The Filipino People S Power Revolution Essay
, Research Paper
The Filipino People s Power Revolution
The revolution of the Philippines is a story about an economically poor government; a poverty-stricken nation; and a corrupt dictators nearly bloodless ousting. The revolution is key in understanding the current state of the nation, as well as exhibiting factors that have led to the countries current economical state. While the events leading up to the revolution are by no means solely responsible for the poverty of the Philippines, the nation is still recovering from the effects of the incidents preceding the revolution. The Filipino revolution is structurally similar to many of the world s past revolutions. While all revolutions are fought for different causes and have different outcomes, nearly every revolution fits the pattern defined by Crane Briton. The Philippines revolution applies to the outline given in Crane Briton s Patterns of Revolution.
The Peoples Power Revolution of the Philippines takes place because of the government fails to meet the needs of its people. In 1972 the Dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, lead his country into economic chaos through his declaration of martial law. He crushed his opposition under the martial law by arresting nearly 30,000 of his opponents. These people ranged from being his political rivals to media reporters and other activists. He confiscated weapons, shut down newspapers, and found other ways of restricting the freedoms of his people. He closed Congress, and assumed all legislative power. At first many people approved of the institution of martial law as they saw it as a way to end the increasing amounts of violence in their cities. Marcos wrote a new Constitution, which allowed him to stay in office for an infinite amount of six-year terms. Marcos goes on to end martial law because he wants to get on the good side of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. Although the end of martial law does not mean the end of any new laws or decrees passed during its period, it does allow Benigno Aquino, one of the many political rivals exiled during the period of martial law, to reenter the country. Aquino is assassinated as soon as he gets off of the plane in the Philippines. While this assassination is not well publicized because of Marcos s media silence, Aquino s funeral serves as an event to unite the people of the Philippines. Nearly two million mourners attend the funeral of Marcos s political opponent. This is the largest protest in the history of the Philippines, during which many people recognized the hardships that Marcos s rule had brought to their people. With the wide spreading mass of people against Marcos, there were finally the numbers needed for a revolt, but the revolutionists were still missing a crucial element, a leader. They found their leader in the widow of Benign Aquino, Cardinal Jaime Sin, and the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church was fundamentally against Marcos s regime of martial law. Cardinal Jaime Sin led the church to taking the position of critical collaboration in the matter of the Filipino dictator, meaning that they would criticize Marcos s principals, but were not totally against him. This was important because it allowed the Catholic Church to be vocal in disagreeing with Marcos s philosophy and Marcos allowed the church to remain in his country. Cardinal Sin broadcast his message across a Catholic Radio station, and over time this station became the voice for the revolutionist. Cardinal Sin urged the people to take to the streets and help the rebel forces. Another group that supported the revolution was the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) group. They fought for the restoration of the pre-martial law society. Still not everyone was aware of the need for a revolution and it took an economic crisis to open the eyes of the uninformed.
The Assassination of Benigno Aquino brought economic crisis to the Philippines. His death caused people to lose their confidence in the Filipino market, and led to the demise of foreign investment. Capital was leaving the country at a rate of twelve million US dollars per day. The Central Bank of the Philippines was no longer able to make payments on their twenty-six billion-dollar debt. When it was discovered that the Government and country had gone bankrupt the peso (Filipino currency) suffered an instant 21% devaluation. In 1984 the economy had decreased nearly 7% since the previous year, and it lost another 3.8% the following year. People in the upper class who were involved in banking and other financially alert professions quickly saw the disturbing fate of their economy and vocally protested Marcos s dictatorship. Although the people living in a rural area were not as aware of the economic problems as those living in a the metropolitan area, they were not immune from the effects of the devaluation of the Filipino currency. Over time the people realized that Marcos s dictatorship was destroying their economy, and deiced that they needed a change.
Marcos spontaneously choose to hold a new election in the middle of his term, hoping that it would restore people s faith in his government. His competition, Corazon Aquino, widow of Benigno Aquino, fought for a fair election. She initiated a group called National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), whose job was to protect the ballet boxes from tampering and to count the votes. NAMFREL declared Cory Aquino as the winner of the election while Marcos s Commission on Elections (COMELEC) acknowledged him the winner. The COMELC was the only official count, and even though they declared Marcos the victor, computer operators from COMELC said that the announced results were not the same as the results that they had tallied. The rigged election showed the Filipino population the true corruption of their leader and pushed them to the point of revolution.
The People s Power revolution was truly a revolution of the people in that they had no professional army, but consisted mainly of common people. These people included priests, nuns, labors, and even children along with the small group of rebels. Many of the government troops would not attack their own people and soon announced their support for the revolution. The revolution ended with very little violence and Marcos, after seeing that his army and his people were all against him resigned, and was later exiled to the United States. Through this revolution, Corazon Aquino became the moderate leader as the seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines. Although originally seen as a week housewife, Aquino proved that she was a strong leader by withstanding an attempted counter-revolution. The very same RAM group that had been against Marcos in the original revolution makes the attempt at counter-revolution. They did not feel that Aquino had achieved the goals that she had set out to achieve. They gave Aquino little chance to fix the wrong doings of Marcos s regime. RAM did not understand that it would take time for the Philippines to grow into a prosperous nation. Aquino would later prove herself again by bringing her nation back to a state of stability.
By reinstating the basic civil liberties of her people, and through the ratification of a new constitution Aquino set her country on a path to stability. She illustrated the ideals of the revolution by reestablishing the rights of the people, and eventually restoring democracy to the Philippines. Her successor, Fidel Ramos worked to renew the economy of the Philippines. Because of the new constitution, he was only allowed one term of presidency, even though he was greatly appreciated by his country. He could have amended the constitution to allow himself a second term, but he believed the constitution was to young to be amended. After two great leaders, the future of the Philippines now looks bright, and they have the chance to recover from the negative effects of the events that led to revolution.
The People s Power revolution almost flawlessly follows the Patterns of Revolution. Although the Filipino revolution did not have an extremist reaction, it still should be considered a genuine revolution because it follows every other aspect outlined By Crane Briton, in a precise order, and does not leave anything else out. The People s Power revolution was an important step in the democratization of the Philippines. The effects of the revolution are still prevalent in today s Filipino society.