Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos was born in Sarrat, Ilocos North on September 11, 1917. He became a significant and influential political figure in the Philippines. He was elected to congress in 1949 and served both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

Marcos did well in school and his extraordinary memory allowed him memorize texts. While in his school Marcos was highly interested in his .22-caliber pistol team. During the 1935 Congressional election Marcos shot and killed Julio Nalundasan with his .22-caliber bullet. Marcos was arrested for Nalundasan’s murder. While in jail Marcos spent his time writing his own 830 page appeal. He also took the bar exam and passed with unbelievable scores that he was accused of cheating, however, during his oral re-examination by the Supreme Court Marcos’ scores were even higher due to his remarkable memory that allowed him remember complicated texts. In 1940 the Supreme Court accepted Marcos’s appeal and Marcos became a freeman. Also, the following day Marcos took his oath in front of the Supreme Court as a lawyer.

Marcos reputation grew due to his fraudulent acts and accusations. For instance, once he resumed with his law practices, he filed many false claims in Washington on behalf of “Filipino veterans”. His high success rate with these false claims allowed him to pursue other claims such as his filed $595,000 claim on his own behalf which included a 2,000 head of Brahmin cattle and an imaginary ranch that never existed. Following these fraudulent claims Marcos ran for a seat in the House of Representatives alleging that he would get benefits for unrecognized veterans. With 70% of the vote the seat was his.

[Marcos married Imelda Romualdez in 1954.]

Marcos career in politics continued to grow. He was elected to the Philippines Senate in 1959. Marcos was the Liberal Party’s vice-president from 1954-1961. In 1969, Marcos became the first president to win a second term in office. However, his term had been filled with corruption and the country had accumulated huge debt under his reign. His regime focused on capital extensive projects that only hindered the country and did nothing to relieve unemployment.  The oligarchy that had been re-created under Marcos encompassed gigantic business conglomerates that were run by the Presidents partners. Marcos focused on nuclear power, steel, aluminum and other capital intensive industries rather than labor intensive industries. With this, the hope of reducing unemployment and the creation of an egalitarian social structure disappeared. Marcos regime began to collapse after the assassination of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Marcos attempted to regain control of the situation by holding an early election in 1986 against Aquino’s widow, Corazon. This election, though, was filled with excessive corruption and violence that when Marcos was declared the winner a rebellion broke out that forced Marcos and his wife to flee the country. President Aquino’s administration found the illegally acquired wealth of Marcos which included $475 million in frozen bank accounts stored in Switzerland plus a jewelry collection worth $13 million.

Marcos career in politics began with the murder of Naludasan and ended with the murder of Aquino. His entire career was based on fraudulent claims, treachery, and corruption. His terms as president represent the perfect example of the pits of immoderate autocratic rule.

 – Dora Alicia Gomez


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