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Four Corners – Aiding or Abetting (1983)


It’s 1983 and President Ferdinand Marcos is president of the Philippines. Australia is donating $80 million of bilateral aid to the Philippine Government. The question is, how is this aid being spent? The Australian Government is accused of lining the pockets of an élite and propping up the corrupt and repressive oligarchy running the country. Four Corners has sent reporter Mary Delahunty into the Philippines to find out the truth behind the accusations.

Curator’s notes

This is a very fine piece of investigative journalism. Mary Delahunty travels to the world of the dirt-poor peasant farmers of the remote island of Mindanao, the second largest of the 7,000 islands which make up the Philippines. Isolated, crawling with military and insurgents, it’s a centre of unrest in a country where just a few have all the wealth while others live in abject poverty. It’s fascinating to see this Four Corners program broadcast just before the people’s revolution and the events leading to Marcos and his extravagant wife being overthrown. Cory Aquino, the wife of the man Marcos had assassinated, will become president in his place.