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The Downfall of a Dictator Essay

Ferdinand Marcos, the man who would be President: his was a story of success. It was a long, arduous climb to the highest office in land. He worked hard to achieve it. It was not an easy road – there were frustrations, obstacles, and public scandals along the way. But he made it. Despite seemingly irreversible defeats, he fulfilled what he promised his mother: “For every tear you shed now, there will be victory.” (People Power: The Philippine Revolution of 1986) Ferdinand Marcos: The unforgettable among the Presidents of the Philippines, even over the world, then and now. When we here this name the first thing that always come to our mind is Marshall Law or the dictator. In Marcos time corruption reached its apex. The Marcos government was labeled a kleptocracy, literally meaning that it was a government ruled by thieves. A kleptocracy can be defined as a dishonest form of governmental corruption where the government exists solely to increase the personal wealth and power of its officials and the ruling class without regard for the wider population. On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared Martial Law.

This marked the beginning of the Marcos dictatorship. Proclamation 1081 placed the entire country under the military. It was signed on September 21, 1972 and announced to the nation in the evening of September 23, 1972. His main reason for declaring Martial Law as “to save the Republic” and “to reform society”. He explained that the growing violence in the nation, caused by the leftists and the rightist’s elements had come to certain magnitude that required martial law. During this time, violation of human rights of the people in the rural areas was rampant. Upon his orders, the military picked up and detained thousands of Filipinos suspected of rebellion. Hundreds of detainees were tortured by their captors. Some disappeared and were never found again. Many were held in military detention camps for years without trial. As a result of the foregoing measured, the crime rate in the country was reduced significantly.

People became law-abiding. But these good gains did not last long. After a year of martial law, crime rates started to soar. By the time Marcos was removed from power, the peace and order situation in the country had become worse. The rampant violation of human rights of the people in the rural areas suspected of being NPA sympathizers, the injustices committed by some government officials and powerful and influential persons, and the continuing poverty of the people were used as propaganda of the NPA in attracting idealistic young people. Even priests and nuns who were witnesses to the oppression of the Marcos dictatorship join the NPAs. The assassination of Aquino was reported to have awakened the Filipinos to the evils of Marcos as a dictator.

Millions of Filipinos who sympathized with Ninoy’s bereaved family, joined the funeral march to mourn for the death of an intelligent leader and to express their feelings against Marcos. August 13, 1985 was the beginning of the end for Marcos. Fifty-six members of Parliament called for his impeachment for graft, corruption, and other high crimes. Marcos called a new election for 1986. His opponent was Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno. Marcos claimed a 1.6 million vote victory, but observers found a 800,000 win by Aquino.

A “People Power” movement quickly developed, driving the Marcoses into exile in Hawaii, and affirming Aquino’s election. Ninoy Aquino was a great lost to the Philippines. I think that he could have been a great president. Even though some say that he was a “fake hero” because he really didn’t accomplish anything and that he was “fighting for himself only” which is according to some comments that I read in some sites, for me he’s really a hero and these things that they said is absurd in my opinion.


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