Aquino Fact Checks

FALSE: 1987 Constitution signed by an illegal president

FALSE: 1987 Constitution signed by an illegal president
Marcos was ousted following the 1986 EDSA Revolution and was later exiled in Hawaii. The Supreme Court later dismissed three petitions that claimed Aquino's government was illegal, ruling that it was a de jure government.
At a glance
  • Claim: The 1987 Constitution is a constitution signed by an illegal president because Corazon Aquino was an “unlawfully installed president.” 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Marcos was ousted following the 1986 EDSA Revolution and was exiled in Hawaii. The Supreme Court later dismissed three petitions that claimed Aquino’s government was illegal, ruling that her government was a de jure government.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The post containing the claim has been circulating on Facebook and has 200 reactions and 306 shares, as of writing. 
Complete details

A post on the Facebook group “MAHARLIKANG MASA (The Royale Audiencia)” on May 25 claimed that former president Cory Aquino was an “unlawfully installed president.” According to the post, if dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos stepped down from his post, then “Vice President [Arturo] Tolentino” should have been his successor. As such, the 1987 Constitution was signed by an illegal president. 

The post containing the claim has been circulating on Facebook and has 200 reactions and 306 shares, as of this writing. 

This claim is false.

Marcos was ousted following the 1986 EDSA Revolution and was later exiled in Hawaii. After this, according to the Malacañang Library, “The two-decade rule of Marcos came to an end.”

The Malacañang Library also said that massive poll fraud and rampant cheating marred the vote during the 1986 snap elections, of which the Batasang Pambansa proclaimed Marcos the winner. However, Aquino was declared the victor by poll watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), as she was in the lead with almost 70% of the votes canvassed.

Both Marcos and Aquino took their oaths as president, but Marcos soon fled into exile, as reported by the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and the United States immediately recognized Aquino’s administration. Aquino was sworn into office on February 25, 1986, by Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee at Club Filipino in San Juan. 

The Official Gazette also says in a special feature that Marcos’ exile ended his term as president: “Rocked by key military and political defections and the overwhelming popular support for Aquino, Marcos was forced to depart with his family a few hours later for exile in Hawaii, effectively ending Marcos’ two-decade long dictatorial rule.”

Moreover, in a ruling on May 22, 1986, the Supreme Court dismissed three petitions that claimed Aquino’s government was illegal because it wasn’t pursuant to the 1973 Constitution. The SC ruled that Aquino’s government was a de jure government, or a government that exists as stated by law.

According to the Official Gazette, Aquino issued Proclamation No. 9, s. 1986, which created a Constitutional Commission tasked with writing a new charter to replace the 1973 Constitution. The commission finished its work at 12:28 am on October 16, 1986. A national plebiscite was held on February 2, 1987, where the new constitution was ratified. – Marianne Gosgolan/Rappler.com

This article was written by a volunteer of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program, a five-week exclusive and hands-on training on detecting, investigating, and verifying online misinformation and disinformation.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.