On 22 September 1972, former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile was reportedly ambushed by communists while his staff car was driving in San Juan, killing his driver but leaving him unscathed. The assassination attempt, along with the growing threat of the New People’s Army and citizen unrest, gave Marcos enough reason to declare Proclamation No. 1081, which he signed on 17 September (postdated to 21 September), the same day. Marcos, who henceforth ruled by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, abolished Congress, shut down media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists. The first years of Martial Law saw an increase in military hardware and personnel in the Philippines, giving a precursor to reduce military dependence on American personnel to police the country. In 1984, American lease on Philippines military bases were extended only by 5 years, as compared to 25 years’ extension in 1959. Agricultural production, especially in rice production (which increased 42% in 8 years), was increased to decrease dependence on food importation.
Philippine culture and arts were promoted with the establishment of institutions such as the National Arts Center. However, to help finance a number of economic development projects, the Marcos government borrowed large amounts of money from international lenders. Thus, proving that the country was not yet fully independent economically. The Philippines’ external debt rose from $360 million (US) in 1962 to $28.3 billion in 1986, making the Philippines one of the most indebted countries in Asia. The Fifth Republic (1986-present)
From February 22–25, 1986, many demonstrations against Marcos took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. The event, known as the People Power Revolution, involved many famous figures such as Archbishop Jaime Sin, Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. Finally, on February 25, the Marcos family was transported by a U.S. Air Force HH-3E Rescue helicopters to Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, about 83 kilometers north of Manila, before boarding US Air Force DC-9 Medivac and C-141B planes bound for Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, and finally to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where Marcos arrived on 26 February. Many people around the world rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. Corazon Aquino succeeded as president of the Philippines. In 1986, Aquino adopted Original Pilipino Music (OPM, defined as “any musical composition created by a Filipino, whether the lyrics be in Pilipino, English or in any other language or dialect”) by requiring hourly broadcasts of OPM songs on all radio programs having musical formats in order to conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations, and to give patronage to arts and letters.
Singers like Regine Velasquez, Randy Santiago, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Manilyn Reynes, Donna Cruz and others are contributed to the President’s implementation of Filipino music over the airwaves. Stations like DZOO-FM, DWLS, etc., are adopted hourly OPMs effectively after the implementation. Aquino also encouraged the tourism sector to boost the national economy. Under her six-year term, the Department of Tourism launched a program called The Philippines: Fiesta Islands of Asia in 1989, offers tourist visits in the country to show their natural wonders, to protect their indigenous peoples, to preserve heritage sites and to contribute historical importance. In 1987, then President Corazon C. Aquino penned Executive Order No. 118 creating the Presidential Commission on Culture and Arts. Five years later, in 1992, this presidential directive was enacted into law—Republic Act 7356, creating the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). On 12 June 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide.
A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines’ growth as a nation for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga. During his term, President Joseph Estrada ordered to the National Telecommunications Commission to adopt a Filipino language-based radio format known as masa—named for his icon term Masa (or Masses). All radio stations adopted the masa format in 1998. Many stations continued to use the masa format after President Estrada left the presidency in 2001 because the masa format resonated with listeners. Some in the radio industry decry the effects masa formatting has had.
On 14 August 2010, President Benigno Aquino III directed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to fully implement Executive Order No. 255, issued on 25 July 1987 by former President Corazon Aquino, requiring all radio stations to broadcast a minimum of four original Filipino musical compositions in every clock hour of programs with a musical format. On 13 April 2012, the The Manila Times, the oldest English language newspaper in the Philippines, published an editorial titled “Unpatriotic editing and reporting”, taking the Filipino journalistic community to task for their reporting of what it described as “confrontation between our Philippine Navy and ‘law enforcement’ ships of the People’s Republic of China” in the Spratly Islands. The editorial opined that Philippine reports should state that disputed territories are Philippine territory, and characterized those who refer to disputed territories as “being claimed by the Philippines” as “unpatriotic writers and editors”.