In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines faced a dilemma. Having been elected president through competitive elections in 1965, he approached the end of his second term in office. According to established constitutional rules, this would mark the close of his tenure as president. If he were to step down, Marcos faced the likely prospect that his archrival Benigno Aquino would win the upcoming elections, an outcome that threatened the extraordinary level of personal power and wealth he had accumulated during his first two terms in office. As a result, Marcos plotted to extend his presidency through extra-constitutional means (Overholt 1986, 1139). Taking a nationalist posture, he demanded an end to the American-imposed constitution and called a constitutional convention to consider revisions. When legislators did not proceed at a sufficiently rapid pace, Marcos stepped up the pressure and declared that there was a growing security threat to the nation. Pointing to an in fact much-diminished communist insurgency, the president and his colleagues used this supposed menace to justify a seizure of power. To make this point, Marcos went to the trouble of having security forces shoot holes in a national official’s empty car in an “assassination attempt” and set off explosives around Manila to highlight the threat post by communist guerrillas (1140).