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A Republic of Their Own (1946 to date)

Sovereignty at Last

The Republic of the Philippines was officially inaugurated on July 4, 1946 with Manuel A. Roxas as the first National President. The American established 1935 Constitution remained in effect into the new government until the ratification of the 1973 Constitution as established by Ferdinand Marcos. The 1973 Constitution established a Parliamentary form of government, as effected by Marcos Proclamation 1102 on January 17, 1973, after the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972.

After an Amendment by plebiscite held on April 7, 1981, installing a modified form of parliamentary government, Ferdinand Marcos declared the birth of a new Republic on June 30, 1981 under the rule of the 1973 Constitution.

 

Manuel A. Roxas

Another Revolution (EDSA)

Looking back, Ferdinand Marcos was formerly a Liberal but broke with the party in 1965 and won the presidential election the same year as a nominee of the Nationalist party, defeating President Diosdado Macapagal (father of future President Gloria Arroyo) in 1965. As president, Marcos maintained close ties with the United States and launched major military campaigns against Communist insurgents (such as the NPA, New Peoples Army) and in Mindanao against Moro rebels (MILF and other Muslim Rebels). He was re-elected in 1969, and his second term was marked by increasing civil strife. Following a series of bombings in Manila, Marcos warned of an imminent Communist takeover and declared martial law in 1972. In 1973, he assumed virtual dictatorial control with a new constitution. This created a rift between Marcos supporters and opponents causing his regime to become increasingly more isolated. Accusations of widespread corruption and the extravagance of his wife, Imelda Marcos, coupled with the mysterious assassination of the leader of the major opposition, Benigno Aquino in 1983 led to the famed EDSA movement.

 

Ferdinand Edralin Marcos
Corazon C. Aquino

On February  22 to February 25, 1986 The "people power" (EDSA, now often referred to as EDSA 86') movement culminated in the toppling of the Marcos government. Essentially it was a fairly peaceful public revolt, that resulted in Corazon C. Aquino (widow of assassinated Benigno Aquino) taking her oath of office on February 25, 1986 in Manila.

It is important to note that this was an illegal revolt, although the claim was for "direct democracy by the people", the process did not follow the correct channels of law to achieve the said goal. The change of government did not follow the rules of any previous or active constitution and therefore was an open rebellion against the order.

That said, it may be noted that the self appointed new government received no opposition anywhere in the country, and was almost immediately recognized internationally. Thus an illegitimate government quickly became legitimate by virtue of the will of the people and the international community.

The Ratification of the new and current Constitution took place on February 2, 1987.

Yet Another Revolution (EDSA 2)

On 2001 The so-called EDSA 2 (Often called EDSA 2001) movement culminated in the toppling of the Estrada government. Essentially it was a fairly peaceful public revolt fashioned in the style of EDSA 86' that resulted in vice president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo taking office as President on January 20, 2001 in Manila. President Estrada was accused on multiple account of Graft, Corruption, Bribery and Thievery from the Public Trust.

It is important to note that this was another illegal revolt, although the claim was once again for "direct democracy by the people", the process did not follow the correct channels of law to achieve the said goal. The impeachment trial of President Estrada was not complete and therefore there was not a legal right to remove him from power. The change of government did not follow the constitutional rules and therefore was an open rebellion against the order. Furthermore the support to the rebellion offered by most of the cabinet including the vice president could under some circumstances have been considered treason.

 

Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

But leveraging their power and public support the rebellious powers persuaded Estrada to "Officially" resign. This was accomplished when while a group of 250,000 protestors stormed the Presidential Palace in a peaceful takeover, a top military official Gen. Angelo Reyes defected from the Estrada camp to join the mob of opposition.

Whatever negative can be said, once again the change in government was met with virtually no conflict other than the occasional public protest by Estrada supporters. The new government was immediately recognized by the international community and thus effected a legitimate government.

It may also be noted that Vice President Arroyo was the most popular vice president in term of votes in the history of elections in the Philippines.

 

 

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