When martial law was established in the Philippines three years ago, it seemed that President Ferdinand Marcos' one-man rule was safe from any challenge. Now, though, it seems that a formidable contender for power and popularity has emerged on the Philippine political scene: his wife. Imelda Marcos, 46, who was elected Miss Manila in 1953, was appointed last week general manager of Manila, which was enlarged by the incorporation of its suburban towns. As ruler of the nation's wealthiest and most populous (5.5 million) area, Mrs. Marcos is now the second most influential politician in the Philippines after her husband.


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