Chronography of the Philippines

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10/5/2016, Duterte (born 28/3/1945) was elected President of the Philippines.

30/12/2015, The Philippines said it will join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank despite disputes between it and the bank's founder, China.

2005, Peace talks between the government and Islamic separatists.

25/2/2004, A ferry in the Philippines was bombed by terrorists, killing 116 of the 900 passengers.

4/3/2003, A terrorist bomb exploded at Davao City International Airport on Mindanao, Philippines. The Islamic Abu Sayyaf group claimed responsibility.

2002, Bomb attacks blamed on Islamic extremists.

19/1/2001, Gloria Arroyo became President of the Philippines.

2000, President Joseph Estrada was impeached for corruption. His deputy, Gloria Arroyo, became President.

10/7/2000, A large landslide in Manila killed 200 people.

1998, Joseph Estrada became President.

2/9/1996, President Ramos of the Philippines signed a peace deal with the Moro national Liberation Front (MNLF), a Muslim separatist group. This endeda 26 year rebellion by the Moro people of southern Philippines islands.

24/9/1993. In the Philippines, Imelda Marcos was jailed for 18 years for corruption.

30/6/1992, Fidel Ramos became President of the Philippines. The USA withdrew from Subic Bay base.


Rule of President Aquino

16/6/1992, In the Philippines, Cory Aquino was defeated in elections by General Fidel Ramos.

9/6/1991. Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted. 500,000 people had to be evacuated as the USA�s biggest overseas air base, Clark Naval Base, was threatened. Manila was covered 30 cm deep in volcanic ash.

1990, Cory Aquino survived a 7th coup attempt.

30/11/1989, Rebels in the Philippines attacked Cory Aquino�s palace and three military bases.

28/9/1989. Ex-President Marcos of the Philippines died in Honolulu.

1988, Land Reform Act, favourable compensation terms granted to large landowners.

21/12/1987, 2,000 killed in a ferry disaster in The Philippines.

29/1/1987, President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines put down a second attempted coup against her two-year-old administration; she was assiated by the USA. Rebels supporting ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda abandoned the TV station in Manila they had occupied on 27/1/1987. Loyalist troops had thwarted the rebels by cutting power to the TV station.

13/9/1986, The Mount Data Peace Accord was signed between the Government of the Philippines and the Cordillera People's Liberation Army ending the latter's campaign for greater autonomy for the Cordillera region.

22/6/1986, In the Philippines, Defence Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Deputy Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos took over the HQ of the Philippines Defence Ministry and declared opposition to President Marcos and support for Corazon Aquino.


Rule of President Marcos

25/2/1986. Right-wing President Marcos, who had ruled since 1965, was forced to flee the Philippines, after defeat by Corazon Aquino (born 1933). Mrs Aquino�s husband had been shot by Marcos� troops in 1983. President Marcos fled to the roof of the palace and were whisked away by US helicopters.

15/2/1986, In the Philippines, President Marcos declared himself the victor in elections. Opposition members walked out in protest.

21/8/1984, Half a million people in Manila demonstrated against the rule of Ferdinand Marcos, on the first anniversary of the assassination of Benigno Aquino. Marcos had ruled since 1972.

21/8/1983, The Philippines opposition leader, Benigno Aquino, was shot dead minutes after returning home from exile. Born in 1932, Benigno became a Senator at 35 and was the leader of the opposition to Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos during the period of martial law from 1972. Had martial law not been declared and the Presidential elections due for 1973 been run, it is generally accepted that Benigno Aquino would have won. In fact Aquino was arrested in November 1977 on charges of murder sand subversion. In 1980, suffering from a heart condition, Aquino was allowed to leave for exile and treatment in the USA. His assassination was widely believed to be on the orders of Marcos, and it unleashed protests that led to the collapse of the Marcos Presidency; in February 1986, Benigno�s widow, Cory Aquino, became President of the Philippines.

1974, Militant rebel activity in The Philippines was increasing, with the Sulu city of Jolo severely attacked by the Moro, who were co-operating with the Huks.

17/1/1981, President Ferdinand Marcos suspended martial law (see 17/1/1973) in The Philippines and was �e;ected� as President for another 6 byears. The elections however were rigged.

17/1/1973. President Marcos of the Philippines extended his term indefinitely. He was barred by law from a third term which would have started in 9/1972, so he declared martial law.

1972, Severe flooding in Luzon caused by a typhoon caused martial law to be declared. The presence of the military exacerbated guerrilla activity.

30/12/1965, In the Philippines, Ferdinand E Marcos (1917-1989) became President. He was elected on a promise to solve the chronic economic and social problems facing the Philippines, and succeeded in winning a second term in 1969. However by then problems with corruption were starting, and the rich-poor gap was still wide. A Communist �Huk� (Hukbalathap, see 1954) insurgency was, by 1969, gathering strength in the remoter rural areas. Also in Mindanao there was a bloody Islamic uprising, the Moro Rebellion.


10/8/1965, The agreement between the United States and the Philippines on U.S. military bases was formally amended, returning exclusive jurisdiction over the Port of Manila and the city of Olongapo to the Philippines, and ceding more than 1,200 km2 of territory back to the Philippine government.

1956, Maria Corazon married Benigno Aquino.

1954, Communist rebellion in central Luzon, Philippines, the Hukbalahap Rebellion (later, �Huk�, see 1969) , was suppressed.

23/10/1953, TV broadcasting began in The Philippines. In 1972, when President Marcos instituted martial law, he closed down all TV stations except one, which he strictly controlled. When a Filipino actress made a call on TV formoney to help pay for the education of poor children, she was banished from the air �because there are no poor people in the Philippines�.

30/8/1951, The US and The Philippines concluded a mutual defence pact.

14/3/1947, The Philippines granted the US use of naval and military bases.

4/7/1946. The Philippines was granted independence from the USA.Manual Roxas was elected as the first President.


Japanese occupation

1944, US troops landed in the Philippines, liberating it from the Japanese.

1942, The Hukbalahap (Huks) was formed, a peasant guerrilla army to fight the Japanese. After World War Two, the US and the Philippine Government made efforts to suppress the Hukbalahap.

For main events of World War Two in the Pacific see China/Japan

1941, Japan invaded the Philippines.


US rule of the Philippines. See also USA for more details of the Spanish-American War

2/5/1935, In the Philippines, the Sakdalista Movement began, to combat unequal land distribution and heavy taxes. The movement was quickly suppressed.

1935, The Philippines became a Commonwealth under an elected President. By 1941, under US President Taft, the Philippines enjoyed a democratically-elected Senate, an indepenedent judiciary and an indigenous civil service. The US promised full independence for 1945, but the Japanese invasion interrupted this.

11/9/1917, Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines, was born.

6/5/1902, Guerrilla warfare by Philippines independence fighters had now ended, and the US set up a civilian Government under US control.

4/7/1901, The US Republican, Taft, was appointed Governor of the Philippines, replacing a former military government with civilian rule. He announced an amnesty for all former rebels who took an oath of allegiance to the USA.

19/4/1901, In the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, now a prisoner of the Americans, issued a call to his country to end the armed rebellion and use peaceful means to gain independence.

23/3/1901, Philippines independence fighter Aguinaldo was captiured by US General Frederick Funston (1865-1917).

3/12/1900, Philippine rebels surrendered to US forces.

4/6/1900, The Battle of Makahambus Hill took place near Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines. This was the first victory of the Filipino soldiers against the American occupation forces.

31/3/1899, US forces captured the capital of the Philippines independence fighters, Malolos.

22/2/1899, Philippines independence fighters under General Antonio Luna (1866-99) attacked US forces at Manila, but were repulsed by US General Arthur MacArthur (1845-1912). Aguinaldo fled to the hills and began guerrilla warfare.

4/2/1899, A rebellion against US rule broke out on the Philippines. The US had backed General Emilio Aguinaldo against Spanish colonial rule (see 10/12/1898), but instead of independence the Philippines came under US rule. Hostilities began between US troops in The Philippines and loyalists to Aguinaldo, see 20/1/1899/.

20/1/1899, Aguinaldo set up the Philippine Republic, under the Malolos Constitution, with himself as President. See 2/4/1899.

23/6/1898, Emilio Aguinaldo set up a Revolutionary Government of the Philippines, with himself as President.

12/6/1898, The Philippines declared independence from Spain. However Spain ceded the Philippines to the USA in return for a payment of US$ 20 million by the Treaty of Paris. Aguinaldo however refused to recognise this Treaty, wanting full independence for The Philippines.

19/5/1898, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines and organised resistance forces against the Spanish..

1898, The USA seized control of the Philippines from Spain, and destroyed the Spanish fleet there.


15/12/1897, A peace settlement, the Pact of Biak-na-bato, was agreed between the Spanish colonisers of The Philippines and the independence movement. Aguinaldo was exiled to Hong Kong, having accepted payment of 400,000 Spanish Pesos and promises by Spain to introduce democratic reforms. However Spain reneged on the payment and the promised reforms, see 19/5/1898.


Early independence movements

1897, Andres Bonifacio, Philippines independence fighter, was executed on the orders of a court set up by a rival rebel leader, Emilio Aguinaldo. This stiffened the resolve of the independence movement against Spain.

17/2/1897, In the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo�s forces defeated the Spanish under General Camilo at the Battle of Zapoto Bridge.

30/12/1896, Philippines independence fighter Jose Rizal was executed by the Spanish

1896, Katipunan launched a revolution against Spanish rule. The pro independence writer, Jose Rizal, was executed by the Spanish,

1892, The Katipunan (Sons of the People) movement began in the Phulippines, led by Andres Bonifacio.

26/8/1889, In The Philippines, Andres Bonifacio issued a call to fight against the Spanish colonial rulers.

20/1/1872, The Cavite Mutiny. Some 200 Filipino soldiers in the Spanish Army in the fort of San Felipe in the Philippines mutinied. They were swiftly repressed and later heavily punished. The incident was used by Spain as an excuse to crack down heavily on the fledgling Philippine independence movement, with intellectuals and priests being executed. However this simply created martyrs for the movement.

22/3/1869, Emilio Aguinaldo, fighter for independence of the Philippines, was born (died 6/2/1964).


5/10/1762, The British captured Manila, Philippines, from Spain,

14/4/1617, At the Second Battle of Playa Honda, the Spanish navy defeated the Dutch in the Philippines.

1594, Lisbon closed its spice market to Dutch and English traders; at this time Portugal was in personal union with Spain, both being ruled by Philip II, and England was helping the Dutch to gain independecnce from Spain. This forced traders from those countries to get their spices directly from India, and the creation of the Dutch East India Company followed.

19/5/1571, Manila was founded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpe.

1565, The city of Cebu was founded; originally known as San Miguel.

13/2/1565, Spain began the colonisation of the Philippines, initially claiming the central island of Cebu. However they shifted focus to Luzon, making Manila the capital in 1571.

7/4/1521, Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.

16/3/1521, Ferdinand Magellan sighted the Philippine Islands.


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