Martial Law 40th Anniversary

Ferdinand E. Marcos is the 10th President of the Philippines and one of the prodigies of his generation. He was the one responsible for the proclamation of Martial Law (Proclamation No. 1081) on September 21, 1972. Today, we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Martial Law. 

Every people have his own views about the good and bad sides of Martial Law and the authoritarianism of Ferdinand Marcos during his presidency. Some books would say that the Philippines really had improved in his time but references would also say that it was one of the dark times in Philippine History.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons that I found in some books and documentaries of the Martial Law era:

PROS

  • Massive reduction of crimes because of military control and curfews.
  • Establishment of many infrastructures for health, education, economics, culture and arts than all previous presidents combined.
  • Foreign exchange rate was $1 = 2 Php.
  • Technocrats were present in government
  • Growth in Gross National Product
  • Surplus of balance-of-payment due to unexpected increase in prices of export products specifically sugar and coconut

CONS

  • Centralized graft and corruption
  • No freedom of the press
  • Military abuse of power (military murder was the apex of a pyramid of terror)
  • No fair elections (marred by guns, goons and gold)
  • Death penalty was legal

What’s your view regarding this matter? Did Marcos lose an opportunity of a lifetime as the greatest President of the 20th century? Did the Philippines lose its chance of being one of Asia’s Tigers like Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan? Did the Filipino people really accomplished something after People Power? Did the Philippines become better or worse after the long dominion of Ferdinand E. Marcos?

Many questions of our history haunt us still but we must not linger any further. The Filipino people are capable of making wonders, we have done it before, and we can do it again! Learn from the past and be steadfast in the present to safeguard the future of the next generation. It is no longer about ourselves alone but our legacy and honor as a nation, as Filipinos.

“We can become great if we think less of ourselves and more of others.”

-Bakhaw Boy

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