Photo: Speaking at a celebration marking the third anniversary of the imposition of martial law, President Ferdinand E. Marcos pledges to root out corruption within his government (UPI/Bettmann Newsphotos).
His rise to absolute power, the corrupt practices within his administration and the ignoble demise of Ferdinand E. Marcos continue to elicit garish political and personal scandal. The National Security Archive's Philippines collection documents the often conflicting interests which arose between the U.S. and the Marcos presidency; it is a quintessential case study of U.S policy towards a strategic Third World ally.
The Philippines document collection contains over 23,000 pages only recently made available to the public. It provides a primary source for the analysis of U.S. policy toward the Philippines during the 20-year rule of Ferdinand E. Marcos. The bulk of the collection is composed of documents produced between late 1965, when Marcos ran successfully for his first term as President of the Philippines, and the evening hours of February 25, 1986, when Marcos, his wife Imelda, and their 60-member entourage fled the grounds of the Presidential palace in Manila for exile in Hawaii. Relevant legal papers, including the 1986 indictment filed against the Marcoses in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, complete the set.
Critical events in the period include the creation--with the covert support of the Johnson administration--of a Philippine civic action group to send to Vietnam; state visits to the United States by President and Mrs. Marcos in 1966 and 1982; the imposition of martial law in September 1972; the assassination of opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. in August 1983 and the subsequent reshaping of U.S. policy toward the Philippines; the emergence of "crony capitalism" during the 1970s; visits to the Philippines by Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford in 1966, 1969 and 1975, respectively; the rise of Communist and Muslim insurgencies during the 1970s and 1980s; the emergence following the imposition of martial law of a small, albeit vocal and influential, opposition movement in the United States; and a series of elections culminating in the fraudulent one in 1986 that led to Marcos's demise
The Archive prepares extensive, printed finding aids for its collections. The Guide contains an events chronology, glossaries of key individuals, organizations, events, legal terms and acronyms, a selected bibliography of relevant secondary sources and a document catalog. The catalog, organized chronologically, provides bibliographic information about the documents and lists all the indexing phrases generated for each. This facilitates browsing through the document collection and allows researchers to preview key details within documents before perusing the microfiche. The Index contains rich contextual references to subjects, individuals and organizations. The detail provided in each allows researchers to pinpoint relevant documents in particular areas of study.
The Philippines document set provides a quintessential case study of U.S. policy towards a strategic Third World ally. In these primary source documents--many recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests--researchers will find a wealth of information covering research topics including:
Documents in the Collection Include:
Previously Unpublished Documents Originate From:
National Security Archive Project Staff
Praise for The Philippines: The Marcos Years
"The National Security Archive represents an idea that is
so obvious--once you think of it--that it instantly makes
the transition from novelty to necessity. The desirability
of collecting in one location all the declassified and
unclassified documentation on U.S. foreign policy is so
compelling that we are certain to ask ourselves very soon
how we managed to get along without it. . .All of us who
have a professional interest in contemporary security and
foreign policy issues can only rejoice at the appearance
of this new institutional resource."
Adjunct Professor of Middle East Politics
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