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Fighting from a DistanceHow Filipino Exiles Helped Topple a Dictator$
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Jose V. Fuentecilla

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037580

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037580.001.0001

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Martial Law and Beyond

Martial Law and Beyond

How the Dictator Usurped Power

(p.27) Chapter 5 Martial Law and Beyond
Fighting from a Distance

Jose V. Fuentecilla

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details the series of political events from the proclamation of Ferdinand Marcos as the sixth president of the Philippines to his usurpation of power in 1972. Marcos' dream of a march to greatness started well. Expansive public works projects as well as intensified tax collection led to a measure of prosperity in the 1970s. He was reelected in 1969, becoming the first president to win a second term. However, during this second term, militancy also increased among student groups. On July 7, 1972, the constitutional convention voted to change the form of government from presidential rule to a parliamentary system. This allowed Marcos, whose last and second term would have ended in December 1973, to seek a third term. On September 22, Marcos signed the martial law decree, which was dated September 21. As justification, he claimed that an “armed insurrection and rebellion” was being waged against the government by “lawless elements” and “terroristic organizations.”5He would wield absolute power for the next fourteen years and eight months.

Keywords:   Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines, martial law, constitutional convention, parliamentary system

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