The Philippines’ “Bloodless Revolution”

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

in Nonviolent Revolutions

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778201
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199897216 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Culture and Politics

The Philippines’ “Bloodless Revolution”

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Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades, using his position to amass a personal fortune. When Benigno Aquino—Marcos’s key political rival—was assassinated in 1983, cross-class opposition to the regime erupted. Opposition protests drew international attention, and under mounting pressure, Marcos agreed to hold elections in 1986. Aquino’s widow, Cory, ran against Marcos; no one was surprised when Marcos rigged the election. Just as Cory Aquino announced a plan for nonviolent civil resistance, two military leaders defected. The cardinal of the Filipino Catholic Church asked citizens to protect the two defectors. Millions responded, forming a human barricade between Marcos’s troops and the officers. Civil resisters encouraged the advancing soldiers to defect. After several days, the majority of troops joined the opposition movement. With no sanctioning power left, Marcos fled, and Aquino assumed the presidency.

Keywords: Philippines; Ferdinand Marcos; Benigno Aquino; Cory Aquino; military defections; people power movement

Chapter.  6158 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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