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.

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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.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

178 thoughts on “From the diaries of Ferdinand E. Marcos

  1. i beg to disagree with you mlq3. i think corruption was endemic in philippine society since the spanish colonial rule of which jose rizal wrote about. the padre damasos, padre salvis, kapitan tiagos, padre camorras, donya victorina, don tiburcios, ben zayb, etc. are still with us after 200 years.

    what happened to the proceeds of the sale of the islands to the spaniards (the gold salakot, etc.) in the 16th century? what about the funds supposed to have been received from the americans in hong kong (through adm. george dewey) purportedly for use to prosecute the philippine “revolution” to its completion, and set up its own independent government? were they all accounted for?

    i may be historically way off, mlq3, but since you are the historian, please enlighten me. thanks.

  2. mlq3,

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

    I remember an old friend telling me that during the martial law,corruption was monopolized by the people in power at the top. Sabi niya at least isa lang nagpapasasa.

    In 1983,siguro nakita ng mga tao na crime does not pay, so labo-labo na rin sila.

    Wala naman yatang naparusahang corrupt official noong martial law, meron ba? alam ko ang naparusahan lang mga opposition.

  3. bencard, in the absence of the professor in question presenting his paper, then his opinion is as good as anyone else’s.

    we can stipulate some things. first, that corruption is a construct -legally, morally, etc.- but that it is never absent. second, that however defined, societies revise those definitions, so what was permissible at one point in time, may no longer be so, at some later date. but that also, so long as the consensus exists, as to what constitutes corruption, then we have a basis for some kind of comparison. third, corruption, however defined, is fostered by many things, including the strength or weakness of the rule of law, the prestige or ability to inspire cooperation and obedience from governors and the governed, adverse circumstances (war, famine, global/local economic events) and positive situations.

    consider bonifacio, in justifying the revolution, accepted that a contract had taken place between the spaniards and native rulers: the blood compacts by which spanish sovereignty was recognized by local rulers. but he said, it is time to tear up that contract. if spanish authority, to us, today, involved basically land grabbing an archipelago, intimidating and fraud (which to us today would make any agreements void ab initio), we say so only because bonifacio et al said, look, the premises of the past no longer apply.

    consider ww2, when basically you had anarchy in many areas, a military occupation in the rest, officials torn between conflicting claims to sovereignty and allegiance, an economy suddenly ly wrecked by war, etc. dog eat dog as is often the case in war: and our elders more often than not say, something snapped, the moral fiber of the country proved very brittle indeed. the proliferation of arms led oppresssed peasants to finally try to get even, landlords trying to defend their privileges, no one sure which government was legitimate or would win, infrastructure wrecked. the bedrock of prewar society, the newely-emergent middle class, as well as the upper class, suddenly found themselves without finds.

    after the war, those classes tried to regain what was lost by all means necessary; the dispossed continued their fight: but stability was restored quickly enough to prevent a total disintegration and there were enough instances of reform to prevent a total downward slide.

    the exodus of our middle class began when? the 70s and the 80s, when they began to be joined in their exodus by the masses. never have you seen such an exodus by a country’s professional classes unless in times of war or total anarchy. the professor, in our conversations, and convincingly so, to me, argued that in the 80s things had gotten so dire, that with the possible exception of the japanese occuption and the revolutionary period, our country has never faced such a dog eat dog situation.

    how long did the revolutionary period last? the violence was from 1896 to 1903; all remnants of opposition stamped out by 1907. 10-11 years max but more intensely, 7 years. how long did ww2 last? 41 to 45, four years and with a devastation that surpassed the revolutionary era. how long was martial law? officially, 72 to 81, but we know the whole deal was 72 to 86, 14 years. and the exodus has continued and accelerated since; so how long have we been feeling the effects of the 81-83 collapse? it’s 2007. over 20 years.

    officials accused of corruption pre martial law seem myopic compared to what took place later and even marcos’s plunder seems less breath taking today, considering many more are feasting in a big way compared to the handful of cronies during the marcos years.

    incidentally, my impression is, an actual case was filed against pres. aguinaldo during his exile in hk and he was able to prove he handled revolutionary funds prudently. also, ‘ive done computations of official salaries prior to martial law, let me quote myself:

    “In the present day, when the President of the Philippines earns 300,000 pesos a year, or 25,000 pesos a month, this seems inconceivable. This made me wonder if this was even conceivable in Magsaysay’s time. Or any previous president’s time.

    “I will leave it to Solita Monsod to embark on a more scientific study of what I am about to reveal, but I think the figures I’ve arrived at are as good a rule of thumb as any to arrive at what presidents actually used to earn.

    “Under the 1935 Constitution, the salary of the president was 30,000 pesos an annum. To figure out what, say, this amount circa 1937, would be worth in terms of today’s pesos, I asked the help of Jeremy Morales Barns, who is an economist and historian. Since we couldn’t find tables that calculate, say, the equivalent of a peso in the year 1937 if you received a commensurate amount today, we resorted to first, figuring out what pesos were worth then, in dollars, figuring out what those dollars would be worth in today’s dollars, and then converting those dollars to today’s pesos. If course this doesn’t take things such as the cost of living, both then and now, into account, but it’s a start.

    “From the time of the Commonwealth until the administration of Diosdado Macapagal, the peso-dollar exchange rate was fixed at 2 to 1. So whether in 1937 or 1957, the president’s salary of 30,000 pesos was equivalent to 15,000 dollars. To find out what 15,000 dollars earned per year in 1937 would be equivalent to, in terms of what the dollar can purchase today, economists apparently refer to a table of “purchasing power conversion factors” prepared by the U.S. government. For example, you take 15,000 dollars circa 1937, multiply it by 12.814 (the factor according to the table), and the amount you get is what those 1937 dollars would be worth in the year 2004. You then multiply that amount by the current exchange rate and you get an idea of what a certain amount in 1937 could buy you in 2004.

    “To cut a long story short, in today’s peso terms, the president of the Philippines circa 1937 was earning an annual salary of 12.814 million pesos! A cool million pesos a month in today’s peso terms. Based on the 1937 appropriations act, among the lowest paid people in the government, janitors, were earning 18,000 pesos a month in terms of 2004 peso equivalents. Still a decent salary.

    “Based on the different rates in that table, the following deductions are possible: in 1946, Manuel Roxas was earning as president, the equivalent of 9.43 million pesos a year; in 1957, President Magsaysay was earning the equivalent of 6.54 million pesos a year! At that salary, it is certainly believable that President Magsaysay could honestly instruct Palace accountants to deduct the expenses of his children for food and entertainment, gas and sundries, from his salary, and send them to good private schools (it also explains how his predecessor, President Quirino, and successor, President Garcia, could afford to retire to comfortable but far from flashy homes, located on fairly large but not enormous lots, after they left office).

    “President Ramon Magsaysay could afford to be honest and do what he did –be strict about spending for personal, and official, purposes- without it being improbable. His predecessors and succesors, who were less stringent about separating Palace expenses for their families, could certainly have achieved the amount of savings required to retire with a modicum of style and comfort. ”

    Notice that until the OFW phenomenon, the last time our professional classes could achieve stability: home, vehicle, schooling for kids, was the 50s and 60s when we’d recovered from the war. increasingly, today, people born into the middle class can only stay in the middle class, if their parents leave them an inheritance or if they go abroad; otherwise, they face a decline in living standards. even the wealthy, to a certain extent, are facing this so they’re moving abroad, too. the poor have lost access to social mobilty locally, i think it’s safe to say, unless they take the shortcut and work abroad.

    all these factors intensify corruption. if you’re poor, you will face dilemmas aplenty, to sell your soul or body to get the permits and money needed to travel and keep working abroad; if you’re middle class, you must break rules and cut corners to maintain your standard of living; the wealthy, facing competition from home and abroad, must deal dirtier and dirtier with a political class that finds itself devoid of prestige, lacking in the ability to inspire support, and which has to turn to more and more repugnant means to stay in power.

  4. One of the reasons why I liked Marcos was because he was prepared to invade Sabah to recover the island… Sabah rightly belongs to the Sultan of Sulu. It belongs to the Philippines by extension…

    Now we have not only almost officiously surrendered Sabah, we have also accepted that they officiously back the rebellion in the South – the Malaysians are the godfathers of the MILF!

  5. Now we have not only almost OFFICIALLY surrendered Sabah to Malaysia without a squeak, we have also accepted that they officiously back the rebellion in the South – the Malaysians are the bloody godfathers of the MILF!

  6. Marcos had the guts to do something that the entire Philippine leadership under him put together would never ever even deign imagine doing… He prepared to invade Sabah and guess who squealed prompting America to withdraw the vessels that were on their way to Pinas to ferry the troops en route to station 1?

  7. Marcos had the guts to do something that the entire Philippine leadership AFTER him put together would never ever even deign imagine doing… He prepared to invade Sabah and guess who squealed prompting America to withdraw the vessels that were on their way to Pinas to ferry the troops en route to station 1?

  8. mlq3,

    1983 was something like our ‘Great Depression”? Prof had empirical evidence that it was the direst time ever and since, are ther elements of that peiod present today? are there indications that history — 1983 — will repeat itself in three years perhaps when GMA’s cronies and allies move the loot out of the country and be Overseas Filipino Wealthy Fugitives?

  9. mbw,

    Right thing to claim back Sabah, another thing to be saber-rattling against an oil-rich, OPEC-backed country. FM bungled the Sabah claim. We lost Sabah because of his ill conceived attempts at confronting the issue.

  10. Maybe so, peter m but that doesn’t take away the fact that he did try hence the guts and courage to try – as to ill-conceived attempts, i don’t believe they were, it was more like someone squealed and a well-prepared attempt was bungled by that someone.

    Philippine history has shown that in the most important events of its nationhood that the country was never short of people with courage but also of traitors and cowards.

  11. MBW,

    Well in any case; Arula was unlikely to have kept his silence since certain people were precisely out to silence him forever.

  12. mbw,

    Yeah agree FM’s got guts. He cut short the US base lease, (indefinite to 50 yrs, 50 to 25 yrs ? am not sure about details), he’s got the guts to face up to the Americans, who were getting tough during the nego, i remeber marcos saying “Unless they’re willing to fight another land war in Asia, we’ve fought a guerilla war against the japs, next time we’ll be more cruel”

  13. mlq3, thanks for giving a primer on the history and economics of corruption in the philippines. i’m much obliged. one thing is clear, that most succeeding filipino leaders did wise up to the colonial friars’ admonition to “give your earthly riches to the church to save your soul” and instead lined their own pockets from the nation’s coffers, with vengeance.

    you may be right about there being more sticky hands in the pgma administration than marcos’. i think marcos wielded a very strong mailed fist on would-be grafters, both in and out of government, and not within his favored and protected cohorts. in contrast, and as you hinted in previous posts, pgma seems to enjoy less popularity, and generates less fear, because of the threats of ouster, by hook or by crook, by her enemies. false and fair-weather “allies” who are engaged in clandestine corruption, and not at all intimidated by punitive measures, could not be easily controlled. of course, pgma is capable of doing a marcos if only she could be as ruthless. i think despite claim that it could never happen again, a marcos – style pre-emptive counter-revolution could be possible in a weak society such as ours – where everything and everyone have a price. but i have faith that pgma would not succumb to that kind of lure. she’s not that kind of a leader.

    it’s not enough to be an honest leader. one must also have honest men and women to work for him or her and honest people to govern. thus we go back to the issue of individual or personal discipline, multiplied 80 million times.

  14. mbw, i recall it was pres. diosdado macapagal who formalized our claim to sabah. he, however, pursued it diplomatically with malaysia and indonesia, and legally with, i believe, the international claims court. i thought, he could not risk a shooting war with the other claimants (malaysia & indonesia) because it could lead to confrontation between u.s., our ally and protector (by treaty), and u.k., malaysia’s champion. i didn’t think u.s. was enthusiastic about taking on u.k. on our behalf.

  15. “it’s not enough to be an honest leader. one must also have honest men and women to work for him or her and honest people to govern. thus we go back to the issue of individual or personal discipline, multiplied 80 million times.” – Bencard

    For one thing, GMA is not an honest leader. She is a cheat, a liar, and a thief. And definitely, most of the people around her are as dishonest (what do you expect with a leader like her?) Now, if you again ask me for concrete evidence beyond reasonable doubt, I have the right description for you, supplied by your nemesis Marcos: you’re “too bound by technical legalism.”

    The solution is not to wait until all 80 miilion Filipinos become personally disciplined. That would be like waiting for Godot. Even in the USA, your adopted country, not all 300 million Americans are personally disciplined.

    What the country needs is a strong, honest, sincere leader who only has the nation’s interest at heart. Just the right leadership, Bencard, as the other recently developed countries around the region have demonstrated, is needed for the country to really move, not on, but upward.

  16. Should it matter what discipline should be? Isn’t it obvious? I don’t understand the whole discussion. A nation of disciplined folks would certainly move the country forward. What we have right now in our country are a people who are basically so used to corruption in their midst that their sense of right and wrong has become totally screwed. The baser form of survival has certainly taken over. Love of country is certainly in the backburner for most people. That’s why you see a majority of people who want to just leave the country for greener pastures.

  17. mlq3

    Is the Jabidah massacre true?

    I read somewhere that Ninoy had a Senate report that said it didn’t happen. What’s your take on this?

  18. Bencard,

    You are right on all counts:

    “he could not risk a shooting war with the other claimants (malaysia & indonesia) because it could lead to confrontation between u.s., our ally and protector (by treaty), and u.k., malaysia’s champion. i didn’t think u.s. was enthusiastic about taking on u.k. on our behalf.”

  19. I had the chance to interview a few AFP officers in the mid-90s and who were young lieutenants and captains involved in the planned invasion of Sabah at the time. One of them was a young pilot at the time – he told me horror stories after he and fellow pilot officers were left stranded on an island because the plan had to be aborted following the denunciation of the military invasion.

  20. bencard, to be fair:

    marcos’ time is when government graft became systematized plunder. if in the past, politicians skimmed, with marcos a smaller number of politicians actively raided the treasury. i was recently reading a book on the environment and under marcos, logging concessions, for example, grew tenfold in as many years.

    at the same time, under marcos, corruption became endemic in the lower ranks of the civil service, because of economic mismanagement and advancing up the ranks becoming determined solely by favoritism.

    i think it’s fair to say that under gma, low-level corruption has probably been reduced, in some offices, drastically., there are definitely efficiencies established in some gov’t offices and with that, a corresponding reduction in petty corruption. therse are genuine, because possibly theylll be long-lasting, achievements.

    where the president has been a big failure is in curbing smuggling. and in customs. if you look at her bases of support, you will see why her successes in curbing petty corruption have been accompanied by singificant failures in big-time corruption.

  21. Curiously, Malaysians and non-Malaysians can buy property in Sabah but only on a freehold basis, i.e., 99 year lease while in the rest of Malaysia, one can buy property on freehold basis, i.e., ownership ad vitam eternam.

    My suspicion is that Malaysia – which has been telling the world that it “owns” Sabah – cannot deliver deeds of ownership other than a leasehold title to the buyer very likely on account of the standing contention by the Philippines that Sabah belongs to the Philippines! (Also, even if you buy a property in Sabah today, it takes a minimum of a decade to get that leasehold deed…)

    When I advanced this theory to friends in Malaysia, particularly to those who live in Sabah, they acknowledge that this could very well be the reason.

    Surprisingly (I don’t know if it’s out of politesse or courtesy), no Malaysian I’ve met, neither in Sabah nor in mainland Malaysia, not even officers of the Malaysia defence forces, has ever contradicted me frontally about what I’ve always said, “Sabah belongs to the Philippines.”

  22. Oops, “Curiously, Malaysians and non-Malaysians can buy property in Sabah but only on a LEASEHOLD basis, i.e., 99 year lease while in the rest of Malaysia, one can buy property on freehold basis, i.e., ownership ad vitam eternam.”

  23. MLQ3:I really enjoyed THE EXPLAINER episode on Martial Law declaration particularly the part where the students really wanted to know what that infamous event meant in our history.Never Again!

  24. MBW, js,

    It depends on the timeline. Most would have it that the massacre occurred earlier and thus the opportunity for the denunciation.

    Your pilot interviewee might have been lucky that he was only stranded.

  25. can i request mlq3 can i photocopy the marcos diary because i really want to read it i already have the book delusions of a dictator but it is incomplete i have already started to read the diary in the magazine smart files before published by ricardo manapat but the magazine already closed shop i am really intrested to read it

  26. The Americans had apparently agreed to sell the vessels to FM and knew what they were supposed to be used for – transport troops and ammunitions to the island where some fighter jets were already based to provide for air support in anticipation of the the invasion.

    But when the planned invasion hit the news, the US apparently withdrew from the agreement to sell the vessels to RP. It was Pres Carlos Garcia’s legal adviser who remained in the inner circle of FM who provided this story which was later corroborated by the said fighter pilot.

  27. mlq3,


    re: 1983 collapse, the US factor came to mind, bases issue, marcos cut it short to 25 yrs., gap with US set in, marcos playing/toying with the China hand,

    at some point US dropped marcos and orchestrated to a degree the events, including the 1983 economic crisis, leading to EDSA.

  28. mlq3, mbw,

    if marcos had succeeded, he, imelda and his cronies would have plundered Sabah too.

    Ninoy saved Sabah from Marcos! Sabahenos should build a monument to Ninoy and read about what your blogging about now as part of their history. Ninoy could be saying ” the Sabahenos are worth dying for”

    not only from marcos, but from every administration since and upto now,

    Sabahenos are spared from GMA, thank Ninoy for that

    Sabah is better off now

    otherwise Filipino mindanaoans wouldn’t be fleeing, braving the high seas, be tnt, to work in sabah to escape from the poverty they blame on evil politicians that should be thrown to the sharks in high seas between sabah and the poor poor country marcos and his successors plundered.

    if marcos had succeeded Sabahenos could have seceded long ago bringing the whole island of mindanao with them to be part of malaysia!!!

    Ninoy saved Mindanao from being part of Malaysia but not from Marcos and his successors!

    if a referendum is done now, no bidol, no garci can do enough to cheat the mindanaoans from being ceded to malaysia,

    thank NINOY for squealing the truth, and pray that NERI does the same

  29. Pete,

    You may be right. But that’s not what the Bangsamoro people want today – to secede in order to be part of Malaysia.

    They want an independent state composed of a vast portion of Mindanao at least together with Sabah which they claim is also colonized illegaly by Malaysia.

    I thought I’d never say this: Today, I personally would be opposed for Sabah to be returned to the Philippines given the current government (there’s oil in Sabah) because of the risk of prosperous Sabah being turned into another Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao!

    I’m confident that the people of Sabah, including the Filipinos living there who call themselves “locals” who don’t believe or aspire to be Malaysians at all will refuse to be part of the Philippines in its current political state.

    However, at the time when the invasion of Sabah was being planned by Marcos, the province was totally underdeveloped, depressed and isolated.

    But you are right – we do not deserve Sabah because we are as tribalistic as the fratricidal African tribes; we have no right to impose our corrupt Philippine way of life on Sabahns. If things worsen in the Philippines, the right thing to do is to give Mindanao its independence…

  30. mbw,

    “If things worsen in the Philippines, the right thing to do is to give Mindanao its independence…”

    the rigt thing to do is to make it better, if that could not be done, we don’t have to give mindanao its independence, they’ll just do it their way and there’s nothing we can do to keep them,

  31. mbw,

    If Ninoy had lived to be president, he woild have been a good leader, we would have had prosperity that follows good governance,

    we would have had a gov’t Mindanaoans would be happy with, Sabahnos would have preferred to be part of,

  32. “Is the Jabidah massacre true?

    I read somewhere that Ninoy had a Senate report that said it didn’t happen. What’s your take on this?”

    If not,then what on earth led to the formation of the MNLF?

    Then the squeeling account of MBW,which led to “project Merdeka” being aborted….made me further think..and now the peacemakers are giving land to the MILF.

    But this is interesting,for me at least.

    If that(Merdeka) did happen ,with it simultaneous to the vietnam war,what could have happened? sa tingin ko iiwan tayo sa ere ng US at hihingi tayo resbak sa iba na walang kinalaman sa vietnam war.

  33. mbw,

    Can you tell your Sabahno friends about Ninoy, about a Filipino whose courage to tell the truth saved Sabahnos and Filipinos from a dictator?

  34. “Is the Jabidah massacre true?

    I read somewhere that Ninoy had a Senate report that said it didn’t happen. What’s your take on this?”

    “In a series of articles smuggled from prison, and published in the Bangkok Post in 1973, Benigno Aquino wrote of the worsening rebellion by communist guerrillas in Luzon and by Muslims in the South seeking to avenge the execution of 25 of their “brothers.” The Bangkok Post printed a caveat against taking the clandestine Aquino Papers as “gospel truth” though in the main those warnings were about other aspects of the story. “In his clandestine writings, the Senator has been helped by his journalistic training and his accounts of various important events have a professional precision but the reader must keep in mind that he is a politician with great rhetorical skill,” the Bangkok Post wrote. ”

    Paul F. Whitman
    Corregidor Then and Now.

  35. MBW,

    Still it doesn’t explain the timeline which tells that the massacre happened before the expose.

    So what does your pilot say about the Massacre, which interestingly enough is supposed to be celebrated by secessionists as “BangsaMoro Day”?

    (But I have serious doubts about the benefit of an “independent” Mindanao to both Mindanao and the rest)

    Also this from II.The Mindanao Conflict in Context:

    “The Jabidah massacre was damaging to the psyche of the Muslims; the secular, religious, modern and backward sectors all began to reconsidered their future with the Philippines government. Jose Crisol, ‘then President Marcos’ highly regarded technocrat said that, the Civil Affairs Office bungled its job so badly that the Muslims practically lost its faith in the government, as well as inflicted deepest wounds in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu. Then Senator Benigno Aquino in a fact-finding mission found scores of families weeping inconsolably for their dead or missing folk. All over Sulu communities considered this event an intensely personal tragedy. Nur Misuari was among those who participated in the demonstrations in Manila before Congress and Malacanang. Quoted from T. J. S. George, pp. 122-8. “

  36. Kailangan magkaroon talaga ng pagbabago para maiwasan ang pagkawatawatak ng pilipinas, ang Pinoy kung saan-saan lupalop na napunta.

    Corruption billion billion!!

    Ayaw ko nang magbayad ng VAT!

    VAT REVOLT!!! Welga, boycot, strike , kahit ano laban na,

    kaysa mamatay tayo sa gutom!!!

  37. VAT Revolt? How can you skip VAT, it’s consumption tax, anything you buy is taxed.

    VAT revolt’s objective should for the VAT on power and oil and water be removed!

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