Ferdinand Marcos 'best president ever'?


Posted at Feb 26 2014 01:14 AM | Updated as of Feb 26 2014 09:23 AM

MANILA - On the eve of the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that removed him from power, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos was among top trends on social media site Twitter, with some claiming that he was "the best president" that the country has ever had.

Here are some of the tweets that praised the former dictator on Tuesday night:

Marcos' administration, which spanned 1965 to 1986, was marked by political repression, human rights violations, and corruption.

Amid alleged threats against the government, he declared martial law in 1972, which suspended the 1935 Constitution, dissolved Congress, and vested authoritarian powers on him.

Through Presidential Decrees, he was able to make laws without Congress, as well as issue arrest and seizure orders that are normally issued only by the judiciary in a democratic government.

More than 50,000 people, including those critical of his governance, were arrested during the first three years of his martial rule, according to Amnesty International. The number does not include the "desaparecidos" or victims of enforced disappearances under Marcos.

The Marcos regime was also responsible for 3,257 murders, 35,000 torture cases, and 70,000 incarcerations, according to members Akbayan party-list group, of whom many suffered under the dictatorship.

The repression forced thousands to go underground, with the book "Dictatorship and Revolution: Roots of People’s Power" estimating that number of communist rebels growing from 1,250 in 1972 to an estimated 40,000 in 1983 because of Marcos.

The value of the peso also dropped from P1 to US$ 1, to P25 pesos US$ 1, during Marcos' time in office.

From just US$ 360 million in 1962, the Philippines' debt reached P28.3 billion at the end of Marcos' rule in 1986, according to James K. Boyce's "The Political Economy of Growth and Impoverishment in the Marcos Era."

Meanwhile, the Presidential Commission on Good Government said the Marcoses stole at least $10 billion from the nation's coffers.

The Marcoses' ostentatious display of wealth during his rule in the 1970s left US embassy officials disgusted, according to diplomatic cables released by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista said the government has yet to recover P30 billion to P50 billion worth of Marcos assets, 28 years after the agency was established.