The Period of New Society

Topics: Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines, People Power Revolution Pages: 11 (4202 words) Published: May 9, 2011
With the declaration of Martial Law, President Marcos popularized the New Society which he claimed was envisioned to carry out a meaningful social change. In order to create a positive image in the public consciousness as well as in the local and foreign media that he was serious in effecting these changes, he initiated the following: 1. Dismissal from office of civil servants who were found guilty of corruption and abuse of authority; 2. Punishment of drug pushers;

3. Setting curfew to solve worsening criminality rate;
4. Popularization of "Isang Bansa, Isang Diwa" philosophy to instill nationalism among Filipinos; and 5. Training of citizens to be disciplined and law-abiding.
Meanwhile, in order to entertain and relieve the people from alarming social and political problems, his government initiates the following: 1. Establishment of theme parks such as the Coconut palace in Pasay, Palace in the Sky in Tagaytay and National Arts Centre in Makiling, Laguna; and cultural institutions such as Cultural Centre of the Philippines, Folk Arts Centre and Film Centre. 2. Sponsorship of cultural shows;

3. Popularization of indigenous culture;
4. Manipulation of the contents of the newspapers and textbooks on his favour; 5. Bribery of media commentators in order to sugar-coat the programs of his administration; and 6. Publication and popularization of literature about his political philosophy such as "democratic revolution" and "revolution from the center".

Ferdinard Marcos with Secretary of State George Shultz, 1982. Amidst the rising wave of lawlessness and the threat of a Communist insurgency, Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081. Marcos, ruling by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, closed down Congress and media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists, including his staunchest critics, senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga and Jose Diokno.[25] The declaration of martial law was initially well received, given the social turmoil the Philippines was experiencing.[26] Crime rates plunged dramatically after a curfew was implemented.[27] Many political opponents were forced to go into exile. A constitutional convention, which had been called for in 1970 to replace the Commonwealth era 1935 Constitution, continued the work of framing a new constitution after the declaration of martial law. The new constitution went into effect in early 1973, changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary and allowing Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973. Marcos claimed that martial law was the prelude to creating his Bagong Lipunan, a "New Society" based on new social and political values.[28] The economy during the 1970s was robust, with budgetary and trade surpluses. The Gross National Product rose from P55 billion in 1972 to P193 billion in 1980. Tourism rose, contributing to the economy's growth. However, Marcos, his cronies and his wife, Imelda, willfully engaged in rampant corruption.[29] After putting in force amendments to the constitution, legislative action, and securing his sweeping powers and with the Batasan under his control, President Marcos lifted martial law on January 17, 1981. However, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus continued in the autonomous regions of Western Mindanao and Central Mindanao. The opposition dubbed the lifting of martial law as a mere "face lifting" as a precondition to the visit of Pope John Paul II.[30] Marcos had a vision of a Bagong Lipunan (New Society) similar to Indonesian president Suharto's "New Order administration". He used the years of martial law to implement this vision. According to Marcos's book, "Notes on the New Society," it was a movement urging the poor and the privileged to work as one for the common goals of society and to achieve the liberation of the Filipino people through self-realization. Marcos confiscated...
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