Written by Madhav Bahl, Grade 9 student.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr – whose real name is Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr – is the new leader of the Philippines. He is the son of a former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr, who was president from 1965 until 1986.
Why is his coming to power so controversial?
While “Bongbong” Marcos Jr F has asked to be judged on his actions, not his ancestors, it is important to understand the family he is from and what they did to the country.
A quick backstory
Ferdinand Marcos Sr. first became president in 1965. When his term was about to get over, Marcos Sr. took full control of the Philippines (in 1972) and declared martial law.
What’s martial law?
It basically means military rule – when this is declared then the normal government does not function and the military commander of the country gets unlimited authority to make and enforce laws.
What happened at this time?
So when Marcos Sr. declared martial law, a lot of terrible things happened in the country. The parliament was suspended, and opposition leaders were arrested and put in jail, some were killed. Marcos took full control of the courts.
It was one of the darkest periods in the the history of Philippines – a time when there were human rights abuses and a lot of corruption. What’s worse is that at this time, millions of people became very poor.
How was Marcos removed from power?
An opposition leader named Benigno Aquino, who had run away to the United States, returned with the idea of bringing democracy to his country. But, he was killed as soon as he landed in the country. It was something that ignited the anger of the people.
Thousands of people took to the streets in a pro-democracy movement. Marcos called for an election and claimed victory – even though there was a lot of cheating in the election.
This led to nationwide protests, as millions of people took to the streets. It has been called the People’s Power Revolution. This revolution had everyone’s support. The soldiers called to stop the crowds rebelled against Marcos and refused to fire on the people.
Marcos and his finally ran away to Hawaii. They took lots of valuables – jewellery, and millions in cash.
What about Mr. Marcos Jr?
At that time, Mr. Marcos Jr was 28 years old and he ran away with his parents.
Now he’s back.
A little about him..
Marcos is the new president-elect of the Philippines.
He was born on 13th September 1957 in Manila Philippines. In 1970 when he was about 23, his father declared martial law in the Philippines.
After enrolling in university in 1975, he did not complete his BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He is also said to have failed to complete his degree at Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania, USA.
He came back to the Philippines in 1991 and in 1992 he won the general elections for Ilocos Norte – a province in the northern Philippines. However, he too was accused of misuse of government resources.
He, however, became the governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998. Since then he has been trying to get back into mainstream politics.
Now, he has been elected as the president.
While there have been various scandals and cases involving Bongbong Marcos also was an active senate member who fulfilled the dreams of various liberalists and this will be a test for him to show that he was truly different from whom he is perceived to be. While that maybe be the case the citizens need to be wary and neighbouring countries should be ready to stop any coups or application of martial law in the Philippines.
Headline image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Ferdinand-Marcos-Jr.-101621-768×811.jpg
Image attribution: Neil Arwin Mercado, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons