- The Philippines was ruled by then President Ferdinand Marcos for 20 years
- He also put the entire Philippines under martial law in 1972
- Until now, his regime has been controversial whether it did good for the country or not
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The late Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. was known as a dictator and he had been controversial since then until now. He first seated as the President of the Philippines back in December 1965 until February 1986. Marcos ruled the Philippines for over 20 years.
In September 23, 1972, he declared ‘martial law’ due to alleged attack from rebels and communists.
He was ousted when People Power Revolution rose which then made for former President Corazon Aquino to replace him. In 1989 at the age of 72, Marcos died in Hawaii, United States. Under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos was finally allowed to be buried at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani” which many Filipinos contested to.
KAMI has listed the pros and cons of the Marcos regime throughout the 21 years he governed the country:
During the time of Marcos, infrastructures in the country had bloomed. As written by Max Sangil in SunStar, Marcos administration was able to build the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Kidney Center, Philippine Heart Center, Folk Arts Center. Marcos also put up the Lung Center, San Juanico Bridge, and the Manila Film Center.
According to Sangil as well, the criminality lowered during the time of Marcos due to the curfew imposed as part of martial law. The corruption also lessened in government agencies like Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue to the point that they brought their own “baon” for lunch when they used to eat at the Manila Hotel before.
Transportation and Geothermal power
Marcos was the man behind the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) as well as the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). During his regime, Manila Light Rail Transit (LRT) was also built. All these are still being used by the Filipinos up until now. According to Lopez Link, in 1983, Philippines became the world’s second largest producer of geothermal power.
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Philippines’ external debt
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Marcos went on a ‘borrowing spree’ in between the 70’s to early 80’s. In 1975, the external debt reached from $4.1 billion to $8.2 billon. In 1982, it went higher up to $24.4 billion. The debt exceeded more than the exports at that time.
Freedom of Expression and of the Press
When Marcos declared martial law, the media was shut down. As written by Jose Santos and Melanie Pinlac in Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR)’s website, media practitioner as well as the opposition personalities who criticized Marcos were brought to military camps for detention. As per Department of Public Information (DPI) mandated, all media publications must seek permission from them first. Marcos also issued a Presidential Decree to penalize anyone who would “undermine the integrity if the government” through print or even just possessing leaflets about it. Everything went through censorship.
Human rights violation
As reported by The Manila Times, around 3, 257 were killed during the martial law. The data was written by American historian Alfred McCoy who authored A Question of Torture and Policing America’s Empire.
“Under Marcos military murder was the apex of a pyramid of terror with 3,257 killed, an estimated 35,000 tortured, and some 70,000 arrested,” McCoy wrote.
Prominent oppositions were also arrested that time like the late Senators Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno, Lorenzo Tañada and Jovito Salonga. Former Senate President Auquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. was arrested as well.
Editor's note: The views and opinions expressed in the content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of KAMI.com.ph.
Philippines Social Experiment: Borrowing Money From Strangers Part 2 – “I need help! I lost my wallet and need money for transportation.” See how Filipinos react to such a request. Watch the part 1 of this experiment – on KAMI HumanMeter YouTube channel!