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1986

Marcos flees the Philippines

In the face of mass demonstrations against his rule, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and his entourage are airlifted from the presidential palace in Manila by U.S. helicopters.

Elected in 1966, Marcos declared martial law in 1972 in response to leftist violence. In the next year, he assumed dictatorial powers. Backed by the United States, his regime was marked by misuse of foreign support, repression, and political murders. In 1986, Marcos defrauded the electorate in a presidential election, declaring himself the victor over Corazon Aquino, the wife of an assassinated rival. Aquino also declared herself the rightful winner, and the public rallied behind her. Deserted by his former supporters, Marcos and his wife, Imelda, fled to Hawaii in exile, where they faced investigation on embezzlement charges. He died in 1989.

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