Proclamation No. 1081, s. 1972




WHEREAS, on the basis of carefully evaluated and verified information, it is definitely established that lawless elements who are moved by a common or similar ideological conviction, design, strategy and goal and enjoying the active moral and material support of a foreign power and being guided and directed by intensely devoted, well trained, determined and ruthless groups of men and seeking refuge under the protection of our constitutional liberties to promote and attain their ends, have entered into a conspiracy and have in fact joined and banded their resources and forces together for the prime purpose of, and in fact they have been and are actually staging, undertaking and waging an armed insurrection and rebellion against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in order to forcibly seize political and state power in this country, overthrow the duly constituted government, and supplant our existing political, social, economic and legal order with an entirely new one whose form of government, whose system of , laws, whose conception of God and religion, whose notion of individual rights and family relations, and whose political, social, economic, legal and moral precepts are based on the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist teachings and beliefs ; … [Read the full text; download a copy of the original signed document]



Letter of Instruction No. 1, s. 1972

Signed September 22, this letter mandated the  “prevention of the use of privately owned media facilities and communications.” Read it.

General Order No. 1, s. 1972

General Order No. 1, signed September 22, in which Former President Marcos proclaimed that he “shall govern the nation and direct the operation of the entire Government … ” Read it.

General Order No. 4, s. 1972

Genarl Order No. 4, signed September 22, in which former President Marcos hereby ordered that “a curfew be maintained and enforced throughout the Philippines between the hours of twelve o’clock midnight and four o’clock in the morning.” Read it.

General Order No. 5, s. 1972

General order No 5, signed September 22, in which former President Marcos prohibited all forms of public demonstration. Read it.

Presidential Decree No. 1, s. 1972

Through this decree, the first of its kind, signed September 24, 1972, former President Marcos  reorganized the executive branch of the national government. Presidential Decrees were issuances by the Chief Executive that had the force of law—an innovation made by President Marcos with the proclamation of Martial Law that served to arrogate unto the Chief Executive the lawmaking powers that previously pertained to the Congress of the Philippines. Only President Marcos issued Presidential Decrees. Read it.

Javellana vs. Executive Secretary

This Supreme Court decision, released March 1973, put in effect the 1973 Philippine Constitution, which amassed in the President all the powers of the state. Read it.


Bayan Ko! Images of the Philippine Revolt (Project 28 Days Ltd., 1986).

The Diaries of Ferdinand E. Marcos: 1969-1971, 1973-1979, 1983.

Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People (Reader’s Digest, Asia Publishing Company Ltd., 1998).

The Marcos Revolution: A Progress Report on the New Society of the Philippines (Manila: National Media Production Center, 1980).

People Power: The Philippine Revolution of 1986 (Manila: The James B. Reuter, S.J. Foundation, 1986).

The Philippine Century: 1900-2000 (Philippines Free Press).

Reports of the Fact-Finding Board: On the Assassination of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr. (Manila: Mr. & Ms. Publishing Company, 1984).

Today’s Revolution: Democracy by Ferdinand E. Marcos (Manila: Ferdinand E. Marcos Foundation Inc., 1971).

Patricio N. Abinales and Donna J. Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines (Maryland, USA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc., 2005.)

Raymond Bonner, Waltzing with a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Makng of American Policy (New York: Times Books, Random House, 1987).

Lewis E. Gleeck Jr., President Marcos and the Philippine Political Culture (Manila: Loyal Printing, 1987).

Antonio C. Hila, The Musical Arts in the New Society (Marcos Presidential Center Inc, 2007).

Celia Diaz – Laurel, Doy Laurel (GA Printing Inc., 1986).

Lilia Ramos – de Leon, editor, A Pen for Democracy: Raul S. Manglapus (Washington: Movement for a Free Philippines).

Manuel F. Martinez, Aquino vs. Marcos: The Grand Collision (Quezon City, 1987).

Alfonso P. Policarpio Jr., Ninoy: The Willing Martyr (Manila: PDM Press, 1986).

Primitivo Mijares, The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (Heirs of Primitivo Mijares, 1986).

Benjamin T. Tolosa Jr., editor, Socdem: Filipino Social Democracy in a Time of Turmoil and Transition, 1965-1995 (Manila: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2011).

Kathleen Weekley, The Communist Party of the Philippines 1968-1993: A Story of its Theory and Practice (Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 2001).

De Dios, Aurora Javate, Petronilo BN. Daroy, and Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, eds. Dictatorship and Revolution: Root’s of People’s Power. Manila: Conspectus, 1988.


A year after signing Proclamation No. 1081, s. 1972, proclaiming a state of martial law in the Philippines, former President Marcos delivered a State of the Nation Address titled “Report to the Nation after One Year of Martial Law”:

“One year ago today, I signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.

“As President of the Republic, I saw it as my clear and inescapable duty to meet the rebellion against our duly constituted government, the anarchy in our social life, the paralysis of the economy, the disintegration of our bureaucracy.

“With God’s clear light and our people’s vigorous support, we involved the full powers of the Constitution to meet the threats to our Republic and build a new society.

“Man in his presumption has always claimed the advances we call civilization as his handiwork.

“Often we disregard the unknown intervention of God and the logic and consequence of history and events.” Read the full text.


On September 21, 2012, President Benigno S. Aquino III attended two events in honor of the victims of Martial Law. In the morning he went to Fort Macapagal in Nueva Ecija, where his father, Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr., and Senator Jose W. Diokno were detained, where a memorial in honor of the late senators was inaugurated. In the afternoon, the President went to Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City to attend ceremonies in honor of the countless victims of the dictatorship. The following are his speeches:

Speech of President Aquino on the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law:

“Ayokong maranasan ninyo ang pinagdaanang hirap at sakripisyo ng aking ama, at ng iba pang naging biktima ng Martial Law. Itinatama natin ang mga baluktot na prinsipyo’t kaisipan upang higit na ipaalala ang halaga ng demokrasya at kalayaan, gayundin ang tunay na kabayanihan ng mga Pilipinong lumaban sa diktadurya. Katapatan at katotohanan lamang ang tangi nating lalakaran sa tuwid na daan. Hindi na tayo kailanman maliligaw, at ang tanging ipapamana namin sa inyo—sa ating mga kabataan—ay isang maliwanag, malaya, at makatarungang bayan.” Read the speech in full/ read the speech in English.

Speech of President Aquino at the inauguration of the Aquino-Diokno Memorial:

“Patuloy sana nating isabuhay ang paninindigan ng akin pong ama at ni Senador Jose Diokno, at ng mga nagbuklod sa EDSA. Pinatunayan nilang posible ang pagtutuwid sa sistema nang walang pagdanak ng dugo. Sa pagkakaisa, kaya nating itama ang takbo ng kasaysayan at itutok ito sa mga adhikain natin sa tuwid na daan. Kung kaming mga narito ngayon na nandito noong 1973 ay naging saksi sa pagbangon ng ating bansa mula sa diktadurya, tiwala akong sa ating pagkakapit-bisig, magsisilbi rin kayong lahat testigo sa malawakan at makabuluhang pagbabago na ipapamana natin sa susunod na salinlahi ng Pilipino.” Read the speech in fullread the speech in English.


Listen to History put up a timeline of the last days of Marcos rule (February 22–25, 1986) made up of broadcasts from Radyo Veritas: “For four days in February 1986, one small radio station kept the flame of revolution burning in the Philippines.”

Access Interaksyon’s Listen to History: The Veritas/Radyo Bandido Broadcasts.




Malacañan Tumblrs martial law

In commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Martial Law, the Tumblr team of the Presidential Museum and Library brings you a series of posts  dedicated to recalling this period in Philippine history, retracing the events leading up to the declaration of Martial Law, and its aftermath.

Read on martial law.

A circa-1970 photo (a Tumblr entry by PML) of a paper mache crocodile and a makeshift coffin (symbolizing the death of democracy) flew in the direction of Marcos and his wife, Imelda.


After 40 years: The declaration video

For the first time in 40 years, the Filipino people will be able to view what happened, as it happened when former President Ferdinand E. Marcos announced that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. The video, from the archives of ABS-CBN, will be launched on Sunday, September 23, 2012, 7:15 in the evening, exactly 40 years to the date and time of the original broadcast in 1972.

The it may be viewed through this page, and through

Watch the teaser video.


Should the anniversary of Martial Law be on September 21 or 23?

This is the topic of this essay by the PCDSPO:

“On September 21, 1972, democracy was still functioning in the Philippines. On same date, Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. delivered his final privilege speech in the senate.

“Thursday, September 21, 1972 was the last session day of the week. Primitivo Mijares, among others, recounted the functioning of the House of Representatives and the Senate, with committee meetings scheduled for that night.

“That afternoon a protest march was held in Plaza Miranda, sponsored by the Concerned Christians for Civil Liberties … . For his part, in his diary, President Marcos wrote that he, together with members of his cabinet and staff, finished the preparation of Proclamation 1081 at 8 PM, September 21.

“A day after the final speech of Ninoy Aquino, that is, September 22, 1972, the newspapers still came out: they featured the rally held the previous day in Plaza Miranda. Mijares in his book recounts President Marcos was agitated by a statement reported in the Daily Express that if martial law were declared, Aquino said he would have to be arrested soon after or he would escape to join the resistance to martial rule.

“The pretext for martial law was provided later in the evening of Friday, September 22, 1972, the convoy of Secretary of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed in Wack-Wack as he was going home to Dasmariñas village in Makati before 9 PM. This ambush, as Enrile later revealed in 1986, was staged by Marcos to justify Martial Law. Marcos himself, in his diary entry for September 22, 1972 (9:55 p.m.) wrote, “Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed near Wack-Wack at about 8:00 pm tonight. It was a good thing he was riding in his security car as a protective measure … This makes the martial law proclamation a necessity.” His diary entry for September 25, 1972 mentions conditions after two days of martial law, also indicating martial law in reality is dated to September 23, 1972.”

Read the whole essay.