Martial Law in the Philippines

Martial law in the Philippines (Tagalog: Batas Militar sa Pilipinas) refers to the period of Philippine history from September 21, 1972 to January 17, 1981 when the government of the Republic of the Philippines led by the 10th President Ferdinand E. Marcos imposed martial law in an attempt to counteract the Communist insurgency on the country. This was in effect a ploy designed to establish authoritarian rule in the country, with the President and his First Lady Imelda at the head of the regime. President Marcos declared Martial law by saying... Macliing Dulag, and others. Proclamation No. 1081 was the declaration of martial law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Once in effect, it covered the entire republic on September 21, 1972. It was announced to the public two days later. Under the pretext of a staged assassination of his former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile (now Senate President) and an ensuing communist insurgency, Marcos ruled by military power through martial law, altered the Constitution of the Philippines#Commonwealth and Third Republic (1935) in the subsequent year, made himself both Head of State as President and Head of Government as Prime Minister, manipulated elections and the political arena in the Philippines, and had his political party--Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) (English: New Society Movement) control the unicameral legislative branch of government called the "Batasang Pambansa". All these allowed Marcos to remain in power and to plunder. The proclamation was actually signed on September 17, but was postdated four days later on September 21 because of Marcos' superstitions and numerology beliefs. Marcos formally announced the proclamation two days after at midnight on September 23, 1972 via live national television broadcast. Martial law was lifted by President Marcos on January 17, 1981. General Orders Listed below are the general orders promulgated by President Marcos following the declaration of martial law. General Order No. 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 No.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 No. 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 No. 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 No. 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 Philippines except to those who are being sent abroad in the service of the Philippines.

Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (September 11, 1917 - September 28, 1989) was the tenth President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives (1949-1959) and a member of the Philippine Senate (1959-1965). He was Senate President from 1963-1965. He claimed to have led a guerrilla force called Ang Maharlika in northern Luzon during the Second World War, although this is doubted. As Philippine president and strongman, his greatest achievement was in the fields of infrastructure development and

international diplomacy. However, his administration was marred by massive authoritarian corruption, despotism, nepotism, political repression, and human rights violations. He benefited from a large personality cult in the Philippines during his regime. In 1983, his government was implicated in the assassination of his primary political opponent, Benigno Aquino, Jr. The implication caused a chain of events, including a tainted presidential election that served as the catalyst for the People Power Revolution in February 1986 that led to his removal from power and eventual exile in Hawaii. It was later alleged that he and his wife Imelda Marcos had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other countries, as well as into alleged corporations during his 20 years in power. Martial law and the New Society (1972-1981) Amidst the rising wave of lawlessness and the threat of a Communist insurgency, Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081. Marcos, ruling by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, closed down Congress and media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists, including his staunchest critics, senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga and Jose Diokno. The declaration of martial law was initially well received, given the social turmoil the Philippines was experiencing. Crime rates plunged dramatically after a curfew was implemented. Many political opponents were forced to go into exile. 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. Marcos claimed that martial law was the prelude to creating his Bagong Lipunan, a "New Society" based on new social and political values. The economy during the 1970s was robust, with budgetary and trade surpluses. The Gross National Product rose from P55 billion in 1972 to P193 billion in 1980. Tourism rose, contributing to the economy's growth. However, Marcos, his cronies and his wife, Imelda, willfully engaged in rampant corruption. After putting in force amendments to the constitution, legislative action, and securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan 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's 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 selfrealization. Marcos confiscated businesses owned by the oligarchy. More often than not, they were taken over by Marcos's family members and close personal friends, who used them as fronts to launder proceeds from institutionalized graft and corruption in the different national governmental agencies as "crony capitalism," Marcos' friends using them for personal benefit. With genuinely nationalistic motives, crony capitalism was intended to redistribute monopolies traditionally owned by Chinese and Mestizo oligarchs to Filipino businessmen though in practice, it led to graft and corruption via bribery, racketeering, and embezzlement. Marcos also silenced the free

press, making the state press the only legal one. He also seized privately owned lands and distributed them to farmers. By waging an ideological war against the oligarchy, Marcos gained the support of the masses though he was to create a new one in its place. Marcos, now free from day-to-day governance which was left mostly to Enrile using his power to settle scores against old rivals, such as the Lopezes, who were always opposed to the Marcos administration. 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 declaration of martial law was initially very well received, given the social turmoil the Philippines was experiencing though the rest of the world was surprised at how the Filipinos accepted Marcos's self-imposed dictatorship. Soon after Marcos declared martial law, one American official described the Philippines as a country composed "of 40 million cowards and one son of a bitch"; otherwise, he reasoned, they should have risen against the destroyer of their freedom.Crime rates plunged dramatically after dusk curfews were implemented and the country would enjoy economic prosperity throughout the 1970s in the midst of growing dissent to his strong-willed rule toward the end of martial law. Political opponents were given the opportunity of compliance or forced to go into exile. As a result, thousands migrated to other countries, like the U.S. and Canada. Public dissent on the streets was not tolerated and leaders of such protests were promptly arrested, detained, tortured, or never heard from again. Communist leaders, as well as sympathizers, were forced to flee from the cities to the countrysides, where they multiplied. Lim Seng, a feared drug lord, was arrested and executed in Luneta in 1972. As martial law dragged on for the next nine years, human rights violations went unchecked, and graft and corruption by the military and the administration became widespread, as made manifest by the Rolex 12. Over the years, Marcos's hand was strengthened by the support of the armed forces, whose size he tripled to 230,000 troops, after declaring martial law in 1972. The forces included some first-rate units as well as thousands of unruly and ill equipped personnel of the civilian home defense forces and other paramilitary organizations. 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's closest advisers until he was ousted in 1986. Enrile and Ramos would later abandon Marcos's 'sinking ship' and seek protection behind the 1986 People Power Revolution. The Catholic hierarchy and Manila's middle class were crucial to the success of the massive crusade.