Marcos following the declaration of Martial Law.

General Order № 1 - The President proclaimed that he shall direct the entire government, including all its agencies and instrumentalities, and exercise all powers of his office including his role as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

General Order № 2 – The President directed the Secretary of National Defense to arrest or cause the arrest and take into his custody the individuals named in the attached list and to hold them until otherwise so ordered by the President or by his duly designated representative, as well as to arrest or cause the arrest and take into his custody and to hold them otherwise ordered released by him or by his duly authorized representative such persons who may have committed crimes described in the Order.

General Order № 3 – The President ordered that all executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, government owned or controlled corporations, as well all governments of all the provinces, cities, municipalities and barrios should continue to function under their present officers and employees, until otherwise ordered by the President or by his duly designated representatives. The President further ordered that the Judiciary should continue to function in accordance with its present organization and personnel, and should try to decide in accordance with existing laws all criminal and civil cases, except certain cases enumerated in the Order.

General Order № 4 – The President ordered that a curfew be maintained and enforced throughout the Philippines from twelve o’clock midnight until four o’clock in the morning.

General Order № 5 – All rallies, demonstrations and other forms of group actions including strikes and picketing in vital industries such as in companies engaged in manufacture or processing as well as in production or processing of essential commodities or products for exports, and in companies engaged in banking of any kind, as well as in hospitals and in schools and colleges are prohibited.

General Order № 6 – No person shall keep, possess or carry outside of his residence any firearm unless such person is duly authorized to keep, possess or carry any such firearm except to those who are being sent abroad in the service of the Philippines.

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