Martial Law in the Philippines.

by Robert Klitgaard

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Discusses the imposition of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines in September 1972. The country was suffering from grinding poverty, widespread corruption, a stalled political and judicial system, and internal violence. Three alternative explanations for the martial law decision are: (1) The official, constitutional explanation is the threat of violent rebellion. (2) Another view sees martial law as Marcos' way of circumventing congressional and bureaucratic obstruction to achieve reforms and eliminate corruption--whether for altruistic or selfish reasons. (3) The "imperialist lackey" view focusses on Marcos' relations to United States and multinational business interests. Marcos is protecting foreign investors and granting huge incentives for oil exploration, against the wishes of the Congress; some believe that his purpose is to stabilize himself in power and avoid demanding that the United States pay rent on its Philippine bases. These theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive. (Written for the 301st Civil Affairs Group, U.S. Army Reserve.) 37 pp.

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