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Monday, July 22, 2024

The truth about EDSA People Power Revolution

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“There is a need to place everything in its proper perspective, not only for the sake of clarification, but for the benefit of history”

The nation marked the so-called EDSA People Power Revolution last week on Feb. 25 with a lot of fuss and so much disagreement that the events that happened need to be put in proper perspective.

First of all, when then Defense Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, now the chief presidential legal counsel of President Marcos Jr., called a press conference to announce that the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, or RAM, was to break away from the military, which was then headed by General Fabian Ver, at that point, Ver had already formed a military junta which he would head in case the President, at that time Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, died.

The President at that time was very ill, suffering from lupus.

As DND Minister, Enrile was fully aware of it.

Enrile then had Col. Gringo Honasan as the head of the RAM.

In fact, the RAM had been having simulated combat operations in many parts of the country when Ver would declare a militia junta.

When the breakaway of Enrile and the RAM was announced, then PC-INP chief Fidel V. Ramos did not yet join Enrile.

It was only after that day that Ramos did, and the RAM group of Enrile and Honasan moved over to the PC-INP headquarters at Camp Crame.

In other words, the breakaway was not against Marcos, but against a Ver-headed AFP.

In fact, this was made very clear when Enrile and Marcos talked over the telephone, with the young Bongbong Marcos holding the telephone for his father.

This is what happened from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, 1986. And JPE, who told me about it, is still alive at age 100, in Malacanang.

Cory Aquino was then in Cebu. And when she arrived in Manila, she hid at the Pink Sisters Convent.

She was nowhere near the RAM at the PC-INP headquarters building.

In fact, the nearest Cory ever got to the PC-INP headquarters was in the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue, in front of the Department of Labor Building.

General Fabian Ver asked President Marcos Sr. permission to bomb the PC-PNP headquarters to end the breakaway, but to his credit, Marcos Sr. refused. He did not want bloodshed to happen.

On Feb. 25, the RAM group of Enrile, Ramos and Honasan decided to install Cory Aquino as the new President, with then Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee Sr. to administer the oath.

(Editor’s Note: Supreme Court Chief Justice Ramon Aquino administered the presidential oath to President Marcos at the Maharlika Hall, later renamed Kalayaan Hall, with a throng a loyalists assembled at the Malacanang grounds.

(It was the fourth inauguration of President Marcos as the 10th president, which marked his fourth and final term as chef executive.

(Within the hour, Supreme Court Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee Sr. swore in Aquino at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, only 6 kms away from Malacanang.)

When I asked Enrile, as the head of the breakaway group, why he and the others decided to install Aquino as the new President, he answered, “She was the face of the opposition.”

Aquino eventually appointed Enrile her defense minister who also eventually resigned from her Cabinet. She also appointed Ramos the chief of the Armed Forces. Honasan also eventually led several coup attempts against the Aquino administration.

The swearing in of Cory ushered in the gathering of over half a million people at EDSA to proclaim Cory as the new Philippine President.

This led the Americans to airlift the Marcos family to Clark Air Base in P{ampanga and on to Honolulu, Hawaii for fear something would happen to them because of the mood of the mob that gathered.

In other words, the airlifting of the Marcos family was not the result of the EDSA gathering. It was in Honolulu where Marcos stayed with his family until he died on Sept 29, 1989 at age 72, the same day Aquino was scheduled to confer on former President Diosdado Macapagal the highest civilian government award.

Macapagal was the president of the elected 1971 Constitutional Convention which drafted the 1971 Constitution which he presented to Marcos in Malacanang.

To place everything in its proper perspective, the gathering of over half a million people at EDSA was not a “People Power Revolution” as concocted by Cory lovers and the Western Press who all romanticized the event.

The country at that time had 56.11 million population.

That call of Cory Aquino as an “Icon of Democracy” was a distortion and romanticized to make Cory the hero of EDSA.

Neither was the People Power Revolution a real revolution because a revolution connotes a change of government, like when the Philippine Revolution occurred that made the country become a republic from the colonial rule of Spain.

That’s why there is a need to place everything in its proper perspective, not only for the sake of clarification, but for the benefit of history.

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