Imposition of martial law by Marcos in 1972

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Marcos signs Proclamation 1081

  • Government claims that from 15 Mar to 18 Sep, more than 20 bombings or attempted attacks were launched in Metro Manila.
  • Fri 22 Sep 1972, night: Marcos gives orders to Enrile to implement the martial law plans. An hour later, Enrile's car is ambushed near the Wack Wack Golf Course. He is riding in another car, and emerges unhurt.
  • Fri 22 Sep 1972, 9:00 pm: Marcos signs Proclamation 1081 declaring martial law. It is back-dated to 21 Sep because of Marcos' superstitious attachment to the number 7 and its multiples. (Bonner 1987, 100)

Mass arrests, raids, padlocked offices

  • Sat 23 Sep 1972, shortly after midnight: Government operatives begin a roundup of some 100 persons, including more than 20 journalists, three opposition senators, seven Constitutional Convention delegates, an undetermined number of student activists, and leaders of crime syndicates.
  • Aquino is arrested at a meeting at the Manila Hilton a few minutes past midnight, Sat 23 Sep 1972.
  • By 4:00 a.m. Sat 23 Sep 1972, "scores of prominent Filipinos had been seized: politicians, journalists, publishers, priests, students, and others who were Marcos' opponents..." Media outfits are closed down.
  • List of offices that were raided or padlocked
  • List of the first batches of detained people

Media announcement of martial law, public reaction

  • Evening of 23 Sep (a Saturday): Marcos goes on a nationwide radio-TV address to present Proclamation 1081.
  • On the surface, there are no big and outright protests.
  • Organizations and opposition groups are either dismantled, silenced, or continue working underground.