PHILIPPINES: Ferdinand Marcos' New Society

Reforms are ballyhooed, but martial law remains

We believe that those who wanted to create disorder have learned their lesson. We are going back to normal." That statement by a ranking Manila official typifies a new mood in the Philippines. After five years of martial law ostensibly imposed to restore order against terrorism and other political violence, some Filipinos are predicting a gradual return to constitutional government. Others warn that such optimism is unjustified.

With considerable fanfare, President Ferdinand Marcos began his reforms by releasing 157 of 1,000 prisoners he has promised to let out of the Philippines' military stockades. (Last...

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