President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines has repeated his intention of slowly moving the nation back to democracy.
President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines has repeated his intention of slowly moving the nation back to democracy. The President, who has ruled under martial law for the past five years, told crowds at a major military parade on Wednesday (September 7) that free elections would be held in the future - 'based on the sound assessment of the national situation'.
SYNOPSIS: The parade was held to mark the Filipino leader's sixtieth birthday. President Marcos, who originally took power in general elections in 1965, was re-elected four years later. His second term was marked by major civil unrest and under the constitution then, he could not serve a third term. In September 1972, he declared martial law.
President Marcos recently freed a fourth batch of 500 people detained under martial law, bringing the number of releases in the past eight weeks to two thousand. He also announced his intention of holding local government elections by the end of next year, and of testing public opinion on the possibility of national elections to a limited parliamentary body. But he also warned the crowds at his birthday parade that martial law would certainly not be lifted until the five-year-old Moslem rebellion in the southern Philippines had been settled.