Philippine Edsa Revolution 1986 Essay

"EDSA Revolution" redirects here. For other uses, see EDSA Revolution (disambiguation). For other uses of "People Power", see People Power (disambiguation).

The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986) was a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines, mostly in the capital city of Manila from February 22–25, 1986. There was a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and alleged electoral fraud. The nonviolent revolution led to the departure of dictator PresidentFerdinand Marcos, the end of his 21-year authoritarian rule, and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.[4][5]

It is also referred to as the Yellow Revolution due to the presence of yellow ribbons during demonstrations following the assassination of Filipino senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.[4][5] in August 1983. It was widely seen as a victory of the people against two decades of authoritarian, repressive[6] rule by Marcos, and made news headlines as "the revolution that surprised the world".[7]

The majority of the demonstrations took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, more commonly known by its acronym EDSA, in Metro Manila from February 22–25, 1986. They involved over two million Filipino civilians, as well as several political and military groups, and religious groups led by CardinalJaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, along with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines President Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the Archbishop of Cebu. The protests, fueled by the resistance and opposition from years of corrupt governance by Marcos and his cronies, culminated with the dictator and his family fleeing Malacañang Palace to exile in Hawaii. Ninoy Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, was immediately installed as the eleventh President as a result of the revolution.[8]

Background and history[edit]

Main article: Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected president in 1965, defeating incumbent Diosdado Macapagal by a margin of 52 to 43 percent. During this time, Marcos was very active in the initiation of public works projects and the intensification of tax collections. Marcos and his government claimed that they "built more roads than all his predecessors combined, and more schools than any previous administration".[9] Amidst charges from the opposition party of vote buying and a fraudulent election, Marcos was reelected in the Philippine presidential election, 1969, this time defeating Sergio Osmeña, Jr. by 61 to 39 percent.

Marcos' second term for the presidency was marred by allegations by the opposition Liberal Party of widespread graft and corruption. According to leftists who rioted during the First Quarter Storm, the increasing disparity of wealth between the very wealthy and the very poor that made up the majority of the Philippines' population led to a rise in crime and civil unrest around the country. These factors, including the formation of the New People's Army and a bloody Muslim separatist movement in the southern island of Mindanao led by the Moro National Liberation Front, contributed to the rapid rise of civil discontent and unrest in the country.[citation needed]

A constitutional convention, which had been called for in 1970 to replace the Commonwealth era 1935 Constitution, continued the work of framing a new constitution after the declaration of martial law. The new constitution went into effect in early 1973, changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary and allowing Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973. The constitution was approved by 95% of the voters in the Philippine constitutional plebiscite.

Marcos was barred from running for a third term as president in 1973. On September 23, 1972, by virtue of a presidential proclamation (No. 1081), he declared martial law, citing rising civil disobedience as a justification. Through this decree and after obtaining voters consent through the plebiscite, Marcos seized emergency powers giving him full control of the Philippines' military and the authority to suppress and abolish the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and many other civil liberties. Marcos also dissolved the Philippine Congress and shut down media establishments critical of the Marcos government.[10]

Marcos also ordered the immediate arrest of his political opponents and critics. Among those arrested were Senate President Jovito Salonga, Senator Jose Diokno, and Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., who Marcos linked with the Communists[11] and the man who was groomed by the opposition to succeed Marcos after the 1973 elections.[10] On November 25, 1977, the Military Commission charged Aquino along with his two co-accused, NPA leaders Bernabe Buscayno (Commander Dante) and Lt. Victor Corpuz, guilty of all charges and sentenced them to death by firing squad.[12]

In 1978, while still in prison, Aquino founded his political party, Lakas ng Bayan (abbreviated "LABAN"; English: People's Power) to run for office in the Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). All LABAN candidates lost, including Ninoy himself.

With practically all of his political opponents arrested and in exile, Marcos' pre-emptive declaration of martial law in 1972 and the ratification of his new constitution by more than 95% of voters enabled Marcos to effectively legitimize his government and hold on to power for another 14 years beyond his first two terms as president. In a Cold War context, Marcos retained the support of the United States through Marcos' promise to stamp out communism in the Philippines and by assuring the United States of its continued use of military and naval bases in the Philippines.[10]

Assassination of Ninoy Aquino[edit]

Main article: Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.

Despite warnings from the military and other pro-Marcos groups, Ninoy Aquino was determined to return to the Philippines. Asked what he thought of the death threats, Ninoy Aquino responded, “The Filipino is worth dying for.”[13]

At that time, Ninoy's passport had expired and the renewal had been denied. Ninoy therefore acquired a plan to acquire a fake passport with the help of Rashid Lucman,[14][15] The passport carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison).[16]

On August 21, 1983, after a three-year exile in the United States, Aquino was assassinated as he disembarked from a Taiwanese commercial flight at the Manila International Airport (which was later renamed in Aquino's honor).[17] His assassination shocked and outraged many Filipinos, most of whom had lost confidence in the Marcos administration. The event led to more suspicions about the government, triggering non-cooperation among Filipinos that eventually led to outright civil disobedience.[18] It also shook the Marcos government, which was by then deteriorating due, in part, to Marcos' worsening health and ultimately fatal illness (lupus erythematosus).[citation needed]

The assassination of Ninoy Aquino caused the Philippines economy to deteriorate even further, and the government plunged further into debt. By the end of 1983, the Philippines was in an economic recession, with the economy contracting by 6.8%.[19]

In 1984, Marcos appointed a commission, led by Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, to launch an investigation into Aquino's assassination. Despite the commission's conclusions, Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, declined an offer to join the commission and rejected the government's views on the assassination.

Calls for election[edit]

Main article: Philippine presidential election, 1986

On November 3, 1985, after pressure from the US government,[20] Marcos suddenly announced that a snap presidential election would take place the following year, one year ahead of the regular presidential election schedule, to legitimize his control over the country.[21] The snap election was legalized with the passage of Batas Pambansa Blg. 883 (National Law No. 883) by the Marcos-controlled unicameral congress called the Regular Batasang Pambansa.[22]

The growing opposition movement encouraged Ninoy Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, to run for the presidency. United Opposition (UNIDO) leader, Salvador Laurel, who earlier filed his candidacy as an official UNIDO candidate for the presidency, gave way to Cory after a political deal which was later reneged by Cory after the election. Salvador Laurel eventually ran as Cory Aquino's running mate for vice-president under the United Opposition (UNIDO) party. Marcos ran for re-election, with Arturo Tolentino as his running mate under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) party.[22]

1986 election[edit]

Main article: Philippine presidential election, 1986

The elections were held on February 7, 1986.[21] The official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), declared Marcos the winner. The final tally of the COMELEC had Marcos winning with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino's 9,291,761 votes. On the other hand, based on returns of 70% of the precincts[23] of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), an accredited poll watcher, had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos' 7,053,068 votes.[24]

This electoral exercise was marred by widespread reports of violence and tampering of election results, culminating in the walkout of 35 COMELEC computer technicians to protest the deliberate manipulation of the official election results to favor Ferdinand Marcos. The walkout was considered as one of the early "sparks" of the People Power Revolution. The walkout also served as an affirmation to allegations of vote-buying, fraud, and tampering of election results by the KBL.[25][26]

Because of reports of alleged fraud, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through Cardinal Ricardo Vidal issued a statement condemning the elections. The United States Senate also passed a resolution stating the same condemnation.[21] US president Ronald Reagan issued a statement calling the fraud reports as "disturbing" but he said that there was fraud "on both sides" of the Philippine election.[27][28] In response to the protests, COMELEC claimed that Marcos with 53 percent won over Aquino. However, NAMFREL countered that the latter won over Marcos with 52 percent of votes.[29]

On February 15, Marcos was proclaimed by COMELEC and Batasang Pambansa as the winner amidst the controversy. All 50 opposition members of the Parliament walked out in protest. The Filipino people repudiated the results, asserting that Aquino was the real victor. Both "winners" took their oath of office in two different places, with Aquino gaining greater mass support. Aquino also called for coordinated strikes and mass boycott of the media and businesses owned by Marcos' cronies. As a result, the crony banks, corporations, and media were hit hard, and their shares in the stock market plummeted to record levels.[citation needed]

Vidal's declaration[edit]

Cardinal Vidal, after the result of the snap election, issued a declaration in lieu of the Philippine Church hierarchy stating that "a government does not of itself freely correct the evil it has inflicted on the people then it is our serious moral obligation as a people to make it do so." The declaration also asked "every loyal member of the Church, every community of the faithful, to form their judgment about the February 7 polls" and told all the Filipinos, "Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to repair the wrong. The wrong was systematically organized. So must its correction be. But as in the election itself, that depends fully on the people; on what they are willing and ready to do."[30]

Events[edit]

Aborted military coup[edit]

Appalled by the bold and apparent election irregularities, the Reform the Armed Forces Movement set into motion a coup attempt against Marcos. The initial plan was for a team to assault Malacañan Palace and arrest Ferdinand Marcos. Other military units would take over key strategic facilities, such as the airport, military bases, the GHQAFP in Camp Aguinaldo, and major highway junctions to restrict counteroffensive by Marcos-loyal troops.

Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan was to lead the team that was going to assault Malacañan Palace.

However, after Marcos learned about the plot, he ordered their leaders' arrest,[31] and presented to the international and local press some of the captured plotters, Maj. Saulito Aromin and Maj. Edgardo Doromal.[32]

Threatened with their impending imprisonment, Defense Minister Enrile and his fellow coup plotters decided to ask for help from then AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Fidel Ramos, who was also the chief of the Philippine Constabulary (now the Philippine National Police). Ramos agreed to resign from his position and support the plotters. Enrile also contacted the highly influential Cardinal Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin for his support.

At about 6:30 p.m. on February 22, Enrile and Ramos held a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo, where they announced that they had resigned from their positions in Marcos' cabinet and were withdrawing support from his government. Marcos himself later conducted his own news conference calling on Enrile and Ramos to surrender, urging them to "stop this stupidity".[33]

Sin's appeal[edit]

After Cardinal Vidal's condemnation of the snap election's fraudulent result, a message was aired over Radio Veritas at around 9 p.m., Cardinal Sin exhorted Filipinos in the capital to aid rebel leaders by going to the section of EDSA between Camp Crame and Aguinaldo and giving emotional support, food and other supplies. For many this seemed an unwise decision since civilians would not stand a chance against a dispersal by government troops. Many people, especially priests and nuns, still trooped to EDSA.[33]

Radio Veritas played a critical role during the mass uprising. Former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo stated that: "Without Radio Veritas, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to mobilize millions of people in a matter of hours." Similarly, a certain account in the event said that: "Radio Veritas, in fact, was our umbilical cord to whatever else was going on."[34]

Rising mass support[edit]

At dawn, Sunday, government troops arrived to knock down the main transmitter of Radio Veritas, cutting off broadcasts to people in the provinces. The station switched to a standby transmitter with a limited range of broadcast.[34] The station was targeted because it had proven to be a valuable communications tool for the people supporting the rebels, keeping them informed of government troop movements and relaying requests for food, medicine, and supplies.[33]

Still, people came to EDSA until it swelled to hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians. The mood in the street was actually very festive, with many bringing whole families. Performers entertained the crowds, nuns and priests led prayer vigils, and people set up barricades and makeshift sandbags, trees, and vehicles in several places along EDSA and intersecting streets such as Santolan and Ortigas Avenue. Everywhere, people listened to Radio Veritas on their radios. Several groups sang Bayan Ko (My Homeland),[35] which, since 1980, had become a patriotic anthem of the opposition. People frequently flashed the 'LABAN' sign,[36] which is an "L" formed with their thumb and index finger. 'Laban' is the Tagalog word for 'fight', but also the abbreviation of Lakas ng Bayan, Ninoy Aquino's party.

After lunch on February 23, Enrile and Ramos decided to consolidate their positions. Enrile crossed EDSA from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame amidst cheers from the crowd.[33]

In the mid-afternoon, Radio Veritas relayed reports of Marines massing near the camps in the east and LVT-5 tanks approaching from the north and south. A contingent of Marines with tanks and armored vans, led by Brigadier General Artemio Tadiar, was stopped along Ortigas Avenue, about two kilometers from the camps, by tens of thousands of people.[37] Nuns holding rosaries knelt in front of the tanks and men and women linked arms together to block the troops.[38] Tadiar asked the crowds to make a clearing for them, but they did not budge. In the end, the troops retreated with no shots fired.[33]

By evening, the standby transmitter of Radio Veritas failed. Shortly after midnight, the staff were able to go to another station to begin broadcasting from a secret location under the moniker "Radyo Bandido" (Outlaw Radio, which is now known as DZRJ-AM). June Keithley, with Angelo Castro, Jr., was the radio broadcaster who continued Radio Veritas' program throughout the night and in the remaining days.[33]

More military defections[edit]

At dawn on Monday, February 24, the first serious encounter with government troops occurred. Marines marching from Libis, in the east, lobbed tear gas at the demonstrators, who quickly dispersed. Some 3,000 Marines then entered and held the east side of Camp Aguinaldo.[33]

Later, helicopters manned by the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force, led by Colonel Antonio Sotelo, were ordered from Sangley Point in Cavite (South of Manila) to head to Camp Crame.[39] Secretly, the squadron had already defected and instead of attacking Camp Crame, landed in it, with the crowds cheering and hugging the pilots and crew members.[33]

A Bell 214 helicopter piloted by Major Deo Cruz of the 205th Helicopter Wing and Sikorsky S-76 gunships piloted by Colonel Charles Hotchkiss of the 20th Air Commando Squadron joined the rebel squadron earlier in the air. The presence of the helicopters boosted the morale of Enrile and Ramos who had been continually encouraging their fellow soldiers to join the opposition movement.[33] In the afternoon, Aquino arrived at the base where Enrile, Ramos, RAM officers and a throng were waiting.[39]

The capture of Channel 4[edit]

At around that time, June Keithley received reports that Marcos had left Malacañang Palace and broadcast this to the people at EDSA. The crowd celebrated and even Ramos and Enrile came out from Crame to appear to the crowds. The jubilation was however short-lived as Marcos later appeared on television on the government-controlled Channel 4,[40] (using the foreclosed ABS-CBN facilities, transmitter and compound) declaring that he would not step down. It was thereafter speculated that the false report was a calculated move against Marcos to encourage more defections.[33]

During this broadcast, Channel 4 suddenly went off the air. A contingent of rebels, under Colonel Mariano Santiago, had captured the station. Channel 4 was put back on line shortly after noon, with Orly Punzalan announcing on live television, "Channel 4 is on the air again to serve the people." By this time, the crowds at EDSA had swollen to over a million. (Some estimates placed them at two million.)[33]

This broadcast was considered the "return" of ABS-CBN on air because this was the time when former employees of the network were inside the complex after 14 years of closure since Marcos took it over during the Martial Law of 1972. Radio Bandido ended broadcasting that afternoon, while Radio Veritas resumed transmissions, this time from the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center's radio studios.

In the late afternoon, rebel helicopters attacked Villamor Airbase, destroying presidential air assets. Another helicopter went to Malacañang, fired a rocket, and caused minor damage. Later, most of the officers who had graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) defected. The majority of the Armed Forces had already changed sides.[33]

Marcos orders not to shoot[edit]

Prior dialogues to stop the revolution have not succeeded with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which was led by General Fabian Ver. AFP was ready to mount an air strike on the day but was halted under orders of Marcos.

The actual dialogue on TV between Marcos and then AFP Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver went as follows:[41]

Fabian Ver: The Ambush there is aiming to mount there in the top. Very quickly, you must immediately leave to conquer them, immediately, Mr. President.
Ferdinand Marcos: Just wait, come here.
Ver: Please, Your Honor, so we can immediately strike them. We have to immobilize the helicopters that they've got. We have two fighter planes flying now to strike at any time, sir.
Marcos: My order is not to attack. No, no, no! Hold on. My order is not to attack.
Ver: They are massing civilians near our troops and we cannot keep on withdrawing. You asked me to withdraw yesterday-
Marcos (interrupting): Uh yes, but ah... My order is to disperse without shooting them.
Ver: We cannot withdraw all the time...
Marcos: No! No! No! Hold on! You disperse the crowd without shooting them.

Two inaugurations[edit]

On the morning of Tuesday, February 25, at around 7 a.m., a minor clash occurred between loyal government troops and the reformists. Snipers stationed atop the government-owned Channel 9 tower, near Channel 4, began shooting at the reformists. Many rebel soldiers surged to the station,[33] and a rebel S-76 helicopter later shot the snipers at the broadcast tower. The troops later left after a V-150 was blocked by the crowd assembled.

Later in the morning, Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as President of the Philippines in a simple ceremony at Club Filipino[42] in Greenhills, about a kilometer from Camp Crame. She was sworn in as President by Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee, and Laurel as Vice-President by Justice Vicente Abad Santos. The Bible on which Aquino swore her oath was held by her mother-in-law Aurora Aquino, the mother of Ninoy Aquino. Attending the ceremonies were Ramos, who was then promoted to General, Enrile, and many politicians.[33]

Outside Club Filipino, all the way to EDSA, hundreds of people cheered and celebrated. Bayan Ko (My Country, a popular folk song and the unofficial National Anthem of protest) was sung after Aquino's oath-taking. Many people wore yellow, the color of Aquino's campaign for presidency.

An hour later, Marcos held the inauguration at Malacañang Palace. Loyalist civilians attended the ceremony, shouting "Marcos, Marcos, Marcos pa rin! (Marcos, Marcos, still Marcos!)". On the Palace balcony, Marcos took the Oath of Office, broadcast by IBC-13 and GMA-7.[33] None of the invited foreign dignitaries attended the ceremony, for security reasons. The couple finally emerged on the balcony of the Palace before 3,000 KBL loyalists who were shouting, "Capture the snakes!"[43] Rather tearfully,[43] First Lady Imelda Marcos gave a farewell rendition of the couple's theme song – the 1938 kundiman"Dahil Sa Iyo" (Because of You) – chanting the song's entreaties in Tagalog:

Because of you, I became happy
Loving I shall offer you
If it is true I shall be enslaved by you
All of this because of you.[43]

The broadcast of the event was interrupted as rebel troops successfully captured the other stations.[33]

By this time, hundreds of people had amassed at the barricades along Mendiola, only a hundred meters away from Malacañang. They were prevented from storming the Palace by loyal government troops securing the area. The angry demonstrators were pacified by priests who warned them not to be violent.[33]

Marcos' departure[edit]

At 3:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, President Marcos phoned United States SenatorPaul Laxalt,[43] asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him to "cut and cut clean",[44] to which Marcos expressed his disappointment after a short pause. In the afternoon, Marcos talked to Minister Enrile, asking for safe passage for him, his family, and close allies such as General Ver.

At midnight PHT, the Marcos family boarded a United States Air Force HH-3E Rescue helicopters[6] and flew to Clark Air Base in Angeles City 83 kilometres north of Manila.

At Clark Air Base, Marcos asked to spend a couple of days with his family in Ilocos Norte, his native province. Aquino vetoed the request. President Reagan privately derided Cory Aquino for denying Marcos a last look at his home province.[45]

The deposed First Family and their servants then rode US Air Force DC-9 Medivac and C-141B planes to Andersen Air Force Base in the north of the United States territory of Guam, then flying to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where Marcos finally arrived on February 26. US Government documented that they entered the USA with millions of dollars in jewelries, gold, stocks, and cash [7][33]

When news of the Marcos family's departure reached civilians, many rejoiced and danced in the streets. Over at Mendiola, the demonstrators stormed the Palace, which was closed to ordinary people for around a decade. Despite looting by some angry protesters, the majority wandered about inside through rooms where national history was shaped, looking at objects extravagant and mundane that the Marcos clan and its court had abandoned in their flight.[citation needed]

In other countries, people also rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. CBS anchorman Bob Simon reported: “We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy. Well, tonight they are teaching the world.” [33]

Some authors say that Marcos prevented civil war similar to the Syrian Civil War by refusing to use guns notwithstanding the insistence of his top general, and by agreeing to step down during the EDSA revolution.[46][47] The White House said "By leaving the Philippines at a critical juncture in his nation's history, Mr. Marcos permitted the peaceful transition to popular, democratic rule."[48]

Aftermath[edit]

Main article: Presidency of Corazon Aquino

Immediately after her accession, Aquino issued Proclamation № 3, a provisional constitution

During the height of the revolution, an estimated three hundred to five hundred thousand people filled EDSA from Ortigas Avenue all the way to Cubao. The photo above shows the area at the intersection of EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue, just between Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo.
Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as the 11th president of the Philippines on February 25, 1986 at Sampaguita Hall (Now Kalayaan Hall).

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The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986) was a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines that began in 1983 and culminated in 1986. The methods used amounted to a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and electoral fraud. This case of nonviolent revolution led to the toppling of PresidentFerdinand Marcos and the restoration of the country's democracy.

Timeline[edit]

1983[edit]

1984[edit]

  • May 14 - Elections for the Batasang Pambansa (parliament) are held. The United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO) and the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) coalition decide to take part. Aquino's widow, Corazón, throws her support behind the opposition candidates, who surprise Marcos by winning 56 seats out of the 183 amidst familiar allegations of fraud.[1]
  • October 24 - The Agrava Board, a fact-finding commission tasked with investigating the Aquino assassination, concludes that there was a military conspiracy behind the killing and implicates Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Fabián Ver.[1]

1985[edit]

  • February 22 - General Ver, 24 soldiers, and one civilian stand trial before the Sandiganbayan for the Aquino murder. Ver takes a leave of absence as Armed Forces Chief of Staff.[1]
  • August - Opposition MPs file a motion for impeachment against Marcos in the Batasan, citing culpable violation of the Constitution and "hidden wealth." The majority party squelches the motion.[1]
  • November 3 - Marcos suddenly announces the holding of snap elections after alleged prodding from the United States.
  • December 2 - General Ver and all his co-accused are acquitted by the Sandiganbayan. Marcos reinstates him as Chief of Staff amid widespread protest.[1]
  • December 3 - Corazon Aquino declares her candidacy for President. Salvador Laurel, who earlier has wanted to run for the same position, agrees to be her running mate.[1]
  • December 5 - The Opposition makes a formal announcement of the Aquino-Laurel tandem for the snap elections.[1]

1986[edit]

February 7[edit]

  • Attempts of fraud, vote-buying, intimidation, and violence are reported and election returns are tampered with. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) tally board shows Marcos leading while the National Citizen's Movement for the Free Elections (NAMFREL) consistently shows Cory Aquino ahead by a comfortable margin.[1]

February 9[edit]

February 11[edit]

  • Oppositionist ex-Governor Evelio Javier of Antique is murdered in front of the provincial capitol where canvassing is being held. Primary suspects are the bodyguards of the local KBL leader.

February 13[edit]

February 15[edit]

  • The Batasang Pambansa declared President Ferdinand Marcos and his running mate Arturo Tolentino as the winners of the February 7 Snap Elections.[2]

February 16[edit]

  • Around two million people gathered at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, Manila to protest the proclamation of Marcos and Tolentino as winners of the February 7 Snap Elections. Opposition leader and UNIDO presidential candidate Corazon Aquino called for nationwide civil disobedience and a boycott of all Marcos crony-owned companies in protest of the proclamation.[3]

February 22[edit]

  • 2:00 AM
  • 3:00 AM
    • The final meeting at the Defense Minister's home is concluded. Lt. Col. Honasan and Kapunan begin their recoinnaisance of Malacañang. To their dismay, they discover battle-hardened Marines stationed at their main point of attack.
  • 6:30 AM
  • 9:00 AM
    • Fabian Ver sends Col. Rolando Abadilla to Col. Honasan to inform the latter that their plans have been made known already and that RAM should not make any rash decisions.
  • 10:00 AM
    • Lt. Col. Honasan phones Kapunan and informs him that they are not going to abort the mission, but to simply "freeze" the operation for the next 24 hours.
    • Honasan reviews the situation and assesses the prepositioning of the troops from his office in GHQAFP Camp Aguinaldo
    • Cory Aquino leaves for Cebu to continue the Civil Disobedience Campaign.
  • 12:00 NN
    • Navy Capt. Rex Robles was assigned to act as a liaison with the diplomatic community in case the RAM officers will be arrested, and tell the world of their story.
    • U.S. Amb. Stephen Bosworth along with Philip Habib, Pres. Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Marcos, visit the Palace for a meeting with the President. They discuss the recent elections and the political situation. The U.S. envoys call Marcos to retire Ver.
  • 12:45 PM
    • While Marcos was having his meeting with the U.S. envoys, Capt. Ricardo Morales, one of Imelda Marcos' close-in security and who is a mole of RAM in the PSG, reconnoiters the defenses of the Palace grounds, and took the initiative to withdraw some firearms from the PSG armory. He is arrested and is brought to the office of the Aide-de-camp for interrogation.
  • 1:45 PM
    • As the meeting came to a close, barely has Amb. Bosworth left the room, Gen. Ver storms into the Presidential study to convey the recent arrest of four officers in the PSG who are found to be members of RAM.
    • Philip Habib confides as he leaves Malacañang, that "Cory won the election and deserves our support. Marcos is finished, and we ought to offer him asylum in the United States."[4]
  • 2:00 PM
    • With their plans discovered, Enrile and the RAM officers, had to change their direction. They decided that they need to draw the public support if they are going to storm this crisis out.
  • 2:15 PM
    • Cory in the rally in Cebu calls for the boycott of Marcos crony-owned business.
  • 3:45 PM
    • Enrile gets through to Cardinal Sin and seeks his moral and active support, as the former felt that he will not survive the day.
  • 4:30 PM
    • The first military region to go to the rebel side was Regional Unified Command No. 8, which included troops in Mrs. Marcos's own province, Leyte, led by commander, Brig. Gen. Salvador Mison who was in Camp Aguinaldo.
  • 5:30 PM
    • Pres. Marcos first response to the mutiny was to call his family to Malacañang.
  • 6:30 PM
    • Malacañang receives a "report" that Ramos and Enrile were "officially withdrawing their support" of the Marcos administration.
  • 6:45 PM
    • Enrile and Ramos, surrounded by their staff and guards hold a press conference at the Social Hall of the GHQAFP, and make the official announcement of their withdrawal of support of the Marcos administration.
    • Enrile states in his opening that "We are going to die here fighting."[5]
    • Ramos states "There has become an elite Armed Forces of the Philippines that no longer represents the rank and officers' corps of the Armed Forces. ...The President of 1986 is not the President to whom we dedicated our service. it is clear that he no longer is the able and capable commander-in-chief that we count upon. ... He has put his personal family interest above the interest of the people. We do not consider President Marcos as now being a duly constituted authority."[6]
    • Enrile adds "I cannot in my conscience recognize the President as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and I am appealing to the other members of the Cabinet to heed the will of the people expressed during the last elections. Because in my own region, I know that we cheated in the elections to the extent of 350,000 votes. ... No, I will not serve under Mrs. Aquino even if she is installed as a president. ... Our loyalty is to the Constitution and the country. ... You are welcome to join us. We have no food..."[7]
    • Ramos closes "I am not even acting Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. I think that when he made that announcement to you and to the whole world last Sunday, he was just fooling us, and he was fooling the entire world because he flip-flopped so many times already. ... I would like to appeal to the fair and to the dedicated and people-oriented members of the AFP and the INP to join us in this crusade for better government."[7]
  • 7:00 PM
  • Approximately 7:00 PM
    • Cory receives the news of the withdrawal of support by Enrile and Ramos. She calls Manila to verify the report.
  • 8:15 PM
  • 8:30 PM
    • Cardinal Jaime Sin goes on air and calls the people to "Please, do not be alarmed, stay home."
  • 8:45 PM
    • The rebel group was taken aback by the Cardinal's announcement and calls him to clarify their request. They asked him to send the people to the camps.
  • 9:00 PM
    • Cardinal Sin goes on air once more and says "Leave your homes now ...I ask you to support Mr. Enrile and Gen. Ramos, give them food if you like, they are our friends."
    • Inquirer co-chairman Betty Go-Belmonte telephoned Member of Parliament Cecilia Munoz Palma. MP Palma immediately made a call to Radio Veritas and was one of the first opposition leaders to express support for the revolution.[8]
  • 9:30 PM
    • Butz Aquino with the August Twenty-One Movement ATOM Executive Committee deliberate on whether to support Enrile and Ramos. The Executive Committee wants to wait on Cory Aquino for instructions. Butz Aquino finally decided to head to Camp Aguinaldo to support the rebels.
    • Cory Aquino meanwhile is also deciding on what actions to take after receiving the call from ATOM. She requests to speak with Enrile first.
    • Col. Antonio Sotelo, Commander of the 15th Strike Wing, received a call at his Villamor Air Base office from Col. Hector Tarrazona, who was also a member of RAM, asking the Commander whether he is with them. Col. Sotelo confirms that he supports RAM, and orders his Squadron Commanders to arm their attack helicopters.

February 23[edit]

  • Early morning: People supported the uprising of Enrile and Ramos and they expressed support for Corazon Aquino as the real new president. They began to grow by the thousands.
  • 6:00 am: ATOM leadership and members proceed to EDSA and the military camps after a brief meeting in Cubao district.
  • 7:30 am: Radio Veritas restarts broadcasts from a backup transmitter as government forces damage the main one in Barangay Dakila, Malolos, Bulacan, plans are made to move operations in Manila.
  • 10:00am: Soldiers from the Philippine Army and the Philippine Marine Corps from Fort Bonifacio and other camps began to be deployed in opposition to the rebel forces. Mounted on M35 carrier trucks, LVT-5s, M113s and AIFVs and V150s, they were, that very afternoon, stopped by the massive crowd, nuns and clergy at the front.
  • 3:00pm: a PMC armored contingent halts in full view of the crowd along Ortigas Avenue in the Ortigas CBD, Pasig. They would later pull back. Radio Veritas had earlier learned of their planned attack on the camps.
  • 3:10pm: Corazon Aquino arrives in Manila from Cebu
  • 11:00pm: As Radio Veritas signs off,due to difficulties in elecrtricity,June Keithley and station staff takeover the DZRJ radio headquarters in Santa Mesa, Manila, along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, planning to restart transmissions at midnight

February 24[edit]

  • 12:00mn: Radio Veritas broadcasts from its new, secret location as "Radio Bandido" (Outlaw radio) from the DZRJ station building
  • 5:30am: First teargas attack on the people by personnel of the Philippine Marines along Santolan Road.
  • 8:30am: Ramos does his famous jump on the PC-INP headquarters in Camp Crame, in full view of the people and the media
  • 11:00am
    • as President Marcos makes another TV appearance, MBS Channel 4 is suddenly taken over by reformist soldiers of the AFP and then signs off as its studios and facilities at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center are captured
  • 1:00pm
    • Channel 4 restarts transmissions as People's Television with ex-ABS-CBN Corporation technicians supervising, within minutes Radio Veritas moves into the complex restarting transmissions
  • 4:30pm
    • The 15th Strike Wing and several of their helicopter crews defect to the people and the Enrile-Ramos camp upon landing in Camp Crame, much to their delight. It would later turn out that Col. Sotero is a RAM supporter

February 25[edit]

  • 8:45am:
    • Rebel soldiers advance towards the Broadcast City complex with hundreds of people with them, accompained by a rebel S-76 helicopter
  • 9:00am:
  • 11:30am
    • Just as President Marcos addresses the crowds at Malacanang Palace, RPN-9, BBC Channel 2 and IBC-13 all sign-off as rebel soldiers capture the Broadcast City complex, transmitters and studios of said stations. Channels 4 and 7 continue airing as usual. The President had just taken what would be his final inaguration oath of office beforehand
  • 9:00pm
    • President Marcos and his family leave the country aboard American plane to Hawaii at evening from the Clark Air Base, Radio Veritas and PTV Channel 4 announce. As news of their departure reaches the people, the millions who gathered at EDSA rejoice, since their departure sparks the conclusion of the revolution. Crowds already position along Mendiola Street, Recto Avenue and Legarda Street, having arrived there late in the afternoon to await the departure of the First Family
  • 9:20pm
    • Within minutes of the annoucement of the departure of the Marcos family, President Aquino makes her first ever live address to the nation as chief executive via Channel 4
  • 9:45pm
    • Pro-Aquino crowds force the opening of the Malacanang Palace gates, as they open thousands of Aquino supporters and participants of the revolution storm the palace complex with little resistance

References[edit]

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