My beloved and fellow Countrymen:

Third Inaugural Address
by Ferdinand Marcos

10th President of the Philippines
Delivered on June 30, 1981 at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila

My beloved and fellow Countrymen:

By the generosity of your sovereign mandate, I have been sworn again today before you, and in the sight of the world to defend, preserve, and promote all that we hold dear and cherish as a nation.
The greatness of this occasion dwarfs all personal feelings of joy, gratitude and pride which one feels at this moment. As it has ever been, the entire nation, not one man alone, is summoned by this historic ceremony to pledge faith in ourselves and in the future.
In the history of our nation, there are certain moments that fix for us a tide of turning and redirection, when the nation irrevocably moves into a new course and bravely ventures into the future.
This is such a turning point.
On a dreary December dawn eighty-five years ago, a young patriot and prophet of the race fell on this very soil, “a martyr to his illusions” of a new Philippines.
Sixteen years ago, we stood on this same hallowed ground, sharing a vision of Filipino greatness.
Sixty-nine years separated the martyrdom and the mandate of greatness. More than two generations of thwarted hopes and disappointed dreams. The blood of the martyr inspired the Philippine revolution, from which sprung the first Asian Republic, proclaimed in Kawit, Cavite, on the twelfth of June, 1898. It was a short-lived Republic, for soon after, recalling three and a half centuries of foreign domination, we were colonized once again.
Two other republics followed, under which the Philippines was independent but not truly sovereign, for as history decrees, authentic freedom is self-proclaimed and is not a gift from alien lands.
The Filipino had lost his dignity, his courage and even his soul. For we existed at the time in a precarious democracy which advanced the few who were rich and powerful, and debased the many who were poor. Government was the acolyte of an oligarchy whose preeminence reached back to the colonial era. This arrangement resulted in a society that could no longer endure; as social scientists said, we, the Filipinos, were sitting on top of a “social volcano.” But our young martyr and hero had a more arresting metaphor. A social cancer was all over the land. A major surgery was inevitable.
We were caught, according to a popular image, between a world that was dead and a world that was too feeble to be born. We had to accelerate the birth of this New World — a Caesarean operation was required. Either that or perish beneath the weight of our own failures.
Out of this peril — from the jaws of dismemberment and extinction, and from the heart of the rebellion of the poor — was our new Republic.
The first republic was still-born, it had to be born again-in our time.
Today, we proclaimed here the birth of a new Republic, new in structure and character, and ordained to preside over a new time of ferment and change in our national life.
Our Republic is new for its fidelity to our historical legacy and its utter repudiation of the colonial past. In it is the power of the vision which sacrificed the “First Filipino” on this sacred ground. lime alone can tell the fate and fortune of our new Republic.
Thus has history presented our saga to this generation of Filipinos that we must rise from the depths of ignominy and failure; and thus is it said that we have an appointment with destiny.
With the past, we affirm here and now the continuity and integrity of the nation vouchsafed to us by the sacrifices and struggles of our fathers. But we are also deeply conscious of the need to break away from the historical ties that have fettered time and again the pursuit of the national destiny.
All too often in the long sweep of history, we have seen national longing and aspiration denied at the threshold of fulfillment. We have seen our nation aborted at birth, tossed in the sway of empires, gripped in inresolution and drift, paralyzed by disunity and strife, and hostage to chaos and instability. Our national independence since the beginning has been partly cast in light, partly in shadow.
There are, to be sure, imperfections in our institutions, and as these are run by men, there are more imperfections still. But I choos to regard these as redeemable; we can still win the few, the faltering, recalcitrant few, to our government.
Unerringly, the many crises and trials of our Republic have repeatedly pointed to one recurring theme. The helplessness of govern ment to cope with problems and its inability to prosecute national purposes and goals. We have suffered less from the failure of political ideals than from the failure to make democratic government work and prosper in our land.
From such failure did we pass into the long night of crises and instability that so lately visited our land, and required the extraordinary recourse to martial law and the establishment of a crisis government.
Yet from our response to that time of challenge, during an eight-and-a-half year period that will ever be a distinguished landmark in the history of our nation, we emerged a nation strengthened and transformed, her faith renewed in the vitality of her democratic institutions.
Ironic, we say now, is the fact that to arrive at this new beginning for democracy in our country, We have had to travel the route of authoritarian government, passed through the very eye of hazard and crisis, and endured the verdict of some men who despaired that democracy has been irretrievably lost in our land.
The interval of crisis government and reconstruction opened to our nation a new meaning in the democratic ideal and a new dynamism towards its attainment. We can never again stand in alienation from one another, in resignation before our problems, or in humiliation before the world.
Living through the tempest of crises and ferment, we have known the reserves of national will we possess and the kind of government we are truly capable of establishing in our country.
Not the poverty of principles, or the decay of ideals, but the simple failure of government has undermined our confused and tortuous route as a nation. And so it is that our national rebirth must be founded first and foremost upon the rock of government.
This is the new beginning that we proclaim today — the awakening of our Republic to the fundamental challenge of governing our land and our people, of ministering to the cares of public life, and of redeeming every dream and every aspiration that throughout our national history has fired the hearts and minds of our people.
Fundamentally, this is a beginning and a change not in dreams and aspiration, but in rededication and reappraisal.
For so long we have been immersed in a confused debate over Ideas and principles, when our real need was self-discipline.
We have swayed between the ideologies of the times and been entrapped in their irresoluble contention, when our attention might have been better focused infusing confidence in our people.
We have wearied of the efficacy of democratic ideals, despaired of their ever taking root in our country, when our task was to make these ideals find life and sustenance in our society through our own self-abnegation.
We have been captivated by models and images of development not our own making without moulding them to the reality of our culture and traditions.
Today, we know better.
This is the vision of rebirth that we hold out to the nation today of a new people and a new government that will be stable, strong, and capable of leading that way to the national future.
Our chief concern is to develop and perfect the means whereby the government may recapture the original purpose of society — that of promoting the well-being of all the members of our community. This is no mere sentiment. This we recognize as a fundamental duty to be practically and resolutely pursued.
Its essence is less to be seen in what we say of those timeless democratic principles we swear by — freedom, rights, morals, service and the like — than in the manner by which we organize law and government for their realization in our society.
Others may speak of their facile ideas to make change and development in our country. We shall address ourselves to the organization of government, to the engineering of change, to the management of our affairs, for this is how, fundamentally and truly, the most lofty ideals begin to be realized and come to live in society.
We speak to our farming communities who had long been disenchanted by slogans promising land and progress and who, at last, under the 1972 program of land reform now have their own lands to till but also need the continuing assistance of their government to attain both advancement in their lives and growth in their communities.
We speak to our working classes who need not only a greate share in the profits of production but the upgrading of skills and talents by the energetic action of government so that they may carry out the programs designed to spur the growth of our economic and social life.
We speak to the entrepreneurs throughout our land who need, besides the maintenance of our free enterprise system, the practical assistance of government in the identification of markets, in the development of sources of labor and raw materials, in the availment of credit facilities, and in the concerted effort to free the full bounty of our resources as a nation.
We speak to every family — to every man, woman and child throughout our land — whose security, well-being and advancement must be directly affected by, and be the concern of, government in practical programs that will broaden opportunities in education, health, and welfare and other human needs.
We speak to the citizenry, whose sovereign will and whose rights must exist not only on paper, but in effective processes that magnify its participation in government and its enjoyment of its rights.
We speak also to the family of nations and the councils of the world, to which our national life is so intimately linked today, to which we pledge continued and abiding cooperation in efforts and programs that will truly advance the peace and progress of peoples, especially of those with whom we share the cause of reform of the international system.
We shall not merely dream, we shall achieve.
We are done with pining for all the comforts and rewards of more advanced societies. We shall now draw up our own plans in accordance with our vision and culture, to realize within our land our own program of development and progress.
True liberation, such as has been dreamed of since the birth of our nation and has never left the bosom of our people, is not to be attained save by the enduring union of government and the people.
It is unthinkable that we should approach this task as partisans to warring interests, creeds, and ideologies. Our goal is to unite, not divide.
National unity is a covenant between each and every Filipino, olnd between the leader and his people. The rare honor that you have bestowed on me as your thrice-elected leader imposes on my person — and those closest to me — a debt, an obligation that I cannot shirk and a pledge that I dare not betray. Let history judge me harshly on this — that until every Filipino can say with conviction that he has been liberated from ignorance, poverty, and disease; until, in sum, he can call his mind, body, and spirit his own, I shall have failed you.
For this purpose it shall be our task as a people to break, with the force of our will and our energies, the tradition of discord and suspicion that characterized our efforts in the past to build one nation.
It is a duty we can no longer ignore or deny to bring the wasteful strife in the South to an end, to settle for all time the secessionist war which has haunted the nation these past several years. Let us sweep aside the gloom of separatism and distrust.
We must apply to the cultivation of a new national tradition of Filipino-unity, in which Christian and Muslim are brothers in blood and aspiration, in which religious freedom is not only a guarantee but also a true and enduring bond to hold all men together, none of them less than the others because of his religious creed or mode of worship.
We ask all our countrymen, every group and every sector of our society, to gather around this work now unfolding, to lend to it their counsel and their guidance, and the light of their earnest criticism.
We have had enough of bitterness and faction among us to realize now that we have spent ourselves and reduced thereby the vitality and strength of our nation. Learning from one another, striving towards consensus, contending and yet aware of our common life as a nation, we can provide healing answers to the travails of national life. We shall move forward together.
Of the leadership, the dedication, and the vision so clearly needed by this work of building and creation in our land, government shall be the first to provide. We shall bring into the service of government the broadest knowledge and expertise available throughout our land. We shall set upon the task of reconstructing on a new foundation the whole of our government bureaucracy — from the lowest echelons to the highest — so that we shall have once and for all, truly a government that is servant to our hopes and our needs.
Government can lead the way to building our new Republic but it cannot do the task alone. It requires us also to establish new concepts of cooperation and interaction between government and the pcopl( between communities and their leaders, between the variant sectors of our society.
The people’s initiative, their caring, and their imagination, as much as those of the government, will determine how far and how fast we can achieve the blessings of true democracy on our land.
But I do believe that our people have never been more prepared for this test of their communal life and for the effort that it demands. I believe that today we all see our problems and our opportunities more, clearly than we used to as tasks that are resolved not by a fever of words and hopes but by action patiently applied to them.
When I look upon our history as a nation, it is this attitude to work and struggle that is truly new in our society today. It is this profession of faith above all others that shines upon our work now begin ning in our country.
Nearly a century ago, the man who was martyred on these grounds, Dr. Jose Rizal, described in words of cautious prophecy the nation that the Filipino race could become a century hence. He wrote:

“The Philippines will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at the price of so much blood and sacrifice. With the new men that will spring from their soil and with the recollection of their past, they will perhaps strive to enter freely upon the wide road of progress, and all will labor together to strengthen their fatherland, both internally and externally, with the same enthusiasm, with which a youth falls again to tilling the land of his ancestors so long wasted and abandoned through the neglect of those who have withheld it from him. Then the mines will be made to give up their fold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead, and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by th’eir nature, ability and instincts, and once more free, like the bird that leaves its cage, like the flower that unfolds to the air, will recover the pristine virtues that are gradually dying out and will again become addicted to peace — cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable, and daring.”

We are the nation today. With courage and vision we shall be more.
From you therefore, my countrymen, I ask utmost commitment, the unswerving allegiance to the vision which unites us. You owe this to yourselves. Give all that you can to your country, and I, God willing, will leave you a society that will fill all your needs for a decent and honorable life.
Let us then call on the intransigent to realize their just purpose with us; let us awaken the unconscious and enlighten the misled; let us listen to our detractors in honest counsel. Let us bind the wounds of the past, and, in one united effort, realize the aspirations of our people. There are no outside saviors; there is only us — the Filipinos.
There is no injustice that we cannot eradicate, no corruption that we cannot extirpate, no hardship or crisis that we cannot overcome, as long as we keep faith with the vision of national greatness.
With the advent of this hour of the New Republic, we enter with a clear eye and a stout heart a perilous decade. There is nothing to fear; we shall achieve national liberation; we shall prevail.
I ask you then: let us cross this frontier.

Mandate for Greatness

by Ferdinand Marcos
10th President of the Philippines
Delivered on December 30, 1965 at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila

“Mandate for Greatness”

Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Vice President, My Speaker, My Countrymen:

By your mandate, through the grace of the Almighty, I stand here today in the traditional ritual; of the assumption of the Presidency.
By your mandate, once again you have demonstrated the vitality of our democracy by the peaceful transference of governmental authority.
It is but fitting and proper that this traditional ritual be undertaken on this sacred ground. For sixty- nine years ago today, a young patriot and prophet of our race fell upon his beloved soil. He fell from a tyrant’s bullet and out of the martyr’s blood that flowed copiously there sprang a new nation.
That nation became the first modern republic in Asia and Africa. It is our nation. We are proud to point to our country as one stable in an area of stability; where ballots, not bullets, decide the fate and parties.
Thus Kawit and Malolos are celebrated in our history as acts of national greatness. Why national greatness? Because, armed with nothing but raw courage and passionate intelligence and patriotism, our predecessors built the noble edifice of the First Asian Republic.
With the same reverence do we consider Bataan, Corregidor and the Philippine resistance movement.
Today the challenge is less dramatic but no less urgent. We must repeat the feat of our forebears in a more commonplace sphere, away from the bloody turmoil of heroic adventure – by hastening our social and economic transformation. For today, the Filipino, it seems, has lost his soul, his dignity and his courage.
We have come upon a phase of our history when ideas are only a veneer for greed and power in public and private affairs, when devotion to duty and dedication to a public trust are to be weighed at all times against private advantages and personal gain, and when loyalties can be traded in the open market.
Our people have come to a point of despair. I know this for I have personally met many of you. I have heard the cries of thousands and clasped hands in brotherhood with millions of you. I know the face of despair and I know the face of hunger because I have seen it in our barrios, huts and hovels all over our land.
We have ceased to value order as a social virtue. Law, we have learned successfully to flaunt. We have become past masters at devising slogans for the sake of recorders of history but not for those who would live by them in terms of honor and dignity.
Peace in our time, we declare. But we cannot even guarantee life and limb in our growing cities. Prosperity for all, we promise. But only a privileged few achieve it, and, to make the pain obvious, parade their comforts and advantages before the eyes of an impoverished many. Justice and security are as myths rendered into elaborate fictions to dramatize our so-called well-being and our happy march to progress.
But you have rejected all these through a new mandate of leadership. It is a mandate a change of leadership in this country, and to me, as your President, this mandate is clear- it is a mandate not merely for change. It is a mandate for greatness.
For indeed we must rise from the depths of ignominy and failure. Our government is gripped in the iron hand of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service is slothful and indifferent, its armed forces demoralized and its councils sterile.
But we shall draw from our rich resources of spiritual strength that flow from this place of martyrdom.
We are in crisis. You know that the government treasury is empty. Only by severed selfdenial will there be hope for recovery within the next year.
Our government in the past few months has exhausted all available domestic and foreign sources of borrowing. Our public financial institutions have been burdened to the last loanable peso. The lending capacity of the Central Bank has been utilized to the full. Our national government is indebted to our local governments. There are no funds available for public works and little of the appropriations for our national government fro the present fiscal year. Industry is at a stand still. Local manufacturing firms have been compelled to close or reduce their capacity.
Unemployment has increased. Prices of essential commodities and service remain unstable. The availability of rice remains uncertain. Very recently the transportation companies with the sanction of the Public service Commission hiked their fares on the plea of survival.
I, therefore, first call upon the public servants for self sacrifice. Long have we depended upon the people. In every crisis, we call upon our citizens to bear the burden of sacrifice. Now, let the people depend upon us. The economic viability of the government and of the nation requires immediate retrenchment. Accordingly, we must install without any delay a policy of rigorous fiscal restraint.
Every form of waste – or of conspicuous consumption and extravagance, shall be condemned s inimical to public welfare.
Frugality with government funds and resources must be developed into a habit at every level of the government. High public officials must themselves set the example.
One of the most galling of our inherited problems is that of lawlessness. Syndicated crime has been spawned by smuggling. The democratic rule of law has lost all meaning and majesty, since all men know that public officials combine with unscrupulous businessmen to defraud the government and the public – with absolute impunity. The sovereignty of the republic has never before been so derided and mocked as when the lawless elements, the smuggling syndicates and their protectors, disavow the power of laws and of our government over them. This is the climate for criminality. Popular faith in the government deteriorates.
We must, therefore, aim quickly at the establishment of a genuine rule of law. We shall use the fullest powers of the Presidency to stop smuggling and lawlessness.
I, therefore, call upon all to join hands with me in maintaining the supremacy of the law. To those who flaunt the law, I say this is my consultation duty and I am resolved to perform it. But it is not mine alone but yours. For whether Filipino or alien you survive under the mantle of protection granted by our laws. I am pledged to execute the law and preserve the constitution of our republic. This I shall do. And if need be I shall direct the forcible if legal elimination of all lawless elements.
Our social policy will seek to broaden the base of our democracy. Our forefathers built a democratic republic on an extremely narrow social and economic base. The task of our generation is to broaden this base continuously. We must spread opportunities for higher income for all. But we shall encourage investment to insure progressive production – the true answer to our economic ills.
Our people sought a new administration in the expectation of a meaningful change – certainly a bolder, more courageous approach to our problems.
They must have believed that we can provide this new outlook, and perhaps the passion for excellence – the motive force for greatness.
We shall provide this approach, the necessary change of pace, the new outlook that places large demands and large challenges before the nation. The human person is unique in creation. Of all organisms, it is he that develops proportion in to the demands made upon his abilities. That is true of individuals and I hold it to be true of the nations.
Recently, we have come to realize that economic planning is as essential for freedom as political planning.
Before today we had squandered the energies and resourcefulness of our people. In the government we saw a crippling hesitancy and timidity to face the facts of our times and to boldly provide the initiative.
We cannot afford to rest on the shock of our perceptions, nor on the outrage even of our painful admission of the facts. We shall have to restore into our life the vitality, which had been corroded by our complacency.
In international affairs, we shall be guided by the national interests and by the conscience of our society in response to the dilemma of man in the 20th century.
The Filipino today lives in a world that is increasingly Asians as well as African. Asia claims one- half of all humanity, and this half lives on a little over one- sixth of the earth’s habitable surface. Africa’s millions are also now coming to their own. Recent events have shown the willingness of our Asian friends to build a bridge to us. We can do no less than to build a strong foundation at our end.
Today, as never before, we need a new orientation toward Asian; we must intensity the cultural identity with our ancient kin, and make common cause with them in our drive toward prosperity and peace. For this we shall require the understanding of ourselves and of Asia that exceeds acquaintance; we require the kind of knowledge that can only be gained through unabating scholarship on our histories, cultures, social forces and aspirations, and through more active interaction with our friends and neighbors.
What threatens humanity in another area threatens our society as well. We cannot, therefore, merely contemplate the risks of our century without coming into any decision on our own. Whenever there is a fight for freedom we cannot remain aloof from it. But whatever decision we shall have to make shall be determined by our own interests tempered by the reasonability of that patriotic position in relation to the international cause.
This nation can be great again. This I have said over and over. This is my article of faith, and Divine Providence has willed that you and I can now translate this faith into deeds.
I have repeatedly told you: each generation writes its own history. Our forbears have written theirs. With fortitude and excellence we must write ours.
We must renew the vision of greatness for our country.
This is a vision of our people rising above the routine to face formidable challenge and overcome them. It means the rigorous pursuit of excellence.
It is a government that acts as the guardian of the law’s majesty, the source of justice to the weak and solace to the underprivileged, a ready friend and protector of the common man and a sensitive instrument of his advancement and not captivity.
This vision rejects and discards the inertia of centuries.
It is a vision of the jungles opening up to the farmers’ tractor and plow, and the wilderness claimed for agriculture and the support of human life, the mountains yield their boundless treasure, rows of factories turning the harvest of our fields into thorough products.
It is the transformation of the Philippines into a hub of progress – of trade and commerce in Southeast Asia.
It is our people bravely determining our own future. For to make the future is the supreme act of freedom.
This is a vision that all of you share for our country’s future. It is a vision, which can, and should, engage the energies of the nation. This vision must touch the deeper layers of national vitality and energy.
We must awakening the hero inherent in every man.
We must harness the wills and the hearts of all our people. We must find the secret chords, which turn ordinary men into heroes, mediocre fighters into champions.
Not one hero alone do I ask from you – but many; nay all, I ask all of you to be heroes of our nation.
Offering all our efforts to our Creator, we must derive ourselves to be great again.
This is your dream and mine. By your choice you have committed yourselves to it. Come then, let us march together towards the dream of greatness.