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Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was the tenth President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives (1949–1959) and a member of the Philippine Senate (1959–1965). He was Senate President from 1963-1965. He claimed to have led a guerrilla force called Ang Maharlika in northern Luzon during the Second World War, although this is doubted. As Philippine president and strongman, his greatest achievement was in the fields of infrastructure development and international diplomacy. However, his administration was marred by massive authoritarian corruption, despotism, nepotism, political repression, and human rights violations. He benefited from a large personality cult in the Philippines during his regime. In 1983, his government was implicated in the assassination of his primary political opponent, Benigno Aquino, Jr. The implication caused a chain of events, including a tainted presidential election that served as the catalyst for the People Power Revolution in February 1986 that led to his removal from power and eventual exile in Hawaii. It was later alleged that he and his wife Imelda Marcos had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other countries, as well as into alleged corporations during his 20 years in power.
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos was born September 11, 1917, in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte outside Laoag City to parents Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin. He was named after Ferdinand VII of Spain and baptized into the Philippine Independent Church. According to the Marcos family's oral history, the family name was originally Tabucboc, and their Ilokano roots have some Japanese and Chinese ancestry. Marcos attended college at the University of the Philippines. His record of excellence went beyond the classroom. He won honors in the University boxing, swimming and wrestling teams. He joined the newly-formed ROTC and rose to the rank of cadet major. He won the first gold medal offered by General MacArthur for proficiency in military science. His baritone oratory enlivened the school debating team. He became the most bemedaled debater and orator, winning the President Quezon Medal and was awarded the University President’s medal for obtaining the highest scholastic average over the full course of his college work. Aside from this he wrote in the University's newspaper and he become a student activist against the commonwealth government at that time.
In December 1938, Mariano Marcos, his brother Pio, his son Ferdinand, and his brother-in-law Quirino Lizardo were prosecuted for the murder of Julio Nalundasan. On September 20, 1935, the day after Nalundasan (for the second time) defeated Mariano Marcos for the National Assembly seat for Ilocos Norte, Nalundasan was shot and killed in his house in Batac. According to two witnesses, the four had conspired to assassinate Nalundasan, with Ferdinand Marcos eventually doing the killing. In late January 1939, they were denied bail and in the fall of 1939 they were convicted. Ferdinand and Lizardo received the death penalty for premeditated murder, while Mariano and Pio were found guilty only of contempt of court. The Marcos family took their appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, which on October 22, 1940, overturned the lower court's decision and acquitted them of all charges but contempt.
In 1939, while incarcerated, Ferdinand Marcos graduated cum laude with a law degree from the U.P. College of Law. If he had not been put in jail for twenty seven days, he would have graduated magna cum laude. He was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu international honor society, and the Phi Kappa Phi international honor society which, 37 years later gave him its Most Distinguished Member Award. While in detention Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. of Ilocos Norte helped Marcos study for the bar exams by providing a desk lamp in his cell, law books and reviewers. Marcos passed the bar examination with the highest score on record, while also writing an 830-page defense. Several people contested his score and a retake was taken albeit an oral bar examination witnessed by several people. His second bar examination resulted in a 100% score, the highest grade obtained in the Philippine Bar.