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#2 Strongman: Ferdinand Edralin Marcos (1958-1965)

(image from topnews)

Leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness, and he who is a leader must always act alone. And in acting alone, accept everything alone.

Marcos studied law at the University of the Philippines, attending the prestigious College of Law. He sat for the 1939 Bar Examinations, receiving a near-perfect score and graduating cum laude despite the fact that he was incarcerated while reviewing; had he had not been in jail for 27 days, he would have graduated magna cum laude.

He was the topnotcher in the senatorial elections in 1959 and was given the leadership in the senate minority in 1960. With the liberal party regaining the majority of the senate seat in, Marcos was elected by his peers as the Senate President from 1963–1965.

Ferdinand assumed the tenth presidency of the Philippines in the 1965 elections by beating then-president Diosdado Macapagal. It was during Marcos administration period were the country was one of the best performing countries in Asia.

However, he put these talents to work by building a regime that he apparently intended to perpetuate as a dynasty. A former aide of Marcos said that “Nobody will ever know what a remarkable president he could have made. That’s the saddest part”. It can be said that his public image has been significantly rehabilitated after worsening political and economic problems that have hounded his successors. The irony is that these economic troubles are largely due to the country’s massive debts incurred during his administration. The Marcos Era’s legacy, polarizing as it is, remains deeply embedded in the Philippines today.

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