From the diaries of Ferdinand E. Marcos

Monday Sunday, September 23, marks the 35th anniversary of martial law. Touched by an Angel recounts what it was like to be a teen during the martial law years. For me, September 23 comes a few days after my dad’s death anniversary (September 18), and so I tend to be pensive around this time of year, anyway: the two dates inspired this essay.

1418980022 Ee0B9886F2
My last two columns on September 17 and September 20 dealt with Marcos in retrospect. Two newspapermen arrested by Marcos recount their experiences.

First, Juan Mercado in Pale ink and memory:

And we of the grey hair, bifocals and arthritic knees — what do we remember? Singing “Bayan Ko” or cracking a joke about the “New Society” invited a beating or detention, oftentimes both. We also relearned what Japanese Kempetai brutality taught earlier: political jokes are serious business.

We hurt so much then, so we laughed. Remember the joke about emaciated and fat dogs lining up for US visas? “Martial Law is obviously good for you,” the scrawny mutt told the obese mongrel. “So why do you want a visa?” he asked. The reply: “I want to bark.”

Jokes against “Big Brother,” George Orwell wrote, are “tiny revolutions.” Wit and humor have always been rapiers against dictators. They were then thrust into Bagong Lipunan camp followers: Fabian Ver, Estelito Mendoza, Juan Ponce Enrile, Eduardo Cojuangco, even a minor functionary in San Juan named Mayor Joseph Estrada.

And then Amando Doronila in Proclamation 1081:

The date of its announcement was falsified. So, when President Ferdinand Marcos appeared on TV at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 23, Saturday, to announce the proclamation of martial law in his stentorian baritone, the announcement was anti-climactic. The proclamation was dated Sept. 21, Thursday.

Arrest orders of targets, including opposition figures and newspapermen, were served beginning at midnight of Sept. 22, Friday, straddling Sept. 23. In the first round of arrests, I received a phone call at home in Blue Ridge, Quezon City, from a close friend who said, “Martial law has been declared. Secretary [of Defense Juan Ponce] Enrile has been ambushed.”

I told myself, “This it.” I immediately rang the graveyard shift editor at the Chronicle. No one answered. I switched on radio and TV. They were all dead…

From midnight of Friday, the first wave of arrests was carried out. Troops descended on all newspapers, padlocked them and nailed the proclamation dated Sept. 21. Marcos trumped Aquino and shocked the country with superb use of the element of surprise by manipulating the dates of the proclamation.

Doronila also quotes from the Marcos diaries. These were hand-written diaries written with an eye for posterity by Marcos, usually on Palace stationery. I have copies of some of them, given to me one day by a colleague some years ago, and I thought the best commemoration would be to reproduce extracts from those diaries (I normally only recommend books I’ve read, but you may be interested in “Delusions of a Dictator: The Mind of Marcos As Revealed in His Secret Diaries” (William C. Rempel, which I haven’t read but seen in the bookstores).

January 2, 1971, Saturday, 10:00 pm

…And when I watch the supposedly patriotic men, in their selfish and egoistic ways, wreck our republic, I almost lose my objectivity and dispassionate attitude as anger boils within me and eggs me to immediately put into effect the plan to establish martial law. This I must avoid.

For I will not declare martial law unless there is anarchy or the beginnings of it which prevents the functioning of courts and other government offices, even if the constitution authorizes me to do so when there is “imminent danger of invasion, insurrection or rebellion -and there is actually rebellion going on now.

The silent conspiracy against our republic is joined in by well-meaning men who use the inequities of our society and despair that they can ever be rectified except by radicalism and violence. For there are many valid grounds of grievance as the rich and powerful disregard or are insenstive to the dreams or even the frustrations and pains that torture the masses of our people.

So I must be deliberate, prudent, and wise.

Jan. 2, 1971 Sundat (Jan. 3, 1971 3 am)

…Gen. Yan called up to say he was not informed of the retirement of the generals. He seemed to be sulking. I reminded him that we had been talking about retirement of all generals by Jan/ 13, 1971…

Jan. 3, 1971 Sunday

…I had a light lunch of docon and paltat.

Was in Gabu and taking off by 12:35 and in Nichols Airbase at 1:45 pm where Imelda and the children were waiting for me with pospas which I ate in the car. My tummy shows some [illegible] so I take something every two or three hours. It is most probably due to the tension arising out of the plan for the proclamation of martial law…

We must refashion this society.

We must wage our own revolution.

The concept of ownership must be changed so the small people have a chance. All the crooks in government must be booted out. The media must be geared to development and progress, not to destruction and retrogression.

Jan. 4, 1971 Monday 10:00 pm

…Today (this morning 11:00 am up to lunch at 2:00 pm) in a conference with Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sec. Alex Melchor and Gen. Yan, I ordered the setting up of a Special War Center, an Internal Security Agency, a Psy-War Branch all under the DND as well as the creation of a new command, the Metropolitan Command, that will cover the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, the Pasig Task Force and the PGB under Col. Ver.

I ordered the transfer of Gen. Fidel Ramos from the 3rd Brigade to the 2nd PC Zone vice Gen. Zosimo Paredes whom I am retiring. Col. Palacios the CO of the 1st Brigade goes to the 3rd Brigade vice Gen. Ramos.

The Special War Center personnel may also be placed as a component unit of the command of Col. Ver’s, as Metropolitan Command CO. It integrates all the special forces of the major services, the special forces and rangers of the Army and Constabulary, the air commanders of the Air Force and the Navy’s marines and other teams. They will be retrained under chosen officers for special missions.

As I plan it, in the event of violence in the city, the Metrocom under Gen. Ordonez will seek to hold back the mass of rioters with his 1,400 men. If theyt are unequal to the task or special task forces are necessary, the Metropolitan Command comes in. If still unable to contain the violence, then the entire Internal Security Forces under Maj. Gen. Romeo Espino, Vice-Chief of Staff under whom both Gen. Ordonez and Col. Ver will be subordinated comes into the metropolitan area.

In the meantime outside of the NBI-Metrocom teams that will be fielded, Col. Ver will have special teams to arrest target personnel or take target areas. This will assure performance in the event that NBI and Metrocom are committed prematurely to the routine of maintaining order.

I have ordered the PC and 1st Infantry Division at Fort Magsaysay as well as the 51st Engineer Brigade brought up to full strength.

The P3 million needed for the procurement of 3,000 Armalites for the PC, I have ordered to be released and the guns delivered not later than the end of February.

The engineers should be ready to take over the public utilties like Nawasa, Meralco, PLDT, Butel, PNR, PAL, Air Manila, Fairways, land transport as well as shipping.

But the media which according to Sec. Melchor Ambassador Byroade calls a serious threat to security, calls for a separate operation. We have to take them over immediately.

The Psy-War Branch should use them for the purposes of the military administration.

The framework of government and present officials should be kept and all laws except those I suspend kept in force unless changed by edict by me.

But a new plan of government and society must be worked out…

While private property will be recognized and respected, they should be run for the state. Their profits should go to a fund for investment and development…

All able-bodied men must be put to work. There must be total exploitation of natural resources.

This must be a complete revolution.

Jan. 8, 197110:40 pm

…I am also working on the political philosophy that should be able to rally all the classes of our people in the event of a take-over.

And classifying the records that have to be duplicated and stored in a place other than Malacanang.

Jan. 9, 1971 Saturday, 11:00 pm

Bongbong left by Qantas via Hongkong, New Delhi, Teheran, Athen and London.

I talked to him, and his sisters, Imelda and Kokoy about the possibility of his mother and two sisters joining him if there should be trouble here; that whether I am there beside them or not they (the children) should value education and get a doctorate degree because even if we should lose our fortune and position here in the Philippines, then they could work their own way in the world; that if for any reason we should be separated and I should not be able to guide them after normalcy returns to the world or the Philippines as the case may be, they should return to the Philippines where their roots are; that I would prefer them marrying Filipinos…

Jan. 11, 1971 10:15 pm

…Tonight they have started to stone even private cars. It is expected that it will be worse tomorrow….

We will keep watching for the need of the use of emergency powers….

Jan. 12, 1971 1:55 pm

…Freddie Elizalde showed me a copy of an editorial which Chino Roces wanted to be pooled by all the newspapers castigating me and asking for my resignatio and that of the cabinet. For good measure the editorial included the Vice-President. It was opposed by Freddie and Ugarte. And Teddy Locsin opposed the demand for resignation.

What a ridiculous spectacle Chino Roces is making of himself. He is supposed to have said that I engineered the drivers strike and am leading to a declaration of martial law as there will be violence tomorrow and in the days to come, and he predicted that at least ten men would be killed tomorrow…

…The timetable is being pushed too fast by the leftists. It may be earlier than we think.

Jan. 13, 1971 1:00 am

The congressmen close to me, Cong. Cojuangco, Frisco San Juan, Ali Dimaporo, Jose Aspiras, Navarro, Lucas Canton, Roque Ablan all proposed for the use of my emergency powers. “We cannot understand why you are so patient. Do not wait until we are completely debilitated and the people is against us. It will be too late. One swift blow and we remove the cancer from our society,” they all said.

I could only aswer that it may be sooner than we think…

Jan. 20, 1971 Wednesday 9:30 pm

…The Liberals have taken out a full page advertisement on martial law declaring they would not attend sessions if martial law is declared.

I have had to reiterate my stand that martial law is the last recourse -that I would resort to it only of there is massive sabotage, terrorism, assassination and a violent grab for control of government…

Jan. 23, 1971 Saturday :25 pm

…I met Andy Soriano and Sebastian Ugarte of the Herald this morning. I explained that the fight against the oligarchs was not against bigness but against the use of bigness to oppress our people and intimidate the public officials for more financial gain.

He seemed relieved but still worried about anarchy. I had to assure him when I called him back alone that if the situation deteriorates, I may have to use my extraordinary powers like declaring martial law. Her seemed relieved and said, “you would be surprised at the number of people who would welcome it.”

Jan. 25, 1971 Monday 11:15 pm

This is the turning point. The congressional opening and State of the Nation address ceremonies were peaceful.

And the whole nation heaved a sigh of relief. For many had left for the provinces and for abroad to avoid the imagined dangers of a revolution.

Chino Roces, Manglapus, the radicals who have been predicting the start of a revolution today must be disappointed.

Jan. 27, 1971 Wednesday 11:00 pm

…I met with the egalitarian intellectuals of the UP tonight, Cesar Majul, Ruben Santos, Bonifacio and Almonte.

They are all enthusiastic about the Democratic Revolution. Now we have to reduce the theory and ideal into practical programs to be implemented…

Jan. 28, 1971 Thursday 9:30 pm

Met about 25 of the leading businessmen of the country in a merienda hosted by Andy Soriano at his Forbes Park home this afternoor at 4:00-6:00 pm.

I informed that the the communists or subversives were slowly sapping the vitality of our country; that the communists are presently in no position to start a rebellion or a revolution but in two years or three there would probable be a need for a revolution, the communists would nearly take over -or the military.

But my democratic revolution offers an alternative or option. So I asked that it be supported to abort a communist take-over.

Bert Villanueva said they were all for my objectives but what were the specifics…

Don Manolo Elizalde started the exchange of views after my opening statement to the effect that it was not my intention to go after any particular businessman or corporation…

Jan. 30, 1971 Saturday 10:00 pm

…The City Mayors came to pledge their total and complete support for the Democratic Revolution.

The governors have done likewise.

The local officials are now enthusiastic and prepared to openly fight communism.

Feb. 1, 1971 Monday (I write this as I await some callers across the river)

“there is bound to be an inevitable confrontation between the communists and our democacy in the military front,” I have always said…

…The communists gamble that the Republic will be too weak by then as they will have sapped our vitality…

…I have also said that if we do not now take measures of self-preservation, this will come about.

My democratic revolution will rally the great majority of our people around our republic…

So if there is going to be an inevitable collision, then perhaps we should induce it now while communists are weak and disorganized.

April 17, 1972

…Frank Starr implicates Col. Lino Aragon Angara, nephew of the late Pres. Quezon, in a plot to assassinate me on July 17, 1972.

The sworn statement of Starr which is hereto attached is apparently credible and has the marks of authenticity.

What is disturbing is the supposed statement of Angara “Marcos will be killed xxx And when he is dead the Vice President will become President and then our group takes over control of the Philippines.”

Starr says he told me (Angara) of his contacts often with the Hon. Vice President Fernando Lopez and this report is made in sincere interest to [illegible] maneuver and shape or form to breed distrust between the President and Vice President of the RP. But in fairness to the Truth, and facts statements must be made accordingly.

“I spoke to him (Angara) on at least 7 telephone calls and he said he had gone down to meet the Vice President Lopez in his home province.”

This is not the first time that the Lopezes have conspired against my life. Since 1969 they have so at least three times.

The old plot of Eleuterio Adevoso under Osmena was connected to the Lopezes.

And the Lopez financial and propaganda support for the NPA through Heny Lopez and the ABS-CBN included as one of the objectives my assassination. Thru Commander Melody of the NPA was assigned to this mission. Commander Melody confessed this.

On the Adevoso plot, our asset within the conspiracy, Joe, revealed that the Osmena and Lopez camps were involved.

Then when on January 1970, Lopez and I parted ways, Serging Osmena suggested to Ining Lopez my assassination and this idea was picked up and being implemented.

Chino Roces had in 1979 repeatedly voiced his demand that I be liquidated as this was the only way for them (the activists) to take over.

And Roces and Ining Lopez have joined in partnership against us.

They have also joined hands to blacken my character. Thus they contrived the Dovie Boehms case. The funds sent to her in California have been traced as coming from the Lopez camp.

They escalating demonstrations, mobs and riots, all supported by the Lopezes.

And now the Lopezes have joined up with Roxas and his father-in-law, Amading Araneta.

But apparently they are desperate and may be planning assassination to prevent my declaring Martial Law!

May 8, 1972 Monday 11:25 pm

… After the meeting I directed Sec. Ponce Enrile, the Chief of Staff, Gen. Espino, Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Ileto, PC Chief, Gen. Ramos, PA Chief, Gen. Zagala, Air Force Chief, Gen. Rancudo, 1st PC Zone Commander, Gen. Tomas Diaz, IV PC Zone Commander, Gen. Encarnacion, Asst. Chief of Staff, J-2, Col. Paz, to update the contingency plans and the list of target personalities in the event of the use of emergency powers.

I directed Sec. Ponce Enrile to finalize all documentation for the contingency plans, including the orders and implementation.

May 12, 1972 Friday 12:30 pm

The entire country continues to speculate on my visit to the brothers Lopez. The comments all seem favorable, specially after my statement that I have reestablished my friendship with the Lopezes for national unity in view of the national interest.

The opposition is still in a state of shock while the Nacionalistas are jubilant.

Gerry Roxas and Ninoy Aquino are meeting with Ining Lopez on Sunday but Kokoy has been told not to be concerned as Ining will make no commitments. And that whatever obstacles to the rapprochement will be overcome.

The general impression is that I have just accomplished a political coup! As Gerry Roxas is supposed to have said: “Titiklopin na yata tayo.”

June 4, 1972 Sunday 11:00 pm

I have just answered a letter og Concon President Macapagal wherein he asks whether I or Imelda are running for President in 1972. I wrote him through Kits Tatad that neither Imelda or I intend to run -I because I am disqualified by the constitution from a third term and Imelda because she has no intention to do so.

I asked him to do me the honor of furnishing me the original of his letter which he sent to media, so that I could answer him in more detail. And that he should exercise the leadership that is sadly lacking in the convention.

Apparently Pres. Macapagal has decided to lay the blame on me for the failures of the convention.

Typical traitor and coward!

But from my point of view the Concon has become useless. Anything they will approve now will be rejected by the people in a plebiscite.

Sept. 7, 1972 Thursday 9:10 pm:

… This afternoon I spent in finishing all papers needed for a possible proclamation of martial law, just in case it is necessary to do so.

Sept. 8, 1972:

… Sen. Aquino is, of course, playing a double game. He was in danger from the Maoists, as reported by him to Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile…

So I believe he negotiated in a meeting with Jose Maria Sison and is protected from that side.

But now he is convinced he is also in danger, from the government. So he goes through the motions of giving information to the Secretary of National Defense to get protection from government.

And I believe that he will, however, help the Moaists more than the government.

Sept. 9, 1972, Saturday, 12:35 pm:

…Sec. Ponce Enrile and I finished the material for any possible proclamation of martial law…

Sept. 10, 1972, Sunday, 12:30 pm:

It is now my birthday. I am 55. And I feel more physically and mentally robust than in the past decade and have acquired valuable experience to boot.

Energy and wisdom ‘the philosopher’s heaven.

Sep. 13, Wednesday, at 11:00 pm:

…So I met with Johnny Ponce Enrile, Gen. Tom Diaz, Col. Montoya, Col. Romy Gatan, and Danding Cojuangco this evening at Pangarap and we agreed to set the 21st of this month as the deadline.

In the meantime Sen. Aquino in a privilege speech, today, claims we have an OPLAN Sagitarrius, which allegedly includes placing Greater Manila under PC Control preparatory to proclaiming martial law.

This is nothing but the contingency plan for the coordination of the local police forces and the Armed Forces in case of insurgency.

It is ridiculous to ascribe it to the plan of martial law since it referts to calling out the troops to quell a disorder.

But of course the media will give it all kind of meaning.

But, again, perhaps it is best that the political opposition start a debate that will get the people used to the idea of emergency powers.

Sept. 14, 1972, Thursday, at 11:50 pm:

After golf, at 9:00 amat my room at Pangarap while taking breakfast, I told the SND, C of S, Major Service Commanders (Gen. Ramos, PC, Gen. Zagala, PA, Romando, PAF and Commodore Ruiz, PN) Gen. Ver and Gen. Paranis that I intend to declare martial law to liquidate the communist apparatus, reform our government and society, then have the Concon ratify our acts and the people can confirm it by plebiscite and return to constitutional processes; but that I needed at least one year and two months; that this would be a legitimate exercise of my emergency powers under the constitution as clarified by the Habeas Corpus case by the Supreme Court last January; that we need to cure the ills of our society by radical means (I mentioned corruption, tax evasion, criminality, smuggling, lack of discipline, unequal opportunities) so we must keep our moves clean and submerge self-interest.

I asked for any objection to the plan and there was none except for the observation of Gen. Ramos that the closing of the media should be done by a civilian minister supported by the military, and Gen. Gen. Romando who wanted missions definitely assigned to each branch of the service.

Sep. 17, 1972 Sunday 10:00 pm (At “The Big Antique” or “Ang Maharlika”)

We escaped the loneliness of the palace for this old Antillan house now known as Ang Maharlika, the State Guest House several blocks from the palace. It has been restored beautifully by Imelda and is a symbol of Philippine culture in the last century. Almost all our antique valuables have been transferred here.

The departure of our children has made the palace a ghostly unbearable place.

I took a long nap (4:30-7:30 pm) in the room of Bongbong which has the worst bed [illegible] and the lumpiest mattress.

And after an early simple dinner of sardines and pancit, I was able to browse in the library where to my delight I discovered the books I have been wanting to read for some time including Fitzimmons,The Kennedy Doctrine, Sorensen’s The Kennedy Legacy, The Dirty Wars edited by Donald Johnson (some of the principles and lessons are outmoded), Days of Fire by Samuel Katz (The Secret History of the Irguny Zrai Sanmi and The Making of Israel, Chou-en-lai by Kai-Yu, Room 39 by Donald Macfaddan (The room of the British Intelligence in WWII), the History of the World in the 20th Century by Watt, Spencer and Brown.

I have invited the Liberal Party leaders (at least ten of their hierarchy) to come to the palace on Sept. 19th to be informed of what we have on the negotiations and agreements between the Maoists and the Liberals.

The Liberal head, Sen. G. Roxas, issued a demand for us to point out the Liberal negotiating with the Communists, knowing full well that I refer to Sen. Aquino, his opponent for leadership in the party and wanting to disqualify Aquino by his own action.

But the Liberals should not get out that easily.

For some of the other leaders have been dealing with the Communists -Mitra, Yap, Felipe, Dy, Pendatun, Lucman, etc.

Antonio Zumel, news editor of the Bulletin had an explanation of his Trade Asia activities in today’s papers. He adopts an aggressive stance of hurt innocence!

I received the report on the 7,400 case of dynamite apprehended in the del Pan bridge by the OOSAC under Maj. Cruz, son of Maj. Gen. Pelagio Cruz, the ASAC chief. I ordered the dynamite impounded notwithstanding the claim of [illegible] for it.

The Air Manila plane was apparently bombed at 4:40 am yesterday by a grenade in a valise with incendiary bombs over Romblon, prepared to ditch because of the right engine being out of commission from the grenade blast but was able to limp up to Roxas City where it landed at about 5:00 am in the dark with nothing but its landing lights to guide it. Capt. Samonte, the captain of the plane did a good job and was lucky.

I have checked on the plans of the delegations I am sending to the IMF, the UN and other international conferences.

Sep. 18, 1972, Monday, at 12:50 pm:

…We finalized the plans for the proclamation of martial law at 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm with the SND, the Chief of Staff, major service commanders, J-2, Gen. Paz, 1st PC Zone Commander, Gen. Diaz and Metrocom commander, Co. Montoya, with Gen. Ver in attendance.

They all agreed the earlier we do it the better because the media is waging a propaganda campaign that distorts and twists the facts…

So after the bombing of the Concon, we agreed on the 21st without any postponement.

We finalized the target personalities, the assignments, and the procedures.

Sept. 19, 1972, Tuesday:

Released the report of Sec. Ponce Enrile of Sept. 8, 1972 where he reported that Sen. Aquino had met with Jose Maria Sison of the Communist Party and had talked about a link-up of the Liberal Party and the Communist Party…

.So since I invited Sen. Pres. Puyat, Speaker Villareal… I explained to the media which was covering us that when I invited the leaders of the Liberal Party I had wanted a private conference where we could, as Filipinos and for the welfare of our people, agree that neither party (Nacionalista or Liberal) would “link-up” with the Communist Party but their refusal to attend indicated that the Liberals were in on the deal to “link-up” with the Communists through Sen. Aquino…

Sept.. 20, 1972, 10:40 pm:

…This afternoon General Staff with the SND and the Chiefs of the major services came to see us to submit the Assessment of Public Order wherein they recommend the use of “other forms of countering subversion/insurgency should be considered.” This means they recommend the use of Emergency Powers including Martial Law, formally.

Sept. 21, 1972, Thursday (Sept. 22nd at 1:45 am.)

Delayed by the hurried visit of Joe Aspiras and Nating Barbers who came from the Northern bloc of congressmen and senators who want to know if there is going to be Martial Law in 48 hours as predicted by Ninoy Aquino.

Of course Imelda and I denied it.

But Johnny Ponce Enrile, Gen. Paz, Gen. Nanadiego, Kits Tatad and I with Piciong Tagmani doing the typing finished all the papers (the proclamation and the orders) today at 8:00 pm.

[U.S.] Amb. Byroade came to see me at 11:15 pm and was apparently interested to know whether there would be Martial Law. He seemed to favor it when I explained it is intended to primarily reform our society and eliminate the communist threat. But he suggested that a proclamation before the American elections may be used by MacGovern, the Democratic presidential candidate, as proof of the failure of the foreign policy of the present president.

Sept. 22, 1972, Friday, 9:55 p.m.:

Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed near Wack-Wack at about 8:000 pm tonight. It was a good thing he was riding in his security car as a protective measure…

This makes the martial law proclamation a necessity.

Sept. 23, 1972, Saturday, 12:20 pm:

Things moved according to plan although out of the total 200 target personalities in the plan only 52 have been arrested, including the three senators, Aquino, Diokno and Mitra and Chino Roces and Teddy Locsin.

At 7:15 pm I finally appeared on a nationwide TV and Radio broadcast to announce the proclamation of martial law, the general orders and instruction…

I was supposed to broadcast at 12:00 p.m. but technical difficulties prevented it. We had closed all TV stations. We have to clear KBS which broadcast it live. VOP and PBS broadcast it by radio nationwide.

Sep. 24, 1972, Sunday, (1:25 am Sept. 25):

Diokno, Chino Roces, Max Soliven etc. have filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the Supreme Court.

I asked Justices Claudo Teehangkee, Antonio Barredo, Felix Macasiar and Felix Antonio to see us. They insisted that the government should submit to the Supreme Court for the Court to review the constitutionality of the proclamation of martial law, Proclamation No. 1081.

So I told them in the presence of Secs. Ponce Enrile and Vicente Abad Santo as well as Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza that if necessary I would formally declare the establishment of a revolutionary government so that I can formally disregard the actions of the Supreme Court.

They insisted that we retain a color of constitutionality for everything that we do.

But I feel that they are still image-building and do not understand that a new day has dawned. While they claim to be for a reformed society, they are not too motivated but are too bound by technical legalism.

Sep. 25, 1972, Monday, 12:15 pm:

…The public reaction throughout the Philippines is a welcome to martial law because of the smooth, peaceful reestablishment of peace and order and the hope of a reformed society. In fact most everyone now says, this should have been done earlier…

…It is indeed gratifying that everyone now finds or discovers I am some kind of a hero!

There is nothing as successful as success!

Jan. 13, 1973 Saturday

…I also conferred with the Speaker and House Majority Floor Leader (Villareal and Veloso) informing them of my plan to push through a new constitution that may be different from the draft by the Concon. It would be unicameral with a definite period for an interim government; that we would have to retain powers to prevent a constitutional crisis but by virtue of the will and decision of the people, that we would have to adopt a unicameral legislature, that we would want on the morning of the 17th to make a final decision.

And Delegate Duavit that we would have to prepare a new constitution more acceptable to the people, perhaps writing several drafts or alternative proposals and asking the citizens assemblies to choose one…

Jan. 23, 1973 Tuesday (Written at 12:00 pm Jan. 24th as I stayed up to 2:30 am with Justices Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra, Sec. Ponce Enrile and Abad Santos and Mendoza)

…Prepared our position with Sec. Abad Santos and Ponce Enrile and Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza, on the Ramon Gonzales petition of prohibition and injunction against Decree 1102 on the ratification of the new constitution. This has caused us worry as it might push us to a revolutionary government…

Jan. 24, 1973 Wednesday 12:15 pm

Had as usual only 6 hours sleep and seem to be tense because of the possible constitutional crisis that may come out of an adverse Supreme Court decision on the petition against the ratification of the new constitution.

So I worked up to 12:00 am on the presentation of the problems we are facing and the absolute necessity of referring the matter to the citizens assemblies as well as the possible approaches and solutions.

Then worked on the orders implementing the New Constitution.

As I tentatively meet the members of the Supreme Court on Saturday or Monday evening. The Chief Justice called up Sol. Gen. Estelito Mendoza Monday morning Jan. 22nd, to tell him that the court was at the disposal of the President for dinner…

Jan. 27, 1973 Saturday 11:50 pm (on board the 777 to sleep here for an early start at 7:30 am tomorrow with Dr. & Mrs. Sharon for Talaga)

…Chief Justice Concepcion is sick in the hospital and may not be able to attend the dinner on Monday.

It is apparent that the other justices are in favor of dismissing the petition questioning the validity of the ratification of the New Constitution.

But they want to be assured of their continuance in office under the new constitution with new appointments…

But everybody else has accepted the new constitution and as we put it in the dinner conference we held tonight, how do the justices expect us to “unscramble the eggs already scrambled”?

We have to handle them with finesse as the Supreme Court might become the rallying point of the opponents of reform.

Jan. 29, 1973 1:00 am Jan. 30th

the dinner with the Justices without Chief Justice Concepcion who is sick in Sto. Tomas Hospital turned out well.

Casually I turned into the problems the country was facing requiring an unquestioned position of leadership for negotiations. As Justice Fred Ruiz Castro said, “I get the message, Mr. President.”

Feb. 13, 1971

…The dilemma of all the developing countries is still freedom in its traditional concept or survival.

Perhaps too simplistic but true. In our case survival (physically) from the anarchy, violence, and chaos of actual rebellion…

In our case, too, providentially, there was written into our constitution the power to proclaim martial law which would authorize not only an assurance of flexibility in eradicating the rebellion but of instituting reforms that would prevents its recurrence and create a new society…

Mar. 2, 1973 2:00 pm

With the country and people moving forward steadily, investments coming in, confidence reinstated, people hopeful and achieving, there is pride for our Republic and nation.

And many people are beginning to claim they had known all along that martial law was the only solution.

Occasionally, however, some people feel that we are back in the Old Society and suggest I share in the profits and material rewards of the civil order I have been able to reestablish.

Poor, deluded souls! They cannot seem to realize that to steer this country through these critical days, I have to be above the material attractions that have a tendency to claim you and enmesh you in petty and selfish interests.

To keep the objectivity and wisdom of judgment that is necessary for leadership, I must stay away from these mundane considerations.

Apr. 2, 1973

…Dr. de Vega has just written me that the Supreme Court has resolved the pending suit in the New Constitution and as of this moment is distributing its decision in favor of our position – 6-4.

The four dissenting Justices are:

1. Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion
2. Justice Calixto Zaldivar
3. Justice Enrique Fernando
4. Justice Claudio Teehankee

Apr. 15, 1973 Sunday

…In the conference which I held with the “Originals” (with Col., the J-3 and Gen. Tamayo, Chief of Logistics included) at 4:00 pm, Saturday, April 14th, I informed them:

1. That I had written a Political Testament which I directed them to follow, indicating the successor to me in case of my death or disability; that this was necessary in view of the fact that even now there was rivalry among various leaders; that it was necessary to continue our policies even if I should not be capable or around to lead, otherwise our constitutional revolution would ultimately fail; that even Alexander’s empire had broken up because he had merely said, “To the strongest belongs his empire”; and that I assessed the various personalities aspiring for leadership.

2. There was need to review our pledge to our commitment because there is now apparent weakening of the elements of our revolution. A corruption and loss of ideals has set in…

April 16, 1973 Monday 8:15 pm (after dinner and meditation aboard the 777 at Talaga Bay)

….One of my advisors wrote to me of spiritual retreats that I should not be in the company of my subordinates. I must tell him when I see him one cannot call God a subordinate! For that is the company I keep.

May 5, 1973

…We may have to hasten the process of normalizing by:

1. Conducting elections of an Advisory Legislative Council under the supervision of the Comelec by the Citizens Assemblies.

2. The old newspapers must be investigated formally and their closure directed after formal hearing.

3. The same for other media.

The financiers and oligarchs who may finance further violence should now be neutralized.

Formal charges have to be filed against Aquino, Diokno, Roxas, Mitra, Felipe, Manglapus even if the trials may be delayed.

We must now reduce the number of detention prisoners.

Continue the reorganization of the government.

Push away the capitalists trying to get close to me.

July 5th and 6th, 1973 Friday, Saturday, 12:15 pm (at Hermano Mayor)

…Have been planning on the referendum and the development of a constitutional situation where the powers of martial law can be exercised without a proclamation or continuance of martial law…

July 25th & 26th, 1973

This is the first election where I have not delivered a single speech or moved to campaign.

And I may not even vote.

Strange feeling -to be able to win without any effort.

But I am busy on the actions I intend to take after the results of the referendum are released by Comelec.

July 27, 28, 1973 Friday & Saturday, 11:00 pm July 28th

The referendum vote is overwhelmingly Yes. And a great percentage of those qualified registered and voted -about 80% to 95% registered and voted. I similar percentage may have voted yes.

And Imelda was worried that the people may vote against me and my administration.

This is the first time I have won a popular mandate without working for it. No campaigning. No speeches. No expenses. And no headaches.

Sep. 22, 1973 Saturday

I have often said achievement is but the meeting or congruence of preparation and opportunity.

But Father Donalan told Imelda that in addition to this I have had luck….

I admit that I have had phenomenal luck in time of war as well as peace.

And there must be a Guiding Hand above who has forgiven me my sins, of which I have had more than my mortal share, and led me to my destiny.

Because all the well-nigh impossible accomplishments have seemed to be natural and fore ordained. And into the role of supposed hero in battle, top scholar, President I seemed to have gracefully moved into without the awkwardness of pushiness and over anxiety.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


Skip to comment form

    • Rom on September 22, 2007 at 2:59 am

    I know that we are now up to our ears with people who remember martial law with bitterness. I feel for them. But I have no memory of martial law, except what my parents told me: they woke up one morning and found no newspaper at at the doorstep. they went to work and found no disturbances in the streets. where my mother worked as a teaching assistant, kids had stopped shooting improvised arrows at teachers. where my father worked, people were railing at all the injustices being committed to aquino and all the rest. needless to say, my father believed marcos to be the devil, while my mother was thankful that she no longer had to worry about people setting the family car on fire.

    • nash on September 22, 2007 at 3:02 am

    Too bad blogs haven’t been invented yet. Marcos would have been a prolific blogger. Imagine how full his comments box would have been.

  1. I don’t know, between Joma and Marcos, I would choose Marcos.

    • Karlo on September 22, 2007 at 3:33 am

    between Joma and Marcos, I would choose Marcos.

    Why’s that?

  2. marcos’ diary is simply disturbing.

    • Bencard on September 22, 2007 at 4:53 am

    take away the systematic plunder of the nation’s wealth, and the bastardization of the rule of law in the equation and i would have supported marcos’ dictatorship, for as long as necessary, to discipline a wayward society that was weaned in aberrational governance by spanish friars and spineless secular officials. it appears that our home grown rulers, elected though they may be, followed the example of these despicable foreigners and carried on where the latter left off.

    i don’t think the people learned any lesson from the marcos'”authoritarianism”. its now business as usual, with the licentious press and profit-oriented media arrogantly proclaiming its own untouchability; politicians seeking public office for personal gain, their relatives and their cronies; a gullible citizenry that cannot be outraged by the most heinous crimes against the national welfare committed by its highest official; a clergy that has lost credibility and moral ascendancy and yet tries to cling to pre-spanish power and privilege; an “educated” portion of the population who gives up any form of idealism and sulks in the corner in defeat, or become obstinate cynic who insists that his countrymen cannot do anything good or right; a budding entrepreneur who sets up shop in the middle of a street; a family who builds a barong-barong in the first vacant lot it sees that belongs to another; etc., etc.

    yes, the country may be ripe for another dictatorship either by the left or the right of the political spectrum. and we only have ourselves to blame, whether we like it or not.

  3. Karlo,

    Bencard supplied some of the answers.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 7:53 am


    These caught my attention:

    “so we must keep our moves clean and submerge self-interest.”

    submerged crocodile !

    “They (SC) insisted that we retain a color of constitutionality for everything that we do.”

    chameleon camouflaged crocodile !

    “Occasionally, however, some people feel that we are back in the Old Society and suggest I share in the profits and material rewards of the civil order I have been able to reestablish.”

    A crocodile feast New Society turned out to be.

    • The Ca t on September 22, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed near Wack-Wack at about 8:000 pm tonight. It was a good thing he was riding in his security car as a protective measure…


    I would have been impressed by the diary if I have not read Conjugal Partnership.

    No one can match Marcos in terms of strategic planning. Even his diaries were written according to the plan.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Bencard, MBW,

    Define discipline. What’s your definition of disciplne? What to you is discipline? Was Marcos able to discipline his cronies?

    Peace-and-order disciplne applies to the people.

    Feast-and-order discipline to his cronies?

    Weren’t everybody so disciplined then, huh?

    • Bencard on September 22, 2007 at 8:35 am

    peter m, who or whatever you are, you may be one of the reasons for the next martial law, or other form of totalitarian rule. discipline begins with oneself. i don’t have to define it to you. just look around with eyes wide open and you will see it for yourself.

    • justice in waiting on September 22, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Discipline begins with oneself? Marcos initially was successful dicisplining the masses thru the rule of law, bu enforcing the “just” penalty for even the slightest infractions, like breaking the curfew, but as time went by, he let his own circles go wild and the initial strict discipline turned into just “sloganeering”, while his cronies and families were busy plundering the nation’s treasury. NO, discipline can not just start with oneself, just look at neigboring Singapore, it is the “rule of Law” and the enforcement of Law without regards to an individual status that instill discipline among the masses, and bencard you knew it, you are living in a country where discipline was initially imposed by its pioneers by hanging its law breakers by the trees…

    • Bencard on September 22, 2007 at 9:29 am

    i support most of pgma’s policies of governance and exercise of presidential powers. but i will oppose and protest with all my heart her impending decision to pardon estrada and wipe out every bit of hope that a new era in the pursuit to contain corruption in government has finally began. it is unfortunate that she would succumb to irresistible political pressure, and enter into a pact with the devil. the advice she got from her palace guards may prove to be the most self-destructive in her entire political career. every administration has this kind of advisers – apparently well-meaning but unwittingly works to undermine the interest they are supposed to serve.

    i have gone on record with a simple vision of what could be the consequence of such a pardon. estrada has remained arrogant and unremorseful of his sins. his fanatics are equally obstinate in their devotion to him and will not accept the court’s finding of his guilt. reconciliation, which pgma relentlessly pursues, is out of the question. its a fool’s gold. estrada and his people have only one thing in their mind – revenge for all the humiliation, loss of power and loss of ill-gotten wealth that he has suffered. destabilization of pgma’s government will continue with new vigor now that its prime mover is free unconditionally. its a win – win situation for estrada and lose – lose for gma, thanks to her “loyal” advisers. the ultimate loser is the filipino people. the next corrupt president, and every grafter (past, present and future) could continue their nefarious ways without fear of retribution but instead with sure expectation of impunity.

    sayang! sayang na sayang. talaga namang nakapanlulumo.

    • watchful eye on September 22, 2007 at 9:30 am

    hindi nyo ba napuna. pati yun family portrait ni marcos as falsificado. marcos is about 5’6” and imelda 5’8” but in the portait marcos is made to appear as almost half a foot taller than her.

    “No one can match Marcos in terms of strategic planning.” – The cat

    you mean not even ate glue? to think, she has not even declared martial law yet and neri is acting like he’s under marcos’ gun.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 10:45 am


    ,a Marcosian discipline fan and a GMA fanatic, says,”discipline begins with oneself.”

    “who or whatever you are, you” make my day, funny, tickle my funny bones,

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Discipline in the New Society we are talking about started with Marcos himself who wasn’t able to control himself and his cronies from ‘robbing’ the country very much. Funny. Huh?

    Discipline in GMA’s Strong Republic starts with GMA who was’t able to control herself from cheating, “hello”?

    Funny? Not really, but someone here is.

    • hvrds on September 22, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Another great public service for those who were still unborn by MLQ3. It is once again clear that Marcos’s drive to tame the tribes and clans of the Philippine islands would not work since the rationale’s for the changes in society were basically fraudulent and flawed. The Romualdez clan and the Cojuangco clan (part of it) were complicit in the take over of power. Ponce Enrile and Cojuangco were never made to answer for their part in this take over. It was simply a consolidation of power for a few privileged families.

    Marcos also created the rise of the uniformed elite in Philippine tribal society. The landed gentry simply shifted their loyalties to the heads of the new society and abandoned the Aquino-Cojuangco clan to their own resources.

    The institutions of constitutional government were mere decorations and tools for the dictatorship.

    After Edsa I we have clear competition amongst the clans for seizing the power of the state to push their economic interests.

    We should not be surprised at this since these clans evolved from the Spanish form of European Catholic feudal systems. Divine right to rule with the Cardinal blessing the ascension to power. The present Cardinal Rosales like Cardinal Sin who did not oppose martial law. Even in Argentina’s dirty war vs. the so called left the Catholic Church supported the dictators.

    The U.S. reeling from their Vietnam debacle and Nixons troubles readily gave their ascent as long as their interests were protected. The infamous Quasha decision a result of that ascent.

    Marcos raised graft and corruption to an institutionalized level with brilliant technocrats and lawyers signing on to this massive plunder of the treasury. This business model has been refined and used again and again during the Cory, Ramos, Erap and now GMA years.

    I was fortunate to sit with one of these men who acted as conduit for the couple and it was amazing how they conspired with technocrats to rape the treasury. They acted as if it was a privilege to serve the royal couple. But they had their share in the booty.

    We see it again today. The rot has become embedded in society.

    These clans see the treasury as their private domain. Look at JDV, torn between the love for his son and his Queen. What happened to the common good?

    Congress has the power of the purse. The executive has the power over the purse. Disputes between the two are supposed to be resolved by the judiciary based on the rule of law which governs the power of and over the purse.

    That purse belongs to the collective society in a state.

    Still an alien concept for members of a tribal and clan based societies.

    • TDC on September 22, 2007 at 1:09 pm


    • Karlo on September 22, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    peter m, hvrds, and TDC:

    hear, hear.

    • TDC on September 22, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power,than by violent and sudden usurpation.
    — President James Madison. 1751-1836

    This is the style of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—two steps forward,one step backward as she clings to power.

    • Karl Garcia on September 22, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    we are back to slogans.
    Golez wants to promote “disiplina ang kailangan para umunlad ang bayan” or otherway around.

    in our homes we try in vain to command our babies to learn and appreciate the word no,so i guess disciplene begins at that early stage,then when he understands right and wrong we try to inject “value systems” and “belief systems”, then life goes on.

    If that is not a microcosm for discipline in society,then I don’t know what is.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 2:35 pm


    Abalos/Mendoza: “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, ZTE ang kailangan.”

    Ariel Ureta:”Sa ikauulnald ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.” (Was it true Ariel was invited to Crame and made to ride a bisikleta around the grounds? Pia Cyetano can bowwow his line now.)

    • xyz on September 22, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    IT’S CONFIRMED!!!! FERDIE WAS A MENTAL CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • xyz on September 22, 2007 at 2:46 pm


    • mantz on September 22, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    A German propaganda expert (Was it Goebels?) once said that “A lie that is repeated over and over, will be accepted as truth! (Or something to that effect).

    Mr Marcos, even in his own diaries wrote lies and pure lies …

    I wonder what he was thinking and feeling when he was writing his diaries …

    • The Ca t on September 22, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    you mean not even ate glue? to think, she has not even declared martial law yet and neri is acting like he’s under marcos’ gun.

    Yes, because if she were, you would not be able make comments in this column with the sarcastic remarks.

  4. “…with the licentious press and profit-oriented media arrogantly proclaiming its own untouchability; politicians seeking public office for personal gain, their relatives and their cronies; a gullible citizenry that cannot be outraged by the most heinous crimes against the national welfare committed by its highest official; a clergy that has lost credibility and moral ascendancy and yet tries to cling to pre-spanish power and privilege; an “educated” portion of the population who gives up any form of idealism and sulks in the corner in defeat, or become obstinate cynic who insists that his countrymen cannot do anything good or right; a budding entrepreneur who sets up shop in the middle of a street; a family who builds a barong-barong in the first vacant lot it sees that belongs to another; etc., etc”

    Bencard, you touched on something I feel most of us also feel. And you said it also: discipline starts with oneself. But its rather aberrant to support a strongman’s regime if you believe that discipline should start with the individual, no? Strongmen enforce discipline. Their kind of discipline. And their belief is that discipline starts at the end of their gun. Not with one’s own choices. So, san ka ba?

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    mlq3, kg, bencard, cvj, etal,

    How important is discipline in society?

    Kung walang disiplina ang mga mamamayan sa isang lipunan, walang kaayusan at walang kaunlaran na magaganap.

    How can we have discipline in society?

    Maraming punto de vista at maraming sagot sa tanong na iyan. Kaya’t sa kontexto ng usapan sa ngayon, ang kaugnay na tanong ay:

    What can a leader do so that there can be discipline in our society? Can he impose discipline on the people or lead by example?

    Kaya’t mahalaga na maunawan ang pagkakaiba ng pag-didisiplina na may pananakot kaysa pag-gabay at pagpapaliwanag kaysa panlilinlang.

    Ang kabuluhan ng mga katagang “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan,” ay iba sa panahon ng batas militar kaysa sa panahon na may kalayaan. Gayun din na iba ang kabuluhan kung ang naghahayag ay totoo at kapanipaniwala o isang sinungaling at manlilinlang.

    When did we ever have discipline in our society? Was it during martial law? During the Japanese occupation? American colonization? Spanish colonization?

    Was there more discipline in our society during the time of Ramon Magsaysay or during the time of Marcos?

    In our experience as a nation, was there more discpline in society when the leader is loved and reverred than when the leader is feared and hated?

    • mlq3 on September 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    peter m.:

    i once had the chance to ask ariel ureta about this, when he interviewed me. he said, it wasn’t true. the marcoses would never have locked him up, because he was friends with the marcos kids.

  5. It is I, Hyde, speaking. Having read and learned from a tragic strongman, I now list the actions a reformer must take in order to avoid the pitfalls that Marcos suffered:

    1. Write the ideals you are fighting for in a list. Read them everyday while you are in power.

    2. Steep yourself in doubt. Surround yourself with people you can trust, but do not lock up people who criticize you. Their criticisms are important in helping you resist self-delusion.

    3. Do not lock up the SC, media, or congress. If faced with obstructionism, use the people’s voice in your persuasion. If faced with threats of being unseated, rally the people to your defense.

    4. Only claim martial law powers in one aspect: strengthening our institutions. Establish the groundwork for making these institutions impervious to executive demands. Lay waste to every corrupting system within these institutions.

    5. Prepare for the eventuality of stepping down. Put measures to prevent the rise of another dictator after you, the gradual come back of corrupt men, and the subversion of everything you worked hard to reform.

    6. Reform the education sector and use it to instill nationalism to the children. Let critical thinking reign supreme, and rote memorization be smitten down. Above all, teach history in context. Tell stories, not dates, figures, and names. Teach events and history’s lessons, not who, what, where, and when. The only important questions are HOW and WHY. And they should be taught the answer.

    7. Go to bed, and sleep soundly.

    • mlq3 on September 22, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    peter m., if you ask people who lived through those times, the two traumas our society had difficult coping with were: ww2 (the japanese occupation) and the latter part of martial law. i once talked to an economist who said he had empirically proven that the point where corruption became endemic in phil. society was a date that shocked me and would probably surprise you: 1983. that’s when our economy basically collapsed.

    personally, i think the best discipline is when it’s shown to be in the person’s interest to exercise some self control. people line up patiently to ride jeeps, etc. now, just ten years ago people were saying it would never happen.

    you also have the perennial example of subic: enforced impartially, people obey the rules.

  6. “i think the best discipline is when it’s shown to be in the person’s interest to exercise some self control. people line up patiently to ride jeeps”

    Manolo: so, what we just need now is for the mrt-riding throng to learn the same.

    and a subic-like enforcement of rules nationwide.

    Filipinos are great lawbreakers. But they obey them when it is enforced with diligence. We all know this from actions of OFWs. The great chameleon in following laws. Outside pinas, the ever dutiful follower of laws. Returning home: will break laws, if no one is looking, or if one thinks he can get away with it.

    • JDQ on September 22, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    “Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.” –ALCUIN c. 735-804 Letter to Charlemagne, AD800 Works.

    • mlq3 on September 22, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    devils, i dont think that even a unqiuely filipino characteristic. it’s human nature to act that way.

    • mlq3 on September 22, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    alcuin quote was from here:


    Often quoted as, Vox populi, vox dei, “The voice of the people is the voice of God”, is an old proverb often erroneously attributed to William of Malmesbury in the twelfth century.[1]

    Another early reference to the expression is in a letter from Alcuin to Charlemagne in 798, although it is believed to have been in earlier use.[2] The full quotation from Alcuin reads:

    Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.[3]

    English translation:

    And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 5:31 pm


    Vox populi, isn’t always vox Dei?

    But conditional if and only if, in an elections for example, the voters vote according to conscience?

    Concscience is the vox dei among the individuals comprising the populi.

    Vox populi who follow their conscience is vox Dei.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 5:44 pm


    “personally, i think the best discipline is when it’s shown to be in the person’s interest to exercise some self control”

    So that a good disciplinarian must also be a good explainer. Kailangan daanin sa paliwanag at kailangan credible ang nagpapaliwanag.

    In that sense, who among the front running presidentiables, has the best potential of being a good disciplinarian? An important campaign issue, don’t you think?

    IMHO, as a better explainer both in terms of patience and credibility, Villar is a better choice as a discplinarian than Lacson who projects the image but not the substance of one.

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 6:05 pm


    “in subic: enforced impartially, people obey the rules.”

    When people are free, when people freely agree to the rules and freely submit to the rules, then the people’s obedience to the rules is the measure of discipline in a society.

    That I think ideally is in essence the meaning of discipline in society.

    Of course, anyone can give a discourse on what is discipline in society and what is not, but the question at hand is,

    Can history really credit Marcos for the discipline in the New Society during Martial Law?

    • peter m. on September 22, 2007 at 6:08 pm


    “in subic: enforced impartially, people obey the rules.”

    When people are free, when people freely agree to the rules and freely submit to the rules, then the people’s obedience to the rules is the measure of discipline in a society.

    That I think is in essence the meaning of discipline in society.

    Of course, anyone can give a discourse on what is discipline in society and what is not, but the question at hand is,

    Can history really credit Marcos for the discipline in the New Society during Martial Law?

    • cvj on September 22, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Whether or not the ‘voice of the people is the voice of God’ has the same basis in reality as debating whether Voltes V or Mazinger Z is more powerful. Why are we still relying on mythologies in use during the 9th century as the basis for running 21st century society? The choice is not on who has God’s voice or blessing. Even Marcos (as shown above) and Arroyo have claimed a mandate from God. The real question is whether we want government that follows the will of the few, the many or everyone. True democracy is the rule of all by all, something that our homegrown elitists won’t allow.

    • cvj on September 22, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Along the same lines on what i said above (at 7:32pm), JDV has just said that his son is ‘an agent of the Lord’:

    I did not realize the Lord dabbled in Broadband deals…must buy AHI stock.

    • vic on September 22, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    A few good reasons why discipline start with oneself, not because it is inherent to human nature, but because of the pain of the consequence.

    Traffic infraction:

    Car insurance for beginners (driving without experience locally) start at minimum $2000 a year.

    One infraction of speeding under 20 kms., maybe just a fine of under $100. Over 20 kms. A fine of up to $300. plus demerit points plus increase of insurance premium to double the initial premium. Over 50 kms. First offence maximum up to $10 grand, second offence forget driving. DUI under the Criminal code.

    Libelous insults: lawsuit

    Carrying firearms in person, only Police officers are allowed, anybody else is a criminal (except armoured guards on duty).

    Throwing refused on the street..littering.. Fines…

    Drinking Alcohol or going around intoxicated…fines or detention in detox…

    And the cops are serious with their business…

    • TDC on September 22, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Ohe of the most memorable lines in the arrival speech of Ninoy:

    “On one of the long corridors of Harvard University are carved in granite the words of Archibald Macleish: ‘How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies; by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith.’

    I promised on the grave of Ninoy “NEVER AGAIN!”

    • TDC on September 22, 2007 at 9:12 pm


    Morality is the bedrock of public service. And this must start by the example set by leadership at the highest levels.”
    -Glria Macapagal Arroyo’s, Phil. Navy, Headquarters
    March 21, 2001

    If this speech were delivered by another person,he or she will be considered a “DESTABILIZER” by the government.Kasi,ang sakit ng tama kay GMA!

    • Karl Garcia on September 22, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Sa ikaaunlad ng bayan biskleta ang kailangan….

    hindi naman pala 22o yun eh, sabi ni mlq3.

    muntik na akong malito kung sino nagiinterview naalala before the explainer and the other shows ariel ureta had a 6-7 pm slot on anc on a particular weekday.

    it was a management decision,but I guess kailangan magyari yun kundi walang palabas na explainer.


    maiba tayo
    martial law: for us born in the early seventies,depende kung ano sabihin ng magulang.
    basta importante sa amin holiday pag september 21 dahil martial law daw sabi ni teacher.

    we spent our early elementary years when martial law was lifted and just two years later ninoy was killed….

    so biglang iba na ang sina sabi ng mga magulang namin.

    ako na military bra,t at least we were told to admire marcos, medyo force of habit na yata sa mga militar yun nung time na yun eh.

    pero nung time ng assasination ni ninoy nagulat ako sa homerrom adviser namin na hiningan kami ng opinyon grade six pa lang kami nun, sabi namin sabi ng mommy at daddy namin ganito ganuon….ano pa nga ba ang maasahan nya,bata pa kami nuon para hingan ng opinyon,buti sana kung nababsa na sya sa libro nung time na yun. Imposible.

    what a random thought.

    • Bencard on September 22, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    devilsadvoc8, i get your point. strongmen enforce discipline in society, especially a weak society such as ours, if i may add. i had written in this blog some time ago that weak people needs a strongman, a strong people has no need for one. of course, there will always be ‘pasaways’ in every society, as in most families. that’s were the “rule of law” and its enforcement come in. only when self-discipline fails , or not employed, that forced compliance with good behavior becomes inevitable.

    lack of self discipline emanates from lack of self-respect, indifference and absence of sense of personal responsibility, among other things. it is an aberration for an adult, apparently normal person (mentally) to be coerced into doing the right thing.

    the failings of marcos stemmed from his own eventual surrender to lack of inner self discipline and that of his relatives, courtiers, and cadre of sycophants and bootlickers (some or many of whom are still in our midst).

    one indication of lack of national discipline is the tragic loss of the people capacity to be outraged by the revolting behavior of its leaders.

    • Bencard on September 22, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    erratum: people’s capacity to be outraged…

    • The Ca t on September 22, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    phil. society was a date that shocked me and would probably surprise you: 1983. that’s when our economy basically collapsed.

    • The Ca t on September 23, 2007 at 12:03 am


    I was not shocked. Dollar salting must have been intense during this period.Preparing for the worst to come when resources were being moved to other countries by those who accumulated wealth illegally.
    importers found it difficult to buy dollars for importation.
    They charged penalty for dollars withdrawn from the bank.

    • mlq3 on September 23, 2007 at 12:30 am

    cAt, the economist’s argument was corruption at all levels, top to to bottom.

Load more

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.