Timeline: Philippines History, Part II

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
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Part II: Marcos, People Power, Estrada, and Arroyo

by David Johnson and Shmuel Ross
1965 1972 1983 1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2008 2010 2012 2014 Back: Part I

Ferdinand E. Marcos becomes president.


Marcos establishes martial law.


Opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino returns from exile, is slain on arrival at Manila Airport; Benigno's widow Corazon Aguino leads "People Power" protest movement.


Marcos defeats Aquino in a presidential election amid charges of fraud; riots erupt; Marcos flees into exile; Aquino forms new government.


Former Gen. Fidel Ramos wins presidential election with Aquino's support; U.S. turns Subic Bay naval base to Philippine government, ending American military presence in the country.


Philippine government agrees to greater autonomy for southernmost island of Mindanao, where Islamic separatists called Moro National Liberation Front wage guerrilla war.


Philippines escape Asian financial crisis despite series of currency devaluations.


Former movie star Joseph Estrada elected president.


Legislature begins impeachment hearings against Estrada on corruption charges. The hearings are never completed.


Public outrage forces Estrada to step down; Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumes the presidency; Estrada indicted for corruption; rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front agrees to a ceasefire.


U.S. government provides training to Philippine troops fighting the guerilla group Abu Sayyaf, which is believed to have ties to Osama bin Laden; the group's leader, Abu Sabaya, is killed.


Ceasefire with Moro Islamic Liberation Front breaks down, then reinstated; hundreds of mutinous soldiers demonstrate against the regime.

Dozens of mutinous soldiers took over a Manila shopping complex, protesting low pay and demanding the resignation of President Arroyo and the defense secretary. The demonstration ended peacefully.


Presidential election takes place on May 10; Arroyo's closest rival is film star Fernando Poe, Jr., a friend of Estrada. President Arroyo narrowly defeated Poe, taking 39.5% of the vote to his 36.6%, according to the unofficial count.

Angelo dela Cruz, a truck driver kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents, released on July 10 after Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accedes to kidnappers' demands and pulls troops from Iraq. He had been held for two weeks.


In March, police kill three top members of Abu Sayyaf while quelling a prison uprising in Manila. In all, 22 people, including 20 prisoners and two guards, die in the violence. A week after the operation, police arrest a suspected Islamic militant who they believe was planning a retaliatory bomb attack on Manila over Easter weekend.

Members of the opposition call for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in June, after she admitted to calling an election official during 2004's presidential race. A taped phone conversation between Arroyo and an election commisisoner seems to suggest that she had tried to use her power to influence the outcome. The opposition filed an impeachment motion in July.


A mudslide in February leveled the town of Guinsaugon and killed about 1,800 of its 1,857 residents.

Arroyo declared a state of emergency in February, saying the government had foiled an attempted coup by the military. She also banned rallies commemorating the 20th anniversary of the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos. Some observers, however, dismissed the report of the coup attempt as political maneuvering to gain support and weaken the opposition.

On June 24, President Arroyo announced the abolition of the death penalty.

On June 26, opponents of President Arroyo filed a new impeachment complaint, alleging corruption and human rights abuses.


In September 2007, former president Joseph Estrada was convicted of corruption and senteced to life in prison.

The government said in November that it had reached a deal with the separatist Moro National Liberation Front that set boundaries for a Muslim homeland on the southern island of on Mindanao.


In May, Benigno S. Aquino III is elected president during the first automated national elections in the Philippines.


Typhoon Washi kills more than 1,200 and leaves 60,000 homeless.


On May 29, 2012, the chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, Renato Corona, was removed from office after an impeachment trial and conviction by the Senate for failure to declare about $4.2m. The vote was a watershed moment in Philippine politics, marking the first time an upper level official has been impeached and removed through official channels.

In early August 2012, floods submerged Manila, the country's capital, and its suburbs. More than 50 people were killed in the storms and flooding. At least 250,000 were evacuated.

The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country's largest Muslim separatist group, which seeks a homeland on the southern island of Mindanao, agreed to a framework peace agreement in October 2012. The deal will create an autonomous Muslim homeland on Mindanao, which will be called Bangsamoro, and residents will receive a large share of the region's mineral wealth. In exchange, the rebels agreed to put down their arms. The government and the rebels have been at war for about 40 years, and 120,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Typhoon Bopha hits in December, leaving behind a death toll exceeding 1,000.


A powerful earthquake hit the Philippines on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. At least 144 people were killed and nearly 300 were injured. The quake also destroyed one of the country's oldest churches and caused widespread damage.

On Friday, November 8, 2013, a powerful typhoon struck the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall, hitting several islands throughout the central Philippines. Tacloban, a coastal city with a population of 220,000, was destroyed. According to the Social Welfare and Development Department, Typhoon Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, affected 4.28 million people and at least 270 towns. Six weeks after the disaster, the death toll surpassed 6,000, with 1,800 still missing.


In March, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front finalized a peace deal, ending a 40-year war that claimed some 120,000 people. The two sides have been negotiating terms of the deal since October 2012. The Muslim group will have an autonomous homeland on Mindanao, which will be called Bangsamoro.

In April, China called on the U.S. to stop interfering in Asian affairs, specifically in regards to the Philippine claim on Huangyan Island. Called Panatag Shoal by the Philippines, the island has been the source of a longstanding dispute between the two countries.

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