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Chapter 23: From Martial Law to People Power
Transcript of Chapter 23: From Martial Law to People Power
Mass Movements to end Martial Rule
The declaration of martial law effectively silenced the protest movement of the First Quarter Storm. From 1972 to 1973 hundreds were detained.
During the 1978 local elections, the opposition candidates had no access to pro-administration media, which were owned by Marcos cronies and relatives
Between 1978 to 1981, Amnesty International recorded 8,000 cases of salvaging; and 50,000 people arrested and detained in at least 20 main detention centers, 80 provincial detention centers, and an undetermined number of "safehouses" throughout the country
The Assassination of Ninoy
Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr. : Former Senator, might have become the next president if Martial Law was not declared.
He was imprisoned, then sent to the U.S. for medical treatment.
Marcos: Stricken with lupus.
Imelda: Never gonna be voted into power by the people.
August 21, 1983
Ninoy decided to return to PH under the false name Marcial Bonifacio.
Ninoy was gunned down and fell on the airport tarmac.
The assassin(allegedly hired by communists) was gunned down by airports security.
The 1986 Snap Elections
Parliament of the Streets – a new wave of protest rallies (from 1983) rocked Manila and other cities like Cebu, Davao and Iloilo
June of 1987- Marcos’s term is yet to end
Protesters asked him to resign and hold an early election, as it was rumored that he had just undergone a kidney transplant
As the call of people grew louder each day:
Young officers within AFP itself began airing their complaints
The U.S. was also disturbed; and with accused assassins getting out of prisons, they began pressuring Marcos for an early election date
Thus, quite suddenly, Marcos announced that he was ready for a “snap” presidential election on February 7, 1986.
His actions surprised his enemies.
Corazon “Cory” Aquino- opposition’s candidate for President
Salvador H. Laurel-as Cory’s Vice President
People Power at EDSA
February 22, 1986 – the event triggered the downfall of the Marcos government in an unsuspected move by Juan Ponce Enrile, then Secretary of National Defense and Fidel V. Ramos (Vice Chief of Staff) who defected and severed their ties with Marcos.
The planned coup d’etat by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) was discovered.
They were held up inside Camp Aguinaldo ready to fight to an end.
General Ramos, joining them , strengthened their morale.
General Ver’s forces were ready to deal with the “rebel soldiers and officers”
Cardinal Sin appealed over the radio to help protect the soldiers at Camp Aguinaldo from the sure annihilation
The people answered and in the next 2 days the whole nation, and perhaps the whole world, was astonished with what they saw:
The civilians protecting the military instead the other way around
Prayers, flowers, bread, and drinks offered by the people stopped attacking Marcos soldiers who were aboard trucks and tanks.
Marcos’ New Society
Marcos claimed that martial law was the prelude to creating a "New Society" based on new social and political values.
He envisioned a ‘revolution from the center’. The ‘center’ -> the silent majority.
The center, through a strong executive, will bring about a ‘New Society’ with new values.
This ‘New Society’ would be self-reliant, self-disciplined, prosperous and peaceful.
It would be created without a bloody revolution.
It would implement socioeconomic, political, cultural and educational reforms.
Steps taken through several Presidential Decrees:
Reorganized the bureaucracy
Formed the National Economic and Development Authority -> supervise/plan the national development program
Instituted the National Grains Authority -> stabilize grain supply and pricing
Regionalized provinces -> strengthen effectiveness of social services
Set up the Population Commission -> balance population growth with economic growth
Placed the country in land reform
Built more infrastructure; schools, marketplaces, hospitals, roads, etc.
Developed energy sources
The country entered in diplomatic relations with socialist and communist countries, while still being friends with US and Japan.
Joined the ASEAN
One-sided RP-US trade relations ended; Filipino and Americans are on more equal footing.
The supposedly independent committee that examined the double-murder event.
Results pointed to Marcos’ Chief of Staff, General Fabian Ver, General Prospero Olivas, Brigadier general Luther Custodio, and other commissioned and non-commissioned members of the AFP.
Was later acquitted by Sandiganbayan (presided by Justice Manuel Pamaran) for lack of conclusive evidence.
Took eleven hours from Quezon to Memorial Park in Parañaque.
Hundreds of thousands attended.
More like a protest march than a funeral procession
Rallies and mass actions were held, asking for Marcos to step down.
Demonstrators faced water cannons, tear gas and other crowd dispersal weapons.
Opposition was joined by:
Emboldened middle class
Marcos administration members.
The rallies has people from all socioeconomic classes.
Before, it was mostly people from the basic sectors of society.
Now, it’s everyone.
The stage for Marcos’ exit has been set.
National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – concerned businessmen and other cause-oriented groups organized NAMFREL, to ensure a clean and fair counting of votes
People fiercely and bravely protected their balots.
COMELEC showed the initial count that Marcos was leading by 1.2 million votes, which was contrary to the overall NAMFREL tally that gave Cory and Doy a consistent lead.
2nd day after the election, 38 computer programmers of COMELEC walked out in protest of the COMELEC’s “attempts to manipulate the results shown in the tally board”
This caused massive rallies in Makati.
February 20, 1986
Marcos was declared President-elect, along with Arturo Tolentino as Vice President
Cory in a “people’s victory rally” at Rizal Park called for a civil disobedience.
She asked her supporters to boycott crony banks, newspapers, beer, and other businesses affiliated with the Marcoses; and to even stop paying taxes if necessary.
According to NAMFREL’s tally Aquino’s final votes numbered 7, 835, 070 ever Marcos’s 7, 053, 068
Every inch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) was occupied by people from all walks of life.
The climax of the event came when Marcos’s helicopter pilots refused to drop bombs on the teeming crowds, and instead, landed the helicopter to join the People Power Revolution at EDSA.
On the morning of February 23, 1986, the oath-taking of Marcos as newly-elected president was hastily stopped.
The U.S. government offered to help Marcos and his family, along with crony, Danding Cojuangco, to flee to Hawaii “to escape the wrath of the avenging horde.”
Worsening Economic and Political Crisis
Initial effects of martial law -> good; people were hopeful. They were willing to trade freedom with prosperity.
But the massive infrastructure changes led to massive foreign loans -> value of peso went down.
Taxes were raised to pay off debt.
Land reform -> slow and inadequate; not enough funds.
Dependence on foreign exports -> low productivity, caused budget cuts on social services and education.
But more money was still being allotted to the military.
The people got poorer; but the Marcos family and their cronies appeared to be getting richer.
Farmers began to be deprived of their land for it to be given to the rich and big companies for mining, forest and marine reserves.
The government tried to offset the economy’s deterioration by sending 1.3 million OFWs, but it didn’t stop the inflation and low salaries.
Early 1980s talks of Marco’s hidden wealth and associates in various industries spread.
Unemployment ballooned from 6.3% to 12.6% (1972 – 1985)
People’s disillusionment has set in.
Led by Nationalista and Liberal Party
The 1973 Constitution was to extend Marcos' term and gain more power.
The opposition was crushed: bribed or threatened with jail time.
Imelda and Power
Imelda was appointed as the Governor of Metro Manila + head of the Ministry of Human Settlements and Ecology
Gave her access to funds and ambassadorial powers.
1978: Elections of the Interim Batasang Pambansa (Legislature)
Marcos is 6 years before his last term, and has been in power for 13 years.
LABAN (Laban ng Bayan) vs KBL (Kilusang Bagong Lipunan)
LABAN lost, even with Aquino campaigning for them behind bars.
1981 Local Elections
KBL members won through the use of government funds and support.
1981: Lifting of Martial Law
However, writ of habeas corpus remained suspended.
A writ of habeas corpus is a writ (legal action) that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court.
Marcos still had the power to issue Presidential decrees.
Amendments were made to the 1973 Constitution, such as:
People with high profile charges cannot run for President.
Marcos and his cabinet officials were granted immunity after his term as president.
June 16, 1981
Announcement of Presidential Elections.
Opposition: UNIDO (United Nationalist Democratic Organization)
Asked for reforms (purging of voter’s list, equal media space and time, reorganization of COMELEC)
Marcos refused, UNIDO boycotted the elections.
Marcos was left competing with an unknown, former defense secretary: Alejo Santos.
Marcos won with 88% of votes. Inauguration on June 30, 1981.