One so-called argument from Marcos loyalists or fuggedabout it Filipinos is that "Marcos was no worse than other presidents." WRONG. Marcos was the WORST president the country ever had, for the following reasons.
1. Politics has always has been a musical chair for the elite, but Marcos froze the game and refused to get up from the chair. He had absolutely no intention of stepping down - he destroyed whatever democracy there was and turned the country into a dynastic autocracy. He planned to appoint Imelda as his successor.
2. He helped himself to a huge chunk of powers that violated the constitution, and put him beyond accountability. He fashioned the constitution to his liking and gave himself decree making powers that completely rubbished any notion of democracy. He used these powers to kill, torture, and steal for the benefit of his family and friends. Read the human rights reports of the US and Amnesty International during Martial Law. The word "salvage" originated from Martial Law. His regime killed thousands and tortured thousands more.
3. He ruined and pissed on institutions such as the judiciary, legislative, military, finance and civil service. If many citizens now have little or no trust in these institutions, blame Marcos. He packed them with his flunkies and relatives, and those institutions rushed to perform his every bidding. There is a famous photo of a supreme court justice cravenly holding an umbrella over Imelda's head, real independent eh?
4. He divided the country's economy -- the people's taxes, the country's wealth, the national bank -- between himself, his family and cronies. Imelda used OUR money to buy condos abroad and finance scores of million-dollar shopping sprees. The receipts exist. The Marcos' stolen wealth is estimated to be at least US$ 10 billion
5. Aside from being a murderer and thief and torturer he was a colossal liar. He fabricated a war record which insulted the country's real war heroes. His regime lied regularly and non-stop: lied about human rights; lied about economic indicators; lied about the dictator's health
Imagine a creature combining Arroyo and Ampatuan. Multiply the malevolence a hundredfold. You get Marcos.