Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos was born on September 11, 1917 in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte to Mariano Marcos and Josefa Edralin naming their son after Ferdinand VII of Spain. The Marcos’ family is said to have been originally of Ilocano decent; Taguktok and traces their roots to Japanese and Chinese ancestry.
As a student at the University of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos excelled in many things. He was a champion debater and was active in boxing, wrestling and swimming.
From 1923 to 1929, he attended the Sarrat Central School, Shamrock Elementary School in Laoag and the Ermita Elementary School in Manila. He finished high school and liberal arts course at the University of the Philippines. While still a student, he was commissioned as third lieutenant (apprentice officer) in the Philippine Constabulary Reserve after having been an ROTC battalion commander.
In December 1938, Mariano Marcos, his brother Pio, his son Ferdinand, and his brother-in-law Quirino Lizardo were prosecuted for the murder of Julio Nalundasan. On September 20, 1935, the day after Nalundasan for the second time defeated Mariano Marcos for the National Assembly seat for Ilocos Norte, Nalundasan had been shot and killed in his house in Batac. According to two witnesses, the four had conspired to assassinate Nalundasan, with Ferdinand Marcos eventually doing the killing. Late January 1939 they were denied bail, and in the fall of 1939 they were convicted, Ferdinand and Lizardo receiving the death penalty for premeditated murder, while Mariano and Pio were found guilty only of contempt of court. The Marcos family took their appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, which on October 22, 1940, overturned the lower court’s decision and acquitted them of all charges but contempt.
In 1939, while incarcerated, Ferdinand Marcos graduated cum laude with a law degree from the U.P. College of Law and was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu international honor society. While in detention, Marcos reportedly studied for and passed the bar examination with one of the highest scores in history, while also writing an 800-page defense.
When the Second World War reached the Philippines in December 1941, Marcos was called to arms in defense of the Philippines against the Japanese as a combat intelligence officer of the 21st Infantry division. He fought in the three-month Battle of Bataan in 1942 and was one of the victims of the Bataan Death March, a Japanese war crime in which thousands of prisoners of war were forcibly transported after their defeat. He was released later. Though he was captured once more and incarcerated at Fort Santiago, he escaped and joined the guerrilla movements against the Japanese. He claimed to have been one of the guerrilla leaders in Luzon and further said his greatest exploit was the Battle of Bessang Pass between the Japanese and the combined Filipino and American troops. The veracity of his claims were widely questioned; however, photostaken after the war show Marcos with decorations on his chest: a Distinguished Service Cross, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Subsequent claims to other awards proved to be a point of contention among historians.
Early political career
As a lawyer and a master politician, Marcos led a most a interesting and controversial political career both before and after his term as Senate President. He became Senator after he served as member of the House of Representatives for three terms, then later as Minority Floor Leader before gaining the Senate Presidency. He is one of the legislators who had established a record for having introduced a number of significant bills, many of which found their way into the Republic statute books.
Ferdinand Marcos Imelda Romualdez-Marcos and had four children: Maria Imelda “Imee” Marcos, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., Irene Marcos, and Aimee Marcos, who was adopted.
Justice Jose P. Laurel penned the ponencia (in People vs. Mariano Marcos, et al., 70 Phil. 468) which was concurred by chief justice Avanceña and justices Imperial, Diaz, and Horilleno
Hamilton-Paterson, James. (1998). America’s boy. Granta Books. ISBN 978-1862070240 (p. 77)