Martial Law and the Fourth Republic (1972-1986)
On 22 September 1972, former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile was reportedly ambushed by communists while his staff car was driving in San Juan, killing his driver but leaving him unscathed. The assassination attempt, along with the growing threat of the New People's Army and citizen unrest, gave Marcos enough reason to declare Proclamation No. 1081, which he signed on 17 September (postdated to 21 September), the same day. Marcos, who henceforth ruled by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, abolished Congress, shut down media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists. The first years of Martial Law saw an increase in military hardware and personnel in the Philippines, giving a precursor to reduce military dependence on American personnel to police the country. In 1984, American lease on Philippines military bases were extended only by 5 years, as compared to 25 years' extension in 1959. Agricultural production, especially in rice production (which increased 42% in 8 years), was increased to decrease dependence on food importation. Philippine culture and arts were promoted with the establishment of institutions such as the National Arts Center. However, to help finance a number of economic development projects, the Marcos government borrowed large amounts of money from international lenders. Thus, proving that the country was not yet fully independent economically. The Philippines' external debt rose from $360 million (US) in 1962 to $28.3 billion in 1986, making the Philippines one of the most indebted countries in Asia. The Fifth Republic (1986-present)
From February 22–25, 1986, many demonstrations against Marcos took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. The event, known as the People Power Revolution, involved many famous figures such as Archbishop Jaime Sin, Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos and...
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