Marcos, Ferdinand Edralin fārdēnänd´ ĕd´rälēn˝ mär´kōs [key]
, 1917–89, Philippine political leader. A lawyer and aide to Manuel Roxas
(1946–47), he was elected to congress in 1949, serving in the House of Representatives (1949–59) and Senate (1959–65). Formerly a Liberal, he broke with the party in 1965 and won the presidential election the same year as a nominee of the Nationalist party, defeating (1965) Diosdado Macapagal
. As president, Marcos maintained close ties with the United States. He launched (Aug., 1969) major military campaigns against Communist insurgents (see Hukbalahap
) and in Mindanao against Moro rebels (Muslims). He was reelected in 1969, and his second term was marked by increasing civil strife. In 1972, following a series of bombings in Manila, Marcos warned of imminent Communist takeover and declared martial law. In 1973, he assumed virtual dictatorial control with a new constitution. His regime's increasing isolation, fed by widespread corruption and the extravagance of his wife, Imelda, culminated with the assassination of Benigno Aquino (1983) on his return to the country. The opposition united behind Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino
, who ran against Marcos in the 1986 election. Marcos was declared the winner but was widely suspected of electoral fraud. Protests drove Marcos into exile, and Aquino became president. After substantial evidence of Marcos's corruption emerged, he and his wife, Imelda Remedios Visitación Romuáldez Marcos,
1929–, who had served as governor of Manila and minister of human settlements in his government, were indicted for embezzlement in the United States. Marcos died in Hawaii. After her husband's death Imelda Marcos was found innocent (1990) of embezzlement by a U.S. court. She was convicted of graft in a trial in the Philippines in 1993 but that was overturned on appeal in 1998, and other trials ended in acquittals or overturned guilty verdicts. In 2003, however, the government was awarded $650 million from frozen banks accounts in Switzerland that had belonged to Ferdinand Marcos, and the Philippines has since recovered several billion dollars in all. Imelda Marcos also has served in the Philippine legislature (1978–86, 1995–98, 2010–). Ferdinand Marcos's body was brought to the Philippines in 1993; he was buried in Manila's Cemetery of Heroes in 2016.
See R. P. Guzman and M. A. Reforma, Government and Politics in the Philippines (1988); R. L. Youngblood, Marcos against the Church (1990).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Philippines History: Biographies