Ferdinand E. Marcos of the Nacionalista Party was elected President of the Philippines, defeating incumbent Diosdado Macapagal by a slim margin of 670,000 votes.
Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. of the Liberal Party was elected Senator to a Congress dominated by Marcos's Nacionalista Party.
Jose Ma. Sison organized a new Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to take over the struggle from the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP)
Marcos was elected President for a second term, defeating Sergio Osmena, Jr. The CPP joined forces with the PKP's military arm (Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan) led by Bernabe Buscayno (Kumander Dante); it became known as the New People's Army (NPA).
January, demonstrations against Marcos, perceived to be angling for a third term, culminated in the "First Quarter Storm." Militant students, farmers, and workers picketing Malacañang Palace were violently dispersed by military troopers.
In June, the Constitutional Convention began to rewrite the 1935 Constitution. August, Plaza Miranda was bombed, injuring several opposition stalwarts. Marcos blamed the Communists and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Also he charged that Aquino and other oppositionists were arming the NPA.
Amid allegations of bribery attempts by the Marcoses, the Constitutional Convention approved a parliamentary system of government. September 13, Aquino exposed and denounced "Oplan Sagittarius," a Marcos plan to place the national capital region under military control. September 16, Marcos accused Aquino of meeting with Communist Party leader Jose Ma. Sison and plotting to overthrow the government. September 22, Marcos staged a violent ambush of his Defense Minister's car, and then declared martial law. Congress was closed, the Constitutional Convention suspended, and media muzzled. September 23, Aquino was arrested and detained, along with other "subversive" oppositionists.
The final draft of the 1973 (Marcos) Constitution was ratified by Citizens' Assemblies and declared legal by Marcos's Supreme Court. August, Ninoy Aquino was brought to trial before a military tribunal for violating the antisubversion law. Aquino refused to participate in the proceedings.
NPA Commander Bernabe Buscayno was arrested.
CPP Chairman Jose Ma. Sison was captured. In November, Aquino and Buscayno were found guilty of subversion, illegal possession of firearms and murder, and sentenced to death by firing squad. Meanwhile, Marcos's Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile found himself caught in a power struggle with First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and Chief of Presidential Security Fabian Ver.
April, elections for representatives to an interim Batasan Pambansa were held. Marcos's Kilusang Bagong Lipunan won 187 seats to the opposition's 13. In Metro Manila, the KBL led by Imelda Marcos defeated the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN) led by Ninoy Aquino from his prison cell.
September, Marcos had his first hemodialysis treatment to control hypertension and renal dysfunction. December, Aquino was granted for the first time a three-week furlough to be home with his family for his 25th wedding anniversary.
Elections for governors and mayors were held, the first since martial law was declared; the Liberal Party and LABAN boycotted the elections. In May, Marcos allowed Aquino to go to the United States for heart surgery; friends secured him fellowships at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In November, Ronald Reagan was elected US President. Irwin Ver was promoted to colonel, bypassing the next-in-line.
Early in the year of Pope John Paul II's first visit to the Philippines, Marcos lifted martial law but retained extra-legal powers. Midyear, he was re-elected to a six-year term, defeating Alejo Santos and Bartolome Cabangbang. He appointed Fabian Ver [head of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and the Presidential Security Command (PSC)] Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, bypassing Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos.
The Pentagon and the CIA helped upgrade and computerize NISA's telecommunications system, enabling them to monitor the system and patch into it at will.
July, Enrile received reports of plans to eliminate him and the "MND boys." To protect themselves, Enrile's chief security aide Lt. Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan with four others founded the AFP Reform Movement, later known as the RAM. With Enrile's blessings,Honasan started building up their armory and expanding their base.
Marcos called a meeting of senior generals--Ver,
Ramos, Josephus Ramas of the Army, Vicente Piccio of the Air
Force, Brilliante Ochoco of the Navy, and Prospero Olivas of
the Metropolitan Command. Discussed were: the disciplining of
military reformists and arrest of their leaders; the arrest and
assassination of opposition leaders--Neptali Gonzales, Ramon
Mitra, Homobono Adaza, Luis Villafuerte, Aquilino Pimentel, Rene
Saguisaag, Joe Concepcion, Dante Santos, Ting Paterno, Jaime
Ongpin, Vicente Jayme, among others; the declaration of a state
of emergency; the arrest and liquidation of Enrile.
Crony banks, corporations, and media were hit hard by the boycott. Deposit withdrawals were reportedly heavy not only in the seven banks in Cory's boycott list but also in banks either partly or wholly owned by known Marcos cronies. Nestle pulled out its ads from government TV Channel 4 and newspaper Bulletin Today. San Miguel-A shares went down to as low as P11.50 per share, while B shares went down to P14.50 per.
Not far behind in financial fiasco was
the beverage industry. Beer quaffers had suddenly shifted to
gin or hard drinks. Restaurants, eateries and cafes refused to
serve San Miguel beer as well as Coca Cola, Sprite and Royal
True Orange. A small number also stopped drinking Pepsi Cola,
Seven-Up and Mirinda, thinking that these softdrinks were also
under the control of a crony.
Despite rumors of a weekend coup by RAM and suggestions that she stay put in Manila, Mrs. Aquino said she would fly to Cebu as scheduled Saturday morning to pursue her civil disobedience campaign.
In less than a week since Aquino's call for a boycott of crony-owned or aligned banks and business establishments, there was a total of P1.78 billion in withdrawals from crony banks and the Philippine National Bank, Security Bank & Trust Company, Republic Planters Bank, and Traders Royal Bank. The first to get their money out of the crony banks were groups belonging to the clergy; in Union Bank, the clergy represented at least 12 % of its deposit base. As a result, deposit upsurges were recorded in Bank of the Philippine Islands, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, and Citibank. Bulletin today, the country's largest circulated newspaper (circulation 350,000) trailed behind the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Malaya, and the Manila Times. Rustan's department store was empty; most of their customers moved over to SM Shoemart, Anson's, and Robinson's.
opposition said it was ready to set up a provisional government
with strong backing from concerned military officers and their
men if Marcos insisted on remaining in power. "Mrs Aquino
and I have been approached by sufficiently high military officers,"
Laurel said, who had secretly pledged support for the opposition
and the democratic process. Laurel stressed that he was not calling
for a military take-over. "We just want to let Mr. Marcos
know that his threat to use the military against the people will
not work out."
Before Edsa 1965-1986: Marcos Times
NEXT: Day One