PEOPLE POWER IN THE PHILIPPINES

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 FERDINAND MARCOS

At one time Marcos was one of the world's most powerful dictators.
 
Arrests and assassinations kept Filipinos living in fear.


ASSASSINATION

In 1983 Benigno Aquino returned to the Philippines after three years in exile.
As a popular politician, Aquino represented a threat to the Marcos presidency.
As Aquino exited the plane shots rang out.
The assassination of Benigno Aquino lit the fire that would eventually consume the Marcos regime.

 

REACTION

The public reacted angrily to the Aquino murder.
Rallies and other forms of resistance sprang up all over the Philippines.
Finally in 1985, yielding to pressure from his people, Marcos called for presidential elections to prove he still had widespread support.
   
Cory, Benigno Aquino's widow, ran against Marcos.
       
The election was marked by widespread fraud.
 
The government declared Marcos the winner.
       
Cory Aquino proposed a seven-part program of nonviolent resistance to the Marcos regime.
 
Aquino urged people to "experiment with nonviolent forms of protest."
       
     

The revolution had begun.


 

DEFECTION

In early 1986 the Defense Minister and Deputy Chief of Staff suddenly defected from the Marcos government. 
They barricaded themselves in the Defense Ministry headquarters in Manila, along with a small group of sympathetic troops.
"They are cornered," said Marcos. They "can be easily wiped out with simple artillery and tank fire."

 

RESISTANCE

Hundreds of thousands of people surrounded the Defense Ministry to block the movement of any troops that Marcos might send.
For the next four days, entire families camped out on the streets of Manila, using their bodies to protect the rebel troops from attack.
 
Marcos sent Marines with tanks and armored personnel carriers to attack the Defense Ministry.
 

They were met by tens of thousands of ordinary Filipinos who refuse to let the tanks pass.


 

VICTORY

Behind the scenes Marcos maneuvered to save face.
He must have been astonished to see his power, which seemed so absolute only a few weeks ago, evaporate so quickly and completely.
Marcos, who ruled for twenty years as one of the world's most powerful dictators, fled the country like a frightened dog.
Jubilant Filipinos flooded into the streets to celebrate.
   
     
Cory Aquino was installed as the new president.

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