Today in Philippine History, December 30, 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in as 10th President of the Philippines

Thursday December 13, 2012 ()

Marcos and Macapagal just before the inauguration
(President-elect Ferdinand E. Marcos chats with outgoing President Macapagal, in the Music Room, just before they depart for the Quirino Grandstand for the Marcos inauguration)

On December 30, 1965, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, was sworn in as the sixth president of the independent Republic of the Philippines, 10th since President Aguinaldo. Marcos was a Lawyer, a decorated World War II hero, 3 term Ilocos Norte Congressman, a Senator and Senate President.

Outgoing President Diosdado Macapagal met Marcos in Malacañang and after a brief prayer together in the Malacañang chapel, at the suggestion of the former, they rode together in an open car to the Quirino grandstand on the Luneta whence, after military honors, Macapagal returned to Malacañang following a military and veterans parade.

Today in Philippine History, December 30, 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in as 10th President of the Philippines

Rufino Cardinal Santos delivered the invocation and Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon administered the oath of office, first to Vice-President Lopez and then to President Marcos.

Marcos delivered an impassioned 35-minute address, without notes wiich was frequently applauded. After a luncheon at Malacañang with members of the Cabinet and a few close friends, the Cabinet met for 2 hours and Marcos issues Executive Order No. 1 creating an anti-smuggling committee headed by Yulo and Administrative Order No. 1 prohibiting public officials and employees from dealing directly or indirectly with his or his wife's relatives in matters relating to contracts, purchase of property or supplies, and appointment of government personnel. The new President also ordered inventories of RCA and NAMARCO stocks and directed the latter to stop importations until its inventory is completed. Marcos also created a study group to assess rice and corn production and the irrigation needs of the country.

Later in the afternoon, Marcos laid wreaths at the Rizal monument and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In the evening he attended a popular ball on Plaza Santa Cruz.

Marcos was to be re-elected twice. His first term was marked with huge infrastructure development. The following are some of the notable achievements of the first four years of the Marcos administration aside from infrastructure development:

  1. Successful drive against smuggling. In 1966, more than 100 important smugglers were arrested; in three years 1966-1968 the arrests totaled 5,000. Military men involved in smuggling were forced to retire.
  2. Greater production of rice by promoting the cultivation of IR-8 hybrid rice. In 1968 the Philippines became self- sufficient in rice, the first time in history since the American period. In addition, the Philippines exported rice worth US$7 million.
  3. Land reform was given an impetus during Marcos' first term. 3,739 hectares of lands in Central Luzon were distributed to the farmers.
  4. In the field of foreign relations, the Philippines hosted the SEATO conference, a summit of seven heads of state (the United States, South [Vietnam]], South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines) to discuss the worsening problem in Vietnam and the containment of communism in the region.   Marcos also initiated, together with the other four heads of state of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore), the formation of a regional organization to combat the communist threat in the region – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  5. Government finances were stabilized by higher revenue collections and loans from treasury bonds, foreign lending institutions and foreign governments.
  6. Peace and order substantially improved in most provinces however situations in Manila and some provinces continued to deteriorate until the imposition of martial law in 1972.

In 1969, President Marcos was reelected for an unprecedented second term because of his impressive performance, though his critics claimed, he was reelected of massive vote-buying and other electoral frauds.

The second term proved to be most daunting challenge to Mr. Marcos, an economic crisis brought by external and internal forces, a restive and radicalized studentry demanding reforms in the educational system, rising tide of criminality and subversion by the re-organized Communist movement, and secessionism in the South.

The spate of bombings and subversive activities in 1970s in Metro Manila, and the assassination attempt on Secretary Enrile, led President Marcos to declare that:

"There is throughout the land a state of anarchy and lawlessness, chaos and disorder, turmoil and destruction of a magnitude equivalent to an actual war between the forces of our duly constituted government and the New People’s Army and their satellite organization ... and that public order and safety and security of the nation demand that immediate, swift, decisive and effective action be taken to protect and insure the peace, order and security of the country and its population and to maintain the authority of the government."

Marcos would soon declare martial law, in September of 1972. Initially supported by many Filipinos, the martial law became unpopular due to human rights abuses and excesses by the military.

Running under the political machinery of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement) or KLB, Marcos was re-elected, for the second time, his third term, in the 1981 elections that was boycotted by most opposition parties. Marcos winning more than 88% of the vote over General Alejo Santos.

Marcos in response to growing unrest following the assasination of popular opposition leader, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., called for an election earlier than scheduled, the 1986 "Snap" elections. Marcos running under KBL, against the senator's widow, Corazon Aquino, running under PDP-Laban under the UNIDO umbrella, was declared official winner of the election but was eventually ousted when it was alleged that he cheated in the elections.

Marcos was exiled to Hawaii in 1986 and stayed there until his death.

Evidence emerged that during his years in power Marcos, his family, and his close associates had looted the Philippines' economy of billions of dollars through embezzlements and other corrupt practices. Marcos and his wife, Emelda, were subsequently indicted by the U.S. government on racketeering charges, but in 1990 (after Marcos's death) Imelda was acquitted of all charges by a federal court.

References:

  1. Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Volume 42, Number 1, January 1966
  2. New World Encylopedia
  3. The Martial Law Proclamation


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