History of the Philippines 2

History of the Philippines

cont.. formed as an anti-Japanese guerilla army during World War II. It was not until 1954 that President Ramon Magsaysay succeeded in suppressing the Huk rebellion. Magsaysay also attempted to bring the government closer to the Filipino people. He instituted agricultural reforms, among them the rsettlement of landless tenant farmers and the establishment of courts to handle their grievances. During succeeding administrations, however, agricultural reforms met with increasing resistance from the large landowners.

The Martial Law Era

Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected president in 1965 and was reeelected in 1969. During his first years in office, the Huk insurgency resumed. By 1970, students, farmers, and workers were demonstrating for university, labor, and government reforms. At the same time there were violent outbreaks by armed Moslem rebels in Mindanao. In September of 1972, Marcos declared Martial Law.

After an increasing public discontent in the government, Ferdinand E. Marcos “ended martial law in 1981, but he retained sweeping emergency powers. Most opposition groups boycotted the elections held in June of that year. In 1983 the widely popular opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assasinated upon his return from years in exile. The political archrival of Marcos, he was one of the opposition leaders to be arrested after the declaration of martial law. The assassination led to mass demonstrations in Manila and revitalized the political opposition.

For the first time the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church openly opposed the Marcos regime. Regular strikes and demonstrations demanded Marcos’ resignation. Legislative elections were held in 1984 and, despite a boycott by some opposition groups and widespread government vote rigging, opposition parties registered large gains. Meanwhile, a commission concluded that Aquino’s murder was the result of a military conspiracy. However, all 25 defendants were summarily acquitted in 1985(D.J. Steinberg).” In 1986, the people power revolution came into full force and toppled down Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship.

 

Recent History of the Philippines

After Ferdinand Marcos fled to Hawaii, Mrs. Corazon Aquino (Benigno Aquino’s wife) took over as the first lady president of the Philippines. She then led the country on its more stable condition after the martial law years. She was then succeeded by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos who implemented the Philippines 2000 program which sought to improve the financial and infrastructural condition of the country. His leadership resulted in improved tax collection that helped the country regain its standing during which it was under economic turmoil.

President Joseph Estrada took over the reigns of leading the government in the late 90’s, however he stepped down as president at the height of people protest over widespread allegations of corruption. He was succeeded by country’s present president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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