This collection consists of personal papers donated to the Reagan Presidential Library.  It has been reviewed by the Reagan Library staff and it is available for research.  You may access this collection in our research room.


KOMISAR, LUCY: Papers, 1982-1987


Biographical Note


Lucy Komisar is an investigative journalist and freelance author.  Komisar was born in New York in April 1942. She graduated fourth in her high school class in 1959.  She went on to major in history at Queens College, New York. As a college student, Komisar participated in the 1960s civil rights movement in Mississippi. While in Mississippi, Komisar served as editor of the Mississippi Free Press.


Returning to New York, Komisar worked as the associate editor of The Hatworker.. She then went on to a series of jobs in speechwriting, television news and commentary and freelance writing. She worked as a reporter for the Bergen Record and eventually as a commentator on WNET-TV in New York City.  She continues today as a freelance writer, investigator and theater critic.


During the 1970s, Komisar continued her fight against discrimination within the women’s movement and served as vice president for the National Organization for Women.


Komisar has written about revolutions, human rights abuse, and gender relations.  Her books include New Feminism, Down and Out in the USA, and Corazon Aquino: The Story of a Revolution. From 1976 to 1996, Komisar was a board member of PEN, an organization of poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, and novelists.  As a member, Komisar protested the censoring, jailing, and persecution of fellow writers around the world because of the nature of their work.  Since 1997, she has focused on international finance fraud, terrorism, and money-laundering. Her articles are on her website, http://thekomisarscoop.com.   She resides in New York.


Scope and Content


The material in this collection consists of the working documents used by Ms. Komisar in her writings on the Philippines, human rights abuses in the Philippines and eventually her book, Corazon Aquino: The Story of a Revolution. The material, much of it locally produced in the Philippines, consists of background information of all types regarding the political, economic, and social situation in the Philippines in the 1980s. Much of the material documents human rights abuses, and the civil rights abuses of the 1986 Presidential “snap” election. It also includes documentation of the general economic malaise of the islands for most Filipinos suffering under an oligarchic economic and political system controlled by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and top government officials. Many of these documents pertain to the 1986 election between President Ferdinand Marcos and challenger Cory Aquino.

Constrained by a constitutional restriction of two terms, Ferdinand Marcos continued to rule the Philippines as a dictator after declaring martial law in 1972.  Opposition movements strengthened over time and in 1983, opposition leader BenignoNinoy” Aquino, Jr. returned from U.S. exile to lead the fight against Marcos.  He was assassinated at the airport. Both his widow and most Filipinos held Marcos responsible for the murder.


Opposition strengthened and continued in the next three years.  There was both a communist and a Muslim insurgency in the Philippines and the nation was suffering from deep economic problems. In addition, there was widespread opposition to U.S. involvement in the Philippines, including military bases and support for Marcos.


Pressured by the current situation, Marcos called for a “snap” presidential election in February 1986. Cory Aquino, Benigno’s widow ran as the opposition candidate. Observer groups, media and most Filipinos viewed the election as “rigged” when Marcos was declared the winner.


This led to a widespread protest in the Philippines known as the “People Power Revolution.” Shortly after the election, two of Marcos’s firmest allies, Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos and Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile resigned and became an additional rallying point for the revolution. 


President Ronald Reagan supported Marcos and the Marcos regime.  Marcos was viewed by the United States as a bulwark against the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. However, faced with the massive protests, the defection of his top military leaders, the poor health of Marcos and advice from foreign policy advisors, the President decided to end U.S. support for Marcos.  Marcos was informed on February 20, 1986 by Senator Paul Laxalt. He left office that day and was transported in exile to Hawaii on February 26, 1986.  Corazon Aquino was then recognized as president.


The collection is divided into seven series consisting of SERIES I: Background Information on the Philippines; SERIES II: General Philippine Economic Information; SERIES III: General Philippine Political Information; SERIES IV: Philippine 1986 Election; SERIES V: Crisis and Reform Information; SERIES VI: Philippine-United States Foreign Relations; and SERIES VII: News Clippings.





This series consists of material related to general statistics, and general information about the Philippines. The series includes maps of the Philippines and the city of Manila; a booklet produced by the Mennonite Central Committee on the human rights struggle in the Philippines, the February 1986 Maryknoll journal featuring the Philippines; a general guide to life in the Philippines for new arrivals at U.S. Clark Air Base; and 1985 & 1986 IBON publications on Philippine economics and statistics. The material is arranged alphabetically by folder title.




This series consists of material related to studies of the 1980s economic situation and corporations within the Philippines. It includes recommendations and ideas, mostly socialist, for improvements in the economy.  The material was, for the most part, produced by the Makati Business Club of Manila, various departments of the University of the Philippines and a group known as Agusdina.  It is arranged in no discernable order.




This series consists of material related to political analysis of the situation in the Philippines prior to the 1986 presidential election.  It includes a copy of the Philippine Constitution; a political platform for the Liberal Party calling for a “mixed” economy; a manifesto for the “People’s Party” and their hope to create a democratic socialism for the Philippines; Third World studies by the University of the Philippines; and two long articles on social democracy in the Philippines.


SEREIS IV: PHILIPPINE 1986 ELECTION (0.1 l.ft.; Box 2)


This series consists of material related to the “snap” 1986 presidential election in the Philippines featuring candidates Corizon Aquino and President Ferdinand Marcos. It includes speeches by Corazon Aquino , a biography of Aqunio and a financial disclosure form; a “Dollars for Philippine Democracy” program in the United States; political broadsides from other parties, particularly the Bayan Party calling for a boycott of the elections and protests after the election; broadsides and newspaper ads from various religious groups calling for a fair election and asking people to vote; announcement of the election observers and the final report on the abuses; underground newsletters on the election and a paper on the possible scenarios for any and all election results. The files are arranged in approximate chronological order




This series consists of material related to problems and reforms needed in the Philippine education system; relationship to religion; urban problems; poverty & hunger; land distribution; health industry; fishing industry; sugar workers & production; plight of the Moro peoples; women textile workers; general human rights abuses; torture and detention of citizens; and increasing militarization of Filipino society. All of the material was produced in the Philippines and although much of it is unattributed some groups responsible for its publication include the Nationalist Alliance for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, The National Federation of Sugar Workers, The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, The National Alliance for Peasants, the Philippine Peasant Movement, and many church and ecumenical groups. Much of the material includes references to United States imperialism in the Philippines and the “US-Marcos” dictatorship.



(0.1 l.ft.; Box 3-4)


This series consists of material related to U.S. efforts to determine the true situation politically and socially within the Philippines after the assassination of Benigno Aquino. The National Security Study Directive 4-84 and several staff studies done for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were used by U.S. decision makers in Congress, the State Department and the White House.  These studies helped establish new U.S. policy towards the Philippines. It also includes speeches by State Department officials and a study of the needs for maintaining United States military bases within the Philippines.  Additional material created both in the Philippines and in the United States focuses on the relationship from the Filipino point of view. This material is predominantly focused on efforts to remove Ferdinand Marcos and calling for the end of continued U.S. imperialism and U.S. political intervention in the Philippines.


SERIES VII: NEWS CLIPPINGS (0.4 l.ft.; Box 4-5)


This series consists of material related to newspaper and journal accounts of the 1986 election and the life of Corazon Aquino. The material was written and produced in the United State and the Philippines. Also included is a group of articles and reports about the Armed Forces of the Philippines reform movement. The news clippings and material on President Aquino’s life are separated from the news clippings but both groups are arranged in chronological order. 





Box 1

 “IBON Facts & Figures” – Volume 8, 1985 – Issues 154-177

“IBON Facts & Figures” – 02/28/1986


Maryknoll” – February 1986

“Spirit in Struggle: A Reader and Study Guide of the Philippines”

Your Guide to Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines”



          Box 1, Continued

Agusdiwa – Bulletins on AgusanSurigao

“Issues and Prescriptions – 1982” – Philippine Growth and Development

“The IMF [International Monetary Fund] and how it Affects the Filipino People” –

          September 1983

“The Second-Third Year in Review” – November 1982-October 1984

“Towards a Socialist Self-Reliant Economy: An Alternative for Philippine

Economic Development” – September 1985

“Towards Recovery and Sustainable Growth” – September 1985 (1)(2)

“MBC Papers” [Makati Business Club] – October 1985

“MBC Papers” [Makati Business Club] – November 1985

“Structural Adjustment: Impact on Employment and Employment Patterns” – November,

          1985 (1)-(3)

“Philippines: Key Economic Indicators” – 11/22/1985

“MBC Papers” [Makati Business Club] – December 1985

“Regional Economic Comparisons” – 1985

“The Makati Business Club 1986 Calendar”

“The Philippine Economy and Marx’s Humanist Dialectics” – 01/20/1986



          Box 1, Continued

“The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines”

Developmentalism and the ‘New Society’: The Repressive Ideology of

          Underdevelopment” – August 1983

“The Liberal Party Vision and Program of Government”

“Political Change, urban services, and social movements: political participation and

          grass-roots politics in metro Manila”

Kasarinlan” Volume 1, Number 1, 3rd Quarter, 1985

Kasarinlan” Volume 1, Number 2, 4th Quarter, 1985


Box 2

“A Social Democratic Primer: Readings on the theory and practice of social democracy

          in the Philippines” – 1985 [Chapters 1-2] [1]

“A Social Democratic Primer: Readings on the theory and practice of social democracy

          in the Philippines” – 1985 [Chapters 3-6] [2]

“A Social Democratic Primer: Readings on the theory and practice of social democracy

          in the Philippines” – 1985 [Chapters 6-A – End] [3]

[Biographies and Assets of President Corazon C. Aquino]



          Box 2, Continued

[Documents – Dollars for Philippine Democracy]

[Aquino/Laurel Campaign Flyer]

[Speech – Sigma Delta Phi – Park Sheraton – 10/22/1985]

“To Lead by example; to inspire” – 12/03/1985

“Dollars for Philippine Democracy” – 12/21/1985

“Persevere in Correct Struggles – Boycott the Sham Snap Election!” – January 1986

“Cast Away Illusions – Boycott the Sham Snap Election!” – January 1986

“Building from the Ruins” – 01/06/1986

“A Presidential Snap Election: A Primer” – 01/17/1986

“Broken Promises in the Land of Promise” – 01/16/1986

“Daily Commentaries” Number 19 – 01/20/1986

“Tearing Down the Dictatorship, Rebuilding Democracy” – 01/23/1986

“The Issues against Mr. Marcos in the Coming Elections” – 01/23/1986

“We Must Obey God Rather than Men” – 01/25/1986

“Framework for Discussion of Scenarios Before, During, and After the Snap Presidential

          Elections” – 01/27/1986

“National Council of Churches in the Philippines’ Statement on the February 7 Elections”

          – 01/27/1986

“Campaign Details” – 01/30/1986-02/05/1986 [01/28/1986]

“International Delegation to Observe Philippine Election Announced” – 01/31/1986

“Rescue from Disgrace in a Pharaoh’s House” – 02/03/1986

Tampat Monitor” – 02/05/1986

[Two Sample Ballots – 02/07/1986]

“Suspected Ballot Switching in Makati: Namfel People Mauled” – 02/08/1986

“Assert the People’s Might, Continue the Militant Struggle, Reject the Sham Victory of

          the US-Marcos Dictatorship!”

“A Call to Build Together” – 02/22/1986

“A Pastoral Letter” – 02/26/1986

Proposed Theme/Calls NAJFD - Campaign Work – 03/04/1986

“Statement by Co-Leaders International Observer Delegation”

“Philippine Presidential Election: A Harvest of Uncertainties”

[National Citizens Movement for Free Elections Report]

“The NAMFREL [National Citizens Movement for Free Elections] Report on the

          02/07/1986 Philippine Presidential Elections”



          Box 2, Continued

“The Philippine Educational System: Trends and Status”

“Church Sector Situationer

“Davao City, Urban Poor Situationer

“Fisherman Sector Situationer

“Health Sector Situationer

“Moro People Sitauationer

“The Mindanao Situation”

“Land Grabbing: An Assault on the Countryside”

“Negros and it Sugar Barons”

“Filipino Women’s Struggle”

“Modified Free Enterprise System: Philippine Development Alternative”

“Education is the Only Answer”

“Regional Situationer and Demands”

“Philippine Action Concerning Torture”

“Free Jose Maria Sison!”

“National Labor Coalition for Democracy: Let’s Preserve Our Gains”

Peasant Movement of the Philippines: “Declaration of Principles”

 “Some Notes on the Exposure Program”

“Remembering Ninoy: The Name, the Legend, the Martyr”

  List of Slide Productions

“A Primer on Land Reform and other Related Programs”

“Sugar: Honey for a few – blood and sweat for many” – February 1984


Box 3

“Human Rights Situation and Militarization in the Philippines: Trends and Analysis” –


“Basic Documents and Resolutions of the First National Assembly” – September 1984

Conjuangco in Agusan” – September 1984

[1985 Documents pertaining to Bayan Organization]

“Human Rights Situation in Mindanao” – 1985

“Trends in Industrial Labor in Northeastern Mindanao” – May 1985

“Mr. and Mrs.” – 05/10/1985

 Unang Tinuig Nga Assembliya” – 05/18/1984-05/21/1984

Asiaweek” – 05/31/1985

[Letter – 06/06/1985]

“Sugar Worker Beheaded” – 06/18/1985

“Negros in Turmoil” – July 1985

“Food Blockade in Misanis Oriental” – 07/07/1985

“Poem from Negros” – 07/29/1985

Katarungan” – August 1985

“Rice, Not Mere Application Forms!” – 08/01/1985

“Escalante Massacre Create Reign of Terror in Negros” – 09/21/1985

“Food and Freedom: The Cry of Negros!” – 09/24/1985

National Federation of Sugar Workers Statement on the Escalante Massacre – 09/28/1985

“Philippine Poverty Report” – October 1985

 “Escalante: Fear and Silent Rage” – 10/01/1985

Halad Kay Maria Documents – 10/25/1985

“Of All Philippine Sectors, Peasants have been the Most Consistently Valiant” –


Satam” Volume 1, Number 2 – October/December 1985

NCCP [National Council of Churches] Newsletter – November 1985

 [Two Mindanao Interfaith People’s Conference Flyers – 11/04/1985-11/08/1985]

[Letter to Reverend Fathers – 11/14/1985]

“UPDATE” Volume 1, Number 3, 11/15/1985-12/14/1985

Moro Kurier – November/December, 1985

“Support the Struggle of the Peoples of Navotas: Dismantle the US-backed Marcos

          Dictatorship” – December 1985

“PAG ASA Newsletter” – December, 1985

“Salvaging Democracy: Human Rights in the Philippines” –December 1985

 “Had. Guinsang-an Workers Go on Strike” – 12/06/1985

“National Federation of Sugar Workers to Host International Seminar” – 12/11/1985

“Touching Ground, Taking Root” – 12/11/1985

“To Our Friends and Benefactors” – 12/12/1985

Chronology of Events January 1985 – January 1986

“Elections, Poverty, and Insurgency” – 01/22/1986

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan” – 02/09/1986

 “Human Rights & Militarization in Negros” – 1988



          Box 3, Continued

“US Policy Towards the Philippines” – 03/12/1985

          “The Current State of US – Philippine Relations” – 03/27/1984

[Analysis of Philippine Politics] May 1984-July 1984

“The Situation in the Philippines” – 1984

“Document from the Conference for International Solidarity with the Philippine

          Struggle” 09/07/1985-09/21/1985

“A Nation in crisis, A People Undaunted: The Philippine National Situation and US

          Intervention” – 09/17/1985

“Coalition Close-Up” – Fall 1985

“Procurement of Supplies and Services by the US Facilities at Subic and Clark” – 1985

“Update” Volume 1, Number 2 – 10/15/1985-11/14/1985

“The Philippines: A Situation Report” – 10/21/1985


Box 4

“Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the Philippines” – 11/20/1985

“Network” Volume 13, Number 6, November 1985 – December 1985

“Philippine Report” – Volume 2, Number 11-12 – November 1985-December 1985

“Asian Rights Advocate” Volume 9, Number 12 – December 1985

“Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, on the Presidential

          Election Process in the Philippines” – 12/18/1985 [Report and Additional

          Documents] (1)(2)

tingog Kabatan-Onan” Volume 3, Number 4, December 1985

“Philippine Report” Volume 3, Number 1, January 1986

[Documents pertaining to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing] – 01/24/1986

“International Working Area Procedures” – 02/07/1986



Box 4, Continued

Philippine Clips [Undated]

Philippine Clips [August, 1985]

Philippine Clips [September, 1985]

Philippine Clips [December 1985]

Philippine Clips [January 1986]

Philippine Clips [February 1986]

Philippine Clips [March 1986] (1)-(4)

Philippine Clips [April 1986]

Philippine Clips [October, 1986]

Philippine Clips [January-March 1987]

[AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Reform Movement – Articles and Reports]


Defense & Disarmament News, October 1985-November 1985]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [Undated]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [Pre-1980]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [1982-1985]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [January 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [February 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [March 1986]


Box 5

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [April 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [May 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [June 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [July 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [“Hope in Sin” – August 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [September 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [October 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [November 1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [12/01/1986-12/18/1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [12/18/1986-12/31/1986]

[News Transcripts/Interviews] [1987]

[Unrelated News Clippings]

[Comment from Ms. Komisar on Collection Description]