Skip to content

40th Anniversary: Declaration of Martial Law

Inquirer Archives: Proclamation 1081 recalled by Amando Doronila. 09/21/2007. Today, Filipinos recall a bad memory. The proclamation of martial law 35 years ago did not come like a thief in the night. Newspapermen, especially our Malacañang and congressional reporters at The Manila Chronicle, of which I was editor in chief in September 1972, expected martial law to come any time. That it was in the works was the worst kept secret in a town awash with rumors.

The date of its announcement was falsified. So, when President Ferdinand Marcos appeared on TV at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 23, Saturday, to announce the proclamation of martial law in his stentorian baritone, the announcement was anti-climactic. The proclamation was dated Sept. 21, Thursday.

Arrest orders of targets, including opposition figures and newspapermen, were served beginning at midnight of Sept. 22, Friday, straddling Sept. 23. In the first round of arrests, I received a phone call at home in Blue Ridge, Quezon City, from a close friend who said, ?Martial law has been declared. Secretary [of Defense Juan Ponce] Enrile has been ambushed.?

Read More: Proclamation 1081 recalled

Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines: Downloadable File: PROCLAMATION MO. 1081 PROCLAIMING A STATE OF MARTIAL LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES

Martial law and the ideological time warp By Raul C. Pangalangan, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Youtube: President Ferdinand Marcos Declares Martial Law

Image Note: From the cover of The Second Marcos Inaugural Book. The President’s portrait is part of a mural left uncompleted by the famous Filipino muralist Carlos ‘ Botong’ Francisco with his death in 1969.