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President Ferdinand E. Marcos
Class of 1937

Ferdinand E. Marcos was a former President and prime Minister, statesman, war hero, author, poet and parliamentarian.

Marcos was born on September 11, 1917, Sarrat, Ilocos Norte. His parents were Mariano R. Marcos, a lawyer from Batac, Ilocos Norte who became its district representative in the Lower house and governor of Davao during the American occupation and Josefa Edralin, a teacher.

He finished high school with honors at the University of the Philippines and was a scholar during his Law studies at U.P. He graduated cum laude in March 1939 with the President Quezon Award for his thesis. He also excelled in sports – wrestling, boxing and swimming. He was also a good orator for which he received the Quezon medal in 1938. He was also a Military Science Instructor at U.P. and a writer for the Philippine Collegian.

When Marcos was reviewing for the Bar exams, he was arrested for having shot the then newly elected representative of Ilocos Norte, Julio Nalundasan who won over his father. He was found guilty by the lower court so he appealed to the Supreme Court.

Despite this problem, Marcos topped the Bar exams in 1939, but could not take his oath as a lawyer because of his pending case. Nevertheless, he was allowed to defend himself before the High Tribunal and was acquitted.

During the outbreak of the Second World War, Marcos joined the military, fought in Bataan and later joined the guerilla forces. He was a major when the war ended.

After the war, the Commonwealth Government was reestablished with Osmena as President. When President Manuel A. Roxas was elected and assumed office in May 28, 1946, Marcos was designated Special Assistant to the President, 1946-1947. He was also named member of the Philippine Veterans Commission that went to Washington D.C. to lobby for the G.I. Bill of Rights which provided for backpay for Filipino war veterans.

When the Philippines was granted independence in July 4, 1946 by the American government, the Philippine Congress was established. Marcos ran and was twice elected as representative of the 1st district of Ilocos Norte, 1949-1959. He was named chairman of the House Committee on Commerce and Industry and member of the Defense Committee headed by Ramon Magsaysay.

He was the topnotcher in the senatorial elections in 1959. He was Senate minority floor leader, 1960; executive vice president, LP 1954-1961; president, Liberal Party, 1961-1964; Senate President, 1959-1965. During his term as Senate President, former Defense Secretary Eulogio B. Balao was also closely working with Marcos.

He was chairman, House Neophytes Bloc in which (President) Diosdado Macapagal, (Vice President) Emmanuel Pelaez and (Manila Mayor) Arsenio J. Lacson were members, House Committee on Industry; LP spokesman on economic matters; member, Special Committee on Import and Price Controls and on Reparations; House Committees on Ways and Means, Banks Currency, War Veterans, Civil Service, Corporations and Economic Planning; and the House Electoral Tribunal.

As a lawyer and a master politician, Marcos led a most interesting and controversial political career both before and after his term as Senate President. He became Senator after he served as member of the House of Representatives for three terms, then later as Minority Floor Leader before gaining the Senate Presidency. He is one of the legislators who had established a record for having introduced a number of significant bills, many of which found their way into the Republic statute books.

Marcos ran for the presidency under the Nacionalista Party and won. He assumed office as President in December 30, 1965 and held the defense post in a concurrent capacity till January 1967. He was reelected in 1969 and declared Martial Law in September 1972. Again, he held the defense post concurrently in August 1971 till January 1972.

He became Prime Minister in June 12, 1978 and ruled the country for 20 years till February 25, 1986 during the EDSA People Power revolution which ousted him from power.

Marcos went on exile in Hawaii, where he died on September 28, 1989. He left behind his wife, Imelda and their three children: Maria Imelda Josefa Trinidad (Imee), Ferdinand Jr. (Bongbong), and Irene Victoria.

Thus far, he is the last Senate President to become President of the Philippines.

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