TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1977, opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr. (RIGHT) is sentenced to death by firing squad. The Military Commission No. 2 convicted him of charges of subversion, murder, and illegal possession of firearms.
ABOVE: Ninoy’s head is bowed as he hears of the death sentence. This photo, taken from “Ninoy: Ideals & Ideologies 1932-1983,” shows Ninoy with Victor Corpuz and Bernabe Buscayno.
- On the PML website: The 30th Death Anniversary of Ninoy Aquino, with a timeline, maps, and testimonals on Ninoy and his sacrifice.
Prior to getting elected as President in 1965, Ferdinand E. Marcos (LEFT) served in the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 1969 he won re-election to a second full term, and placed the whole country under Martial Law on September 23, 1972 and suspended Congress. A new constitution was promulgated in January 1973, and amendments to this constitution led, in 1981, to the establishment of the Fourth Republic of the Philippines and a further term for Marcos.
From 1972 till 1986, the country experienced virtually absolute rule, which, after the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983, ultimately led to the EDSA People Power Revolution and, on February 25, 1986, the President’s overthrow and exile to Hawaii, where he died in 1989.
Above photo of the Marcos family in Malacañan Palace from the archives of National Geographic Magazine.
Today is the 103rd birth anniversary of Diosdado Macapagal—ninth President of the Philippines and the fifth President of the Third Republic.
Stay tuned to the PML Tumblr; we’ll be rolling out posts over the weekend in celebration. [And! Easter egg alert: In the photo above, of President Macapagal tying his shoelaces, the barong’s embroidered with his initials.]
Today is also the 24th death anniversary of Ferdinand E. Marcos, Macapagal’s successor and the tenth President of the Philippines.
Above photo was taken from the televised broadcast of his declaration of Martial Law.
Today, September 23, 2013 marks the 41st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Learn more about this historical event in Philippine political history by visiting our special feature page on Martial Law, published last year to mark the 40th anniversary, or by viewing our previous Tumblr posts.
The anniversary of the declaration of martial law is on September 23 (not September 21)
Throughout the martial law period, President Marcos built up the cult of September 21, proclaiming it National Thanksgiving Day by virtue of Proclamation No. 1180 s. 1973 to memorialize the date as the foundation day of his New Society. The propaganda effort was so successful that up to the present, many Filipinos, particularly those who did not live through the events of September 23, 1972, labor under the misapprehension that martial law was proclaimed on September 21, 1972. It was not.
TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1974, Jose “Pepe” W. Diokno, one of the most outspoken members of the opposition during the Marcos regime, was released after being detained for two years. Senator Diokno was one of the first arrested at the eve of Martial Law, and was later incarcerated in Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija, with Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino.
APRIL 4, 1975: In protest of what he felt was a sham trial, Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr. began what he intended to be a death fast, subsisting only on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate and amino acids, and two glasses of water. Despite this, the Military Tribunal forced Ninoy to be brought to the session hall everyday.
ABOVE: Ninoy Aquino, gaunt and visibly weakened, after his hunger strike.
The Diliman Commune: A year and a month after the start of the First Quarter Storm, University of the Philippines students, supported by faculty members and non-academic personnel, occupied the Diliman campus and barricaded its main roads from February 1 to 9, 1971. (Photos courtesy of the Philippine Collegian)
January 30, 1970: Journalist Jose Lacaba notes that “so far [this is] the most violent night in the city’s postwar history.”
Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos provides a “sober, lucid and accurate” account of that night:
…demonstrators numbering about 10,000 students and laborers stormed Malacañang Palace, burning part of the medical building, crashing through Gate 4 with a fire truck that had been forcibly commandeered by some laborers and students amidst shouts of “Mabuhay Dante!” and slogans from Mao Tse Tung, the new Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. The rioters sought to enter Malacañang but the Metropolitan Command (METROCOM) of the Philippine Constabulary and the Presidential Guards repulsed them towards Mendiola Bridge, where in an exchange of gunfire, hours later, four persons were killed and scores from both sides injured. The crowd was finally dispersed by tear gas grenades.—Today’s Revolution: Democracy by Ferdinand E. Marcos
President Marcos also writes about the events of this day in his diaries, which you can take a peek at over on the Philippine Diary Project.
January 30, 1970: Outside Gate 4 of Malacañan Palace.
Among the stirring documents that recall the events of the First Quarter Storm are the articles Jose F. Lacaba published in the Philippines Free Press. These along with other documents would later be compiled in his book, Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage. An excerpt, from The Philippines Free Press Online:
Quiet once more. I emerged from my hiding place and walked out into a street from which I could see the church on Earnshaw. There was a small group of students clustered at the door of an accessoria, talking animatedly, and I joined them. I was listening to them relate their experiences when, at the corner of Earnshaw and this street we were in, a squad of Metrocom men appeared. Everybody fled, except myself, two students, and the occupants of the accessoria, who worriedly told us to get in if we didn’t want to get hurt. In that dark, dingy, cramped accessoria, the two students and I stayed for a whole hour, seated on the steps of very narrow stairs, gulping down glasses and glasses of water, smoking, talking in whispers—“Rebolusyon na ito, brod,” they said—until the coast was clear.
Photo courtesy of The First Quarter Storm Library.
ABOVE: The composition of the 1971 Constitutional Convention that created the 1973 Constitution, detailing the number of delegates per province.
On June 1, 1971, Congress called for a Constitutional Convention to review and rewrite the 1935 Constitution, with 320 delegates who were elected on November 10, 1970.
TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1973, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1102, declaring the 1973 Constitution ratified and in force, two days after the results of the Citizens’ Assemblies held on January 10-15. He then ordered the padlocking of Congress. The Second Regular Session of the 7th Congress had been scheduled to open on January 22.
ABOVE: Senators Doy Laurel, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Ramon Mitra, Gerry Roxas, and Jovito Salonga outside the padlocked Senate session hall. Photo from Doy Laurel by Celia Diaz-Laurel.
TODAY IN HISTORY: This headline appeared on September 24, 1972, following President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ televised nationwide address announcing that he had placed the nation under martial law.
TODAY IN HISTORY: After declaring on January 16, 1981 that he would lift Martial Law, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 2045 on January 17, 1981, thus proclaiming the official termination of the state of Martial Law in the Philippines. President Marcos, however, reserved decree-making powers for himself.
After the 1971 Constitutional Convention submitted a draft Constitution to President Ferdinand E. Marcos in December 1972, President Marcos issued a proclamation calling for Citizens’ Assemblies (plebiscite) to ratify or reject the proposed Constitution. These were held on January 10-15, 1973.
A solid 90% voted to adopt it and also voted not to hold another plebiscite to ratify the Constitution.
Above, another shot of the funeral procession of Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr., as it entered Luneta, with Diosdado Macapagal and Ninoy’s only son Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III leading the pallbearers. Note that the flag had been defiantly lowered by the crowd as the truck carrying the bier passed.
Among the many people stirred by Ninoy’s death was Jesse M. Robredo.
The memorial book that the PCDSPO released to the public today relates how Jesse “would stand in the winding queue outside the Aquino home, joining the thousands who grieved, who paid their respects to the fallen hero. For the martyr’s funeral, Jesse numbered among the defiant crowd that marched across Manila, alongside Ninoy’s remains. Jesse would tie a yellow ribbon on that car to signal his support of the widowed Cory, his grief over Ninoy’s martyrdom, and his empathy with the Aquino movement. Jesse would attend the rally in support of Cory Aquino after the snap election of 1986. And when the nation marched to storm Malacañang and depose the dictator, Jesse marched with them.” [Access the Jesse M. Robredo Memorial Book.]
On August 21, 2012—twenty-nine years after the death of Ninoy Aquino—the body of Jesse M. Robredo was retrieved in the waters of Masbate, after grueling search and rescue operations. President Benigno S. Aquino III personally escorted the body carrying his Secretary of the Interior and Local Government back to Naga City, back to the Robredo family.