MORE than 30,000 people fell victims to warrantless arrests, enforced disappearances, unexplained deaths and other excesses by the military during the almost 20-year imposition of martial law under the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, whom two lawmakers wanted to be tagged as an “enemy of democracy.”
Records of these violations have been made public after the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday turned over all documents pertaining to military operations during that dark period in Philippine history to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
CHR Chairman Loretta Rosales disclosed that she herself was among the victims of human-rights abuses.
“Our recorded victims were 10,000 but they were only few, they were the ones who filed a class suit. But beyond the class suit, many were nameless. Let’s say that those who were jailed reached over 30,000,” she said.
The declassified documents, according to Rosales, would give the public a general understanding of what happened during martial law and to the people who dared stand up against the iron rule of Marcos. From The Manila Times
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was 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.
While in power he implemented wide-ranging programs of infrastructure development and economic reform. However, his administration was marred by massive authoritarian, political repression, and human rights violations.
In 1983, his government was accused of being involved in the assassination of his primary political opponent, Benigno Aquino, Jr. Public outrage over the assassination 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 discovered that, during his 20 years in power, he and his wife Imelda Marcos had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to accounts and investments in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. Wikipedia
The Conjugal Dictatorship
Head of Government: Ferdinand Marcos
Country/Term of Office: President of Philippines, 1972-86
Allegedly Embezzled: $5 billion to $10 billion
GDP Per Capita: $912
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2004
World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders"My grandchildren are growing up and they could not understand why the Marcoses are still being crucified although we keep on telling them that we did not steal from the Filipino people." -- Imelda quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 1998
"For the sake of the republic of the Philippines, for the Filipino people, [we must] put the remains of the president to rest so that these negative vibrations will leave us." -- after alleging that Ferdinand Marcos's angry spirit caused Hurricane Andrew in 1992
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 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.
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. Wikipedia
Proclamation No. 1081, s. 1972
PROCLAMATION No. 1081
PROCLAIMING A STATE OF MARTIAL LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES
WHEREAS, on the basis of carefully evaluated and verified information, it is definitely established that lawless elements who are moved by a common or similar ideological conviction, design, strategy and goal and enjoying the active moral and material support of a foreign power and being guided and directed by intensely devoted, well trained, determined and ruthless groups of men and seeking refuge under the protection of our constitutional liberties to promote and attain their ends, have entered into a conspiracy and have in fact joined and banded their resources and forces together for the prime purpose of, and in fact they have been and are actually staging, undertaking and waging an armed insurrection and rebellion against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in order to forcibly seize political and state power in this country, overthrow the duly constituted government, and supplant our existing political, social, economic and legal order with an entirely new one whose form of government, whose system of , laws, whose conception of God and religion, whose notion of individual rights and family relations, and whose political, social, economic, legal and moral precepts are based on the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist teachings and beliefs ;
WHEREAS, these lawless elements, acting in concert through seemingly innocent and harmless, although actually destructive, front organizations which have been infiltrated or deliberately formed by them, have continuously and systematically strengthened and broadened their memberships through sustained and careful recruiting and enlistment of new adherents from among our peasantry, laborers, professionals, intellectuals, students, and mass media personnel, and through such sustained are careful recruitment and enlistment have succeeded in spreading and expanding, their control and influence over almost every segment and level of our society throughout the land in their ceaseless effort to erode I and weaken the political, social, economic, legal and moral foundations of our existing government, and to influence, manipulate and move peasant, labor, student and terroristic organizations under their influence or control to commit, as in fact they have committed and still are committing, acts of violence, depredations, sabotage and injuries against our duly constituted authorities, against the members of our law enforcement agencies, and worst of all, against the peaceful members of our society;
WHEREAS, in the fanatical pursuit of their conspiracy and widespread acts of violence, depredations, sabotage and injuries against our people, and in order to provide the essential instrument to direct and carry out their criminal design and unlawful activities, and to achieve their ultimate sinister objectives, these lawless elements have in fact organized, established and are now maintaining a Central Committee, composed of young and dedicated, radial students and intellectuals, which is charged with guiding and directing the armed struggle and propaganda assaults against our duly constituted government, and this Central Committee is now imposing its will and asserting its sham authority on certain segments of our population, especially in the rural areas, through varied means of subterfuge, deceit, coercion, threats, intimidations, machinations, treachery, violence and other modes of terror, and has been and is illegally exacting financial and other forms of tributes from our people to raise funds and material resources to support its insurrectionary and propaganda activities against our duly constituted government and against our peace-loving people ;
WHEREAS, in order to carry out, as in fact they have carried out, their premeditated plan to stage, undertake and wage a full scale armed insurrection and rebellion in this country, these lawless elements have organized, established and are now maintaining a well trained, well armed and highly indoctrinated and greatly expanded insurrectionary force, popularly known as the “New People’s Army”, which has since vigorously pursued and still is vigorously pursuing a relentless and ruthless armed struggle against our duly constituted government and whose unmitigated forays, raids, ambuscades, assaults, and reign of terror and acts of lawlessness in the rural areas and in our urban centers brought about the treacherous and cold-blooded assassination of innocent civilians, military personnel of the government and local public officials in many parts of the country, notably in the Cagayan Valley, in Central Luzon, in the Southern Tagalog Region, in the Bicol Area, in the Visayas and in Mindanao, and whose daring and wanton guerrilla activities have generated and sown fear and panic among our people; have created a climate of chaos and disorder, produced a state of political, social, psychological and economic instability in our land, and have inflicted great suffering and irreparable injury to persons and property in our society”;
WHEREAS, these lawless elements, their cadres, fellow-travellers, friends, sympathizers and supporters have for many year up to the present time been mounting sustained, massive and destructive propaganda assaults against our duly constituted government, its instrumentalities, agencies and officials, and also against our social, political, economic and religious institutions, through the publications, broadcasts and disseminations of deliberate slanted and overly exaggerated news stories and news commentaries as well as false, vile foul and scurrilous statements utterances, writings and pictures through the press-radio-television media and through leaflets, college campus newspapers and some newspapers published and still being published by these lawless elements, notably the “Ang Bayan”, Pulang Bandila” and the “Ang Komunista”, all of which are clearly well-conceived, intended and calculated to malign and discredit our duly constituted government, its instrumentalities, agencies, and officials before our people making it appear to the people that our government has become so weak and so impotent to perform and discharge its functions and responsibilities in our society and to our people, and thus undermine and destroy the faith and loyalty and allegiance of our people in and alienate their support for their duly constituted government, its instrumentalities, agencies and officials, and thereby gradually erode and weaken as in fact they have so eroded and weakened the will of our people to sustain and defend our government and our democratic way of life ;
WHEREAS, these lawless elements having taken up arms against our duly constituted government and against our people, and having committed and are still committing acts of armed insurrection and rebellion consisting of armed raids, forays, sorties, ambushes, wanton acts of muliders, spoilage, plunder, looting, arsons, destruction of public and private buildings, and attacks against innocent and defenseless civilian lives and property, all of which activities have seriously endangered and continue to endanger public order and safety and the security of the nation, and acting with cunning and manifest precision and deliberation and without regard to the health, safety and well-being of the people, are now implementing their plan to cause widespread, massive and systematic destruction and paralization of vital public utilities and services, particularly water systems, sources of electrical power, communication and transportation facilities, to the great detriment, suffering, injury and prejudice of our people and the nation and to generate a deep psychological fear and panic among our people.
The controversial Marcos medals refers to the 27 war medals that Ferdinand Marcos claimed to have received for his valiant efforts during the war and being the leader of anti-Japanese guerrillas called the Ang Maharlika. His reputation of being the greatest Filipino resistance leader during the World War II and most decorated soldier in the U.S. Armed Forces bolstered his political career but it was later exposed that the Marcos medals were fake.
The newspaper We Forum (later changed its name to Ang Malaya) printed articles on the guerilla activities in Northern Luzon casting doubts on Marcos allegations that he was at Bessang Pass. But most of the articles were indirectly saying that.
It was only in late 1985 that the late Col. Bonifacio Gillego who later became a congressman after the overthrow of Marcos in 1986, directly questioned Marcos’ 27 military medals and his claim to glory at Bessang Pass was exposed. Bonifacio Gillego debunked Marcos’ claim in his book, The Fake Medals of Marcos. Through painstaking research, he was able to unearth the fact that for Marcos to have accomplished all the deeds for which he was supposed to have been rewarded with medals, he had, in many instances, to be in more than one place at the same time.
At the war's end, as a deputy to the U.S. Army judge advocate general in northern Luzon, Marcos was involved in choosing friends and relatives to fill minor civil service jobs, passing out favors to be redeemed later. After, he resumed his law practice, often filing false claims in Washington on behalf of Filipino veterans seeking back pay and benefits. Emboldened by his success, he filed a $595,000 claim on his own behalf, stating that the U.S. Army had commandeered over 2,000 head of brahman cattle from Mariano Marcos's wholly imaginary ranch in Mindanao. Washington concluded that the cattle had never existed. Marcos also tried to get recognition and benefits for his resistance force, the Ang Maharlika. Army investigators concluded that Marcos's unit was fraudulent.
Gillego did a good research in the US military archives and exposed Marcos as a fake hero. The well-documented expose resulted to Gillego being sent to jail during the martial law but later became a big factor in the defeat of Marcos during the snap election of 1986. Wikipedia