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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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Down with Rhetoric!

Down with Rhetoric!

Turning to Radical Means

(p.54) Chapter 8 Down with Rhetoric!
Fighting from a Distance

Jose V. Fuentecilla

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details the growing frustration of political exiles and opposition groups in the Philippines. In 1978, the KBL party had won control of the new legislature, and Imelda Marcos had been appointed to the cabinet. At the end of 1979, Marcos would call for nationwide elections for governors and mayors. His KBL candidates were expected to sweep the field (which they ultimately did). During a meeting of the Movement for a Free Philippines in San Francisco in September 1979, the members were in a combative mood. Was there no stopping the man? Where was the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, which was already six years in the making? They had received reports that the moderate opposition in the Philippines was likewise frustrated and angry, and even—surprisingly—calling for violence. These were not the radical leftists who had always endorsed aggressive means and followed their convictions by joining the militant National Democratic Front and its military arm, the New People's Army, in the hills. The moderate voices who were now advocating for a shift in tactics reasoned that peaceful means had gotten them nowhere, and that the dictatorship was as entrenched as ever. It was time to take up arms.

Keywords:   anti-Marcos activists, opposition, dictatorship, Ferdinand Marcos, Movement for a Free Philippins

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