Ferdinand Edralin Marcos
(1917-1989)

Born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, The Philippines. While studying for the bar in 1938 Marcos was arrested and charged with the murder of a political opponent of his father's. This impaired his progress but he still passed and indeeed came top of his class, despite having to post bail to sit the actual exam. When the case came to trail he was found guilty of murder and sent down however Marcos appealed the case, representing himself in front of the Supreme Court, and won. His record during WWII is controversial to say the least. He fought in Bataan and claimed throughout his life to have harried the ruling Japanese in a series of guerrilla actions but further studting of declassified Pentagon files reveal he collaborated throughout and was very lucky not to be put to death at war's end.

After a few years of law practice the political bug bit Ferdinand and he ran for congress with the prescient slogan "Elect me a Congressman now, and I pledge you an Ilocano President in 20 years" He won the seat and retained it in the following elections in 1953 and 1957. While congressman he became head of the import control board, entitling him to sell import licences in return for massive bribes, enough indeed to make him a millionaire. Ran for Senate in 1959, also winning the seat handsomely and became minority floor leader of the senate. He was elected Senate President four years later. He switched parties the next year after it became clear he had been snubbed by a political rival, Diosdado Macapagal, in a power sharing deal. Incredibly he sort and won the nomination for Presidential candidate of his new (Nationalista) party and won the 1965 election in the most expensive race ever.

As President of the Philippines Marcos then began one of the most systematic lootings ever seen on the planet. Conservative estimates put the total sum stolen at $5 billion - a combined system of diverting foreign aid, kickbacks and patronage that allowed Marcos to rule unhindered until 1986. Just for good measure when his second Presidential term was coming to a close in 1972 (and he was constitutionally forbidden from running a third time) he declared martial law. Rule was by executive decree, laws passed by a rubber stamp parliament. Unfortunately this could not go on forever and in 1986 an army rebellion, which turned into the EDSA (people power) uprising under Corazon Aquino, forced him to flee the country. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.

Length of Rule - Twenty One years

Leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness, and he who is a leader must always act alone. And in acting alone, accept everything alone

Ferdinand Marcos

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