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Known for running a corrupt, undemocratic regime, Ferdinand Marcos was the president of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986.
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Indicative of the entire Marcos administration, these acts would eventually lead to economic troubles for the Philippines and further civil unrest.
Marcos' later years in power were marred by widespread government corruption (which turned out to be the central legacy of his regime), economic stagnation, a widening economic gap between the rich and poor and the growth of a communist guerrilla uprising. By the early 1980s, change was coming to the Philippines.
To this end, on August 21,
1983, Benigno Aquino Jr. returned from his long exile to offer the Philippine people a new face of hope. Unfortunately, he was shot dead by his military escort as he stepped off the plane in Manila. The assassination was seen as the work of the government and ignited massive countrywide protests. An independent commission appointed by Marcos concluded a year later that high military officers were responsible for Aquino's assassination, although it has since been suggested that Marcos or even his wife had ordered the killing.
Also contributing to Marcos' downfall was the resolution signed in 1985 by 56 assemblymen calling for his impeachment for allegedly diverting U.S. aid to his personal coffers. To quiet the opposition and reassert his position of power, Marcos called for presidential elections to be held in 1986. Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino, emerged as a formidable opponent and became the presidential candidate of the opposition.
Marcos, however, managed to defeat Aquino and retain the presidency, but it was quickly revealed that his victory was only ensured through massive voting fraud carried out by his supporters. As word spread of the rigged election, Marcos was discredited at home and abroad, and a tense standoff ensued between his supporters and those of Corazon Aquino.
With his health failing and support for his regime fading fast, on February 25, 1986, with the United States urging him on, Ferdinand Marcos went into exile in Hawaii. Evidence was later uncovered showing that Marcos, his family and his associates had embezzled billions of dollars from the Philippine economy through various corrupt practices. The U.S. government subsequently indicted Marcos and his wife on racketeering charges, but Ferdinand died in 1989, and Imelda was acquitted of all charges and was allowed to return to the Philippines the following year.
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