Ferdinand Marcos

President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was a Filipino politician and lawyer. He was President of the Philippines (1965-1986) and Prime Minister (1978-1981) of the Republic of the Philippines. He is a polarizing historical figure in both Philippines and the world. His son, Bongbong Marcos, is the President of the Philippines since 2022.

Ferdinand Marcos
Marcos in 1917
10th President of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986
Prime MinisterHimself (1978–1981)
Cesar Virata (1981–1986)
Vice PresidentFernando López (1965–1973)
Preceded byDiosdado Macapagal
Succeeded byCorazon Aquino
3rd Prime Minister of the Philippines
In office
June 12, 1978 – June 30, 1981
Preceded byOffice established
(Position previously held by Jorge B. Vargas as Ministries involved)
Succeeded byCesar Virata
Secretary of National Defense
In office
August 28, 1971 – January 3, 1972
Preceded byJuan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded byJuan Ponce Enrile
In office
December 31, 1965 – January 20, 1967
Preceded byMacario Peralta
Succeeded byErnesto Mata
11th President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
April 5, 1963 – December 30, 1965
PresidentDiosdado Macapagal
Preceded byEulogio Rodriguez
Succeeded byArturo Tolentino
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1959 – December 30, 1965
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte's 2nd District
In office
December 30, 1949 – December 30, 1959
Preceded byPedro Albano
Succeeded bySimeon M. Valdez
Personal details
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos

(1917-09-11)September 11, 1917
Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
DiedSeptember 28, 1989(1989-09-28) (aged 72)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Resting placeFerdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center, Batac, Ilocos Norte
Heroes' Cemetery, Taguig, Metro Manila
(since November 18, 2016)
Political partyKilusang Bagong Lipunan
Other political
Liberal Party (1946–1965)
Nacionalista Party (1965–1978)
(m. 2001)
Children4 (Imee, Bongbong, Irene, and an adopted child, Aimee)
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines
Military service
Allegiance Philippines / United States[a]
RankFirst lieutenant
Unit11th Infantry Division
14th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War II

Coat of arms of Ferdinand Marcos

Early life


Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was born on September 11, 1917, in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. His parents Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin, were both teachers from important families. He studied law at the University of the Philippines and later on top the bar examinations for lawyers., during which he was accused of assassinating his father's political rival. He represented himself as his own lawyer and he was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.[1]

During World War II, Marcos claimed that he had been the leader of Ang Maharlika, guerrilla force in northern Luzon. After the war, he was Ilocos Norte Representative (1949-1959) and as Senator of the Philippines (1958-1965). He was also Senate President (1963-1965) and then went on to become the President of the Philippines. However, in other side, he may be the one of the most corrupt leaders such as Suharto or Kim Il-Sung or Kim Jong Il due to atrocities. A few years later, national problems like the insurgency by the communist movement and rebellion arose during his presidency: He declared Martial Law in September 1972 to institute peace and order and discipline. His style of leadership soon became dictatorial. Government greed, government bullying, despotism, nepotism, and violation of human rights abuses were abundant. The nation's masses who went against the government were sent to prison, tortured, raped or killed. People could not express themselves freely unless it was in favor of the Marcos family.[2]

In 1983, he was accused in the assassination of his main rival and challenger, politician Benigno Aquino, Jr. but until today the killer remain unknown. The death of Benigno Aquino, Jr. caused many events, like a wrongful president vote. People became angry after and kicked him out with the help of the US during the peaceful EDSA revolution in February 1986.

He and his wife Imelda Marcos were accused to have stolen billions of dollars of government funds and had it secretly sent to bank accounts in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries, as well as into fake companies under his name. However, until today Imelda Marcos was never sent to prison nor found guilty of stealing billions of dollars of government money and she remains free and was even elected in congress representing her home province of Leyte. Her son Ferdinand Marcos was back into politics and became a senator of the Philippines while her daughter Imee Marcos is currently the governor of Ilocos Norte.

By 1983 Marcos’s health was beginning to fail, and opposition to his rule was growing. Hoping to present an alternative to both Marcos and the increasingly powerful New People’s Army, Benigno Aquino, Jr., returned to Manila on August 21, 1983, only to be shot dead as he stepped off the airplane. The assassination was seen as the work of the government and touched off massive antigovernment protests. An independent commission appointed by Marcos concluded in 1984 that high military officers were responsible for Aquino’s assassination. To reassert his mandate, Marcos called for presidential elections to be held in 1986. But a formidable political opponent soon emerged in Aquino’s widow, Corazon Aquino, who became the presidential candidate of the opposition. It was widely asserted that Marcos managed to defeat Aquino and retain the presidency in the election of February 7, 1986, only through massive voting fraud on the part of Marcos' supporters. Deeply discredited at home and abroad by his dubious electoral victory, Marcos held fast to his presidency as the Philippine military split between supporters of his and of Aquino’s legitimate right to the presidency. A tense standoff that ensued between the two sides ended only when Marcos fled the country on February 25, 1986, at U.S. urging. He went into exile in Hawaii, where he remained until his death.

Evidence emerged that during his years in power Marcos, his family, and his close associates had looted the Philippines’ economy of billions of dollars through embezzlements and other corrupt practices.[3] Marcos and his wife were subsequently indicted by the U.S. government on racketeering charges, but in 1990 (after Marcos’s death) Imelda was acquitted of all charges by a federal court. She was allowed to return to the Philippines in 1991, and in 1993 a Philippine court found her guilty of corruption (the conviction was overturned in 1998).

Final years and death


During the people Power EDSA revolution he was flown to Hawaii by a US plane instead of going to his hometown Paoay, Ilocos Norte. President Marcos died in Hawaii of heart, kidney and lung diseases. He was brought back to the Philippines and his remains still lie in a refrigerated crypt in Batac, Ilocos Norte until today because the current administration refuses to grant the former president a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani where other former presidents of the Philippines who died are buried.


  1. Biography of Ferdinand E. Marcos. Britannica Encyclopedia. November 10, 2015
  2. Philippines cult idolises Marcos. BBC News Online. December 8, 1999
  3. "Ferdinand Marcos | Biography & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-12-20.


  1. the United States controlled the Philippines as a protectorate