Martial Law

DOCUMENTS: Marcos’ Martial Law orders

Reynaldo Santos Jr
DOCUMENTS: Marcos’ Martial Law orders
The orders lay out specific instructions on how to carry out martial rule

Editor’s Note: This was first published in 2012. We are republishing it for the 48th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.

Apart from signing Proclamation no. 1081, then-president Ferdinand Marcos also issued 6 general orders and one letter of instruction to fully implement his martial rule.

Marcos signed the famous proclamation on September 21, 1972, which put the nation under Martial Law for over a decade, then ordered the armed forces to “prevent or suppress…any act of insurrection or rebellion.”

He then gave out specific instructions to his officials and the public through separate orders.

Marcos released the next day a letter in which he called for the closure of privately-owned media facilities.

In the letter, which was addressed to then-press secretary Francisco Tatad and secretary of national defense Juan Ponce Enrile, Marcos ordered them “to take over and control or cause the taking over and control of all such newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media communications, wherever they are…”

Marcos also released 6 official orders on that day. Here are the documents:

General Order 1

Marcos to govern the nation and direct the operation of the entire government

General Order 2-A

Arrest of certain criminals (amended on September 26, 1972)

General Order 3

Continuous operation of government offices under their present officers and employees; definition of cases to be handled by the judiciary

General Order 4

Observance and enforcement of curfew hours

General Order 5

Ban on group assemblies, including strikes and picketing, in vital industries

General Order 6

Ban on firearms

Marcos released on September 23 and 30 a list of persons whom he allowed to carry firearms. –

SOURCES: Official Gazette,