Ferdinand Marcos’ Declaration of Martial Law speech (partially found footage of declaration speech of Filipino president; 1972)

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The very known still of the speech.

Status: Partially Found

Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law in the Philippines on September 21, 1972, marked a significant turning point in the country's history. This proclamation, officially known as Proclamation No. 1081, granted Marcos authoritarian powers and established his dictatorship that lasted until 1986 when he was overthrown. Ferdinand Marcos himself went on-air on the station KBS-9 on September 23, 1972 at 7:15pm and officially declared martial law via a speech.

However, parts of the speech remain partially found.


The Daily Express September 24, 1972 issue.

By the morning of September 23, all stations were closed. The Benedicto-owned KBS-9 went on-air in the afternoon on which the Press Secretary Francisco Tatad went on-air to read Proclamation No. 1081.[1]

By the evening, exactly at 7:15pm, Marcos went on-air. The speech includes the official declaration of martial law by himself, and the justification for the declaration (he cited rebellion, lawlessness, and the threat of communism as reasons for his drastic action) as the proclamation was needed to “save” the country and for a better reformed government, and the rules. The speech lasted for 15 minutes and also aired on radio.

On the following morning of September 24, the only newspaper at that time The Daily Express announced Marcos' proclamation of martial law.


There are three versions of the speech: The high-quality and low-quality film footage, and the live TV footage.

Film version

Another still of the speech.

The partial speech was seen on several documentaries about the Marcoses, especially in the documentary “Batas Militar.”[2]

A low-quality film footage of the speech was uploaded in the ABS-CBN’s website[3] back in 2012. The speech is cut off at the 3-minute mark. The lost part is partially uploaded by user MegaWolfgangz.[4]

Both the HQ footage and the low-quality film footage (uploaded by ABS-CBN) are partially found. A compiled transcript along with the missing part was uploaded by the channel Bagong Lipunan. Most of the HQ footage was uploaded by the EDSA People Power Revolution channel.[5]

AP Archives' HQ footage of the speech.

A portion of the missing part of the speech.

Low-quality footage of the speech uploaded by ABS-CBN themselves. Partially found.

Batas Militar documentary, contains some portions of the HQ footage of the speech

Compiled transcript by Bagong Lipunan.

Most of the HQ footage.

TV version

While it was initially believed that the film version of the speech was also the one aired on live television, on November 25, 2022, archivist StupidStickman uploaded a live footage of the speech from an ABC News documentary. A commenter noted that Marcos appeared to be looking at his left, indicating a different camera angle from the previously known footage. It was subsequently concluded that this footage, uploaded by StupidStickman, is likely the TV version of the speech aired on KBS-9.[6]

That excerpt from the documentary is the only footage from the TV version.

The partial live TV footage.

External links