Ex-US President George Bush, in a statement issued at an education summit conference in Charlottesville, Va., commended the late Ferdinand Marcos for his voluntary exit from power in 1986. This was amidst the popular EDSA Revolution and pressure from the United States Government after a disputed presidential election. Bush said that Marcos ”permitted the peaceful transition to popular, democratic rule” by leaving the Philippines at ”a critical juncture in his nation’s history,” the White House confirmed.
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Bongbong Marcos’ Sad Announcement
Mr. Marcos’s death was announced early in the morning of April 28, 1989, by his son, Ferdinand Jr. or Bongbong Marcos. He emerged from the medical center’s intensive care unit after reciting a rosary at his father’s bedside, along with his mother and his sister, Irene Araneta. ”God has taken this great man from our midst to a better place,” said the younger Marcos. ”Hopefully, friends and detractors alike will look beyond the man to see what he stood for – his vision, his compassion and his total love of country.”
Imelda Marcos’ Commitment
His wife, Imelda, was at his bedside. The late Marcos was a strong leader who imposed martial law in his homeland from 1972 to 1981. He died without facing trial on United States criminal charges that he allegedly plundered. The Philippine Treasury could not have more than $100 million in his two decades in power at that time.
Barred from Returning
In Washington, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an order at the request of the State Department barring any aircraft with the body of Mr. Marcos from leaving Hawaii or any other point in the United States for the Philippines. The F.A.A. said that ”such a return, or the attempt to do so, would create a danger to the safety of the aircraft and persons involved.”.
Cory Aquino’s Bitterness
The late ex-President Aquino announced that she would not allow Marcos’s body to be brought to the Philippines for burial, saying she was acting for ”the safety of those who would take the death of Mr. Marcos in widely and passionately conflicting ways.” The assassination in 1983 of her husband, the opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., was a pivotal event in Marcos’s downfall. Former President Aquino said that his death ”closed a chapter in the history of our nation, a chapter uniquely his own.” In deference to the Marcos family, Aquino said she would leave it ”to others, and ultimately to history,” to assess Marcos’s rule, which ”touched the life of every Filipino who was his contemporary.” Thus the birth of the anti-Marcos propaganda.