The Marcos Case

Marcos Case

What actually made the Philippines “rich” before wasn’t Marcos… It was the PARITY RIGHTS AMENDMENT that gave American Citizens and American-registered corporations the same property rights and corporate-ownership rights that were afforded to Filipino Citizens that was in effect until 1974. The parity rights were a condition that the Americans said the Philippines needed to allow in order for the USA to send in American companies/investors and US AID for post-war reconstruction. It was because of the Parity Rights that lots of US companies and investors flocked to the Philippines to set up their Asian HQ’s and operations and so many of our parents who were born post-WWII were able to be upwardly mobile.

Marcos’ first term essentially just rode on the relatively good economic growth that resulted from those. It was after the expiry of those rights and Marcos’ attempt to do a protectionist-style import-substitution scheme using his cronies to act as the “chaebol industrialists” that things started to go downhill. The loans he took which he spread out to his cronies to “develop the economy” couldn’t get paid back because his cronies didn’t do any real work and instead simply pocketed the cash and created fake companies and set-up façade “factories” and offices that never really operated to make money.

Marcos’ attempt was to re-create the early Meiji Japan and Park Chung Hee South Korea model of industrialization. The problem is that while the ex-Samurai Landowners who got converted into industrialists in Meiji Japan and the ex-landowners in S. Korea who also got converted into industrialists were disciplined enough and COMPLIED with their governments and delivered, Marcos’ cronies did not deliver: they lived luxurious lives and lazily enjoyed the mountains of “free money” they had been allocated (which they were supposed to pay back since they were loans).

In any case, here’s the unfortunate problem…

It may very well be possible that Marcos wanted to do “good things.” Unfortunately, the system in place which was the Philippine Presidential System based on the 1935 Constitution plus other amendments HOBBLED him from doing what needed to be done because instead of a “collaborative environment”, the Presidential System’s separation of powers is prone to GRIDLOCK, and even between both chambers of the legislature (House + Senate), there is another gridlock-prone “conduit” between them.

His solution, thus, was Martial Law. Martial Law would allow him to unilaterally make decisions on his own and rule by decree.

But before Martial Law, THE LEGISLATURE (both the House and the Senate) — NOT MARCOS — had already decided upon Constitutional Reform to fix the flaws of the 1935 Constitution. It was both houses of the LEGISLATURE that decided upon that.

In 1972, before the Constitutional Convention could finish their job, Marcos declared Martial Law.

Well, in 1973, when the new Constitution was ratified, the resulting PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM that was proposed would have prevented Marcos from ruling unilaterally, and instead would have forced him to have to act COLLEGIALLY as a Prime Minister (had he been purely the Prime Minister) OR he would have become totally powerless as a purely ceremonial President.

Luckily for him, he already declared Martial Law in 1972 and that was still in effect. So, despite the “paper” declaring that the Philippines was to be Parliamentary, under Martial Law, Marcos was still the “unilateral” single-person-ruler of the Philippines.

* * *

Gridlock-prone systems are prone to crises.

Both “single-person-rule” and “collegial governance” work well in avoiding gridlock.

HOWEVER… Single person rule is prone to abuse and as we all know, a single person doesn’t have monopoly of knowledge/insights. This is not to say that single person rule doesn’t work. IT CAN WORK. Except that it DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK. You need a “Machiavellian Saint” to properly get such working properly.

A COLLEGIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE such as the Parliamentary System (or Switzerland’s Council Parliament System) allows for a more collective form of decision-making to happen where there is more cooperation and “sharing of responsibilities” rather than concentrating power in one person.

* *

In the end, the Philippines was NEVER able to enjoy “Parliamentary” rule under Marcos. All that happened was that the TITLES were changed from Congressman to Assemblyman, from House of Representatives to Batasang Pambansa, the Senate was abolished, Secretaries became Ministers, Departments became Ministries, the VP post was abolished, etc…

Ultimately, Marcos – the President – was STILL IN CHARGE and in a real Parliamentary System, the President of the Republic is purely ceremonial and only does ribbon cutting and other symbolic stuff.

In 1981, the True Nature of his form of government was revealed when the LIFTING OF MARIAL LAW occurred. He made sure NOT to relinquish power over to the Batasang Pambansa and the Cabinet that should have emerged from among the members of the assembly… He amended the Constitution to shift away from a Parliamentary System and went into a Semi-Presidential System (still a Presidential System nonetheless) and appointed Cesar Virata as his “Prime Minister” who in truth acted as Marcos’ “executive secretary.” (Prior to that appointment in 1981, MARCOS WAS BOTH PRESIDENT and PRIME MINISTER.)

Marcos was SOLIDLY IN CHARGE until later on when his health deteriorated and he spent more time in dialysis than in meeting with the people under him.


Talking about Real Practical Solutions-oriented grown-ups

(Re: Political, economic reform: Best left to the grown-ups)


Charter Change is only meant to be a practical first enabling step towards real progress, a shift to a better framework. It is unfortunate that enlightened debate about the proposed shift in the form of government has been hampered by allegations of hidden motives by traditional politicians, by some group that doesn’t even proposed any solutions and by a public suspicious of an unspoken agenda of certain politicians. Constitutional reform advocates were flexible of differing views but, some others had wrong understanding of some of their agendas. Sharing your own opinion in a discussion is ok but if there’s something wrong with it, it must be corrected by facts. The main point of a discussion is to discuss what is right. While in debates, is to argue who is wrong, and who is right.

Unfortunately, evidently not everyone is speaking in real facts. A Constitutional reform movement known as the CoRRECT movement led by a Successful, Singapore-based overseas Filipino worker named Orion Perez Dumdum has been falsely accused in the original article wrote by a blogger, Ben Kritz in Orion is accused of attacking Get Real Phillipines which is definitely wrong. Well you see, GRP writers firstly commenced an attack against Orion, and the said constitutional reform movement by writing articles in their blog site against constitutional reform, and Orion (indirectly). Orion only did his right to reply against those false information against constitutional reform, and him being spread.

The First shot against CoRRECT(that triggered hostilities): “Will the Philippines prosper if we change it’s system of government?” – by BenignO on May 11,2013

Orion was once a loyal member to Get Real Philippines and been helping Benign0 debating with naysayers. He was also accused of being a traitor when in fact, he was the one who made Get Real Philippines and he always carries Get Real Philippines in all of his interviews when he was still inside Get Real Philippines before the betrayal against Orion. CoRRECT started as an initiative of Get Real Philippines, then became an independent movement. Get Real Philippines, nowadays, does have a general understanding that the flaws and failures of the Philippines without offering a solution to solve these.

Benign0 has now purged Get Real Philippines so that the only remaining Get Real Bloggers, and Followers are all losers and whiners, and all the solutions-oriented people have all moved over to CoRRECT since CoRRECT is about finding solutions to make the Philippines a better place and knows how to solve these by a systematic-approach of problem solving, that’s why constitutional reform is merely an enabling step to solve these problems. GRP has now returned to its “core competency” of whining and ranting about “why the Philippines is hopeless”, and worse, they’re even actively attacking people who are trying to come up with solutions to improve the country, even if those people were even their former colleagues at Get Real Philippines who came from the solutions-oriented faction. Orion never even said that Constitutional Reform was the only solution since he wrote articles that mentioned many other solutions other than Constitutional Reform such as the RH Bill, the FOIA bill, and many more.  Ben Kritz was originally on-board with the “System Change” perspective like what CoRRECT is until he reversed his brain.

Criticisms are taken sincerely if it is constructive but a right of reply must be respected. There are so many things that keep reminding me of the urgency of finding practical, systematic-approached solutions. I only have to eat chicken and see the left-over bones to be reminded of pagpag, which has got to be the saddest phenomenon that has developed in the Philippines. Its also hard not to be reminded of the OFW phenomenon when I know my mom, and my relatives have to work abroad. Don’t the people at Get Real Philippines even care? It certainly does not seem like they do. In fact, judging from many of their articles and comments, they seem rather stuck up to me. I remember reading a Get Real Post article years ago that stated that Filipinos are among the worst kinds of racist, not because they are xenophobes, but because they are racists towards their own people. Now that I think about it, this description sounds a lot more like a description of themselves. the speculation is that Get Real Philippines may actually be attempting to prevent any sort of reform. CoRRECTors have their own private lives, and doesn’t have any interests on personal information about Get Real Members. Those Personal information about them that was being spread are shared in public by themselves. Orion doesn’t have any eyes within their privately shared posts, and information as Orion doesn’t have any access on their restricted, private accounts.