Murdered Congressman – The Beginning of the Dictator’s Political Career

Filipino Dictator Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos

The Filipino dictator Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was a lawyer and politician who was the President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Prior to assuming office, he served as a member of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959, a member of the Philippine Senate from 1959 to 1965. He was also Senate President from 1963 to 1965. Ferdinand was known for running a corrupt, undemocratic regime. There are a lot of famous historic factual details about Marcos’ crimes, corruption and dictatorship. But one of the untold stories about his life involves the assassination of the Representative for the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte Julio Nalundasan. This was perhaps the beginning of Ferdinand Marcos’ career in politics.

Mariano Marcos’ Political Career

Mariano Marcos

Ferdinand’s father Mariano Marcos y Rubio (April 21, 1897 – March 8, 1945) was a lawyer and a politician from Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Mariano had entered politics and ran under the banner of the Nacionalista Party. He was elected as the representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte. Somewhere around 1928, Mariano successfully ran for the same position in. In the legislature, he obtained the chairmanship of the powerful committee on ways and means, and likewise served as member of other committees including those on public instruction, public works, public estate, and mines and natural resources.

Rivalry with Nalundusan

He bid for the same seat in 1932, but lost to his rival from Laoag, Emilio Medina, a consequence of the Batac vote being divided between him and his town mate and fellow candidate, Julio Nalundasan. In 1935, cast another bid at the legislature, this time for a seat at the National Assembly under the Commonwealth government, but lost to Nalundasan.

Death of Nalundusan

In 1935, Assemblyman Julio Nalundasan, a political rival of Mariano Marcos, was shot dead. Two days after beating Marcos for the second time in elections for the office of representative for the second district of Ilocos Norte, Julio Nalundasan was hit in the head by a rifle shot while inside his home and died instantly.

Suspects and Conviction

Suspicion for the crime fell on the Marcoses.  Mariano Marcos, his son Ferdinand, his brother Pio, and his brother-in-law Quirino Lizardo, were accused of the crime and eventually arrested and tried for the crime in 1938. Ferdinand Marcos who was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to murder, was tried, and found guilty in 1939.  Mariano and his brother were eventually acquitted but his son and brother-in-law, were both convicted. His son Ferdinand Marcos and brother-in-law Quirino Lizardo were indicted and later convicted for the murder.


José P. Laurel

The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, through a decision penned by Associate Justice Jose P. Laurel (who, like Marcos, also became President). It is believed that the young Marcos’ godfather Ferdinand Chua who was also the municipal court judge in Batac interceded for him. Ferdinand Marcos argued his case on appeal to the Supreme Court, luckily winning an acquittal a year later.


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