CAMP CRAME, Midnight : Gen. Ramos took a jog around the perimeter with two guards but no sidearm. Asiaweek 9 Mar

A JOURNALIST, Midnight - We sat with two radios, a Radio Veritas and a second short-wave. Veritas, knocked off the air, was beaming from some clandestine radio station which a few of us knew was barely a kilometer away from where the Evil One resided. "Lord preserve Ketly - that's our pet name for June Keithley - they'll kill her in cold blood if they discover where she is."

RADYO BANDIDO, 12:10 AM - Keithley's broadcast began with the playing of Mambo Magsaysay, the campaign song identified with Radio Veritas, "hoping people would recognize the song and know us as DZRV."
     All she had were a small pamphlet on civil disobedience and a phone patch to Gen. Ramos's headquarters. 
Manila Times 3 Mar

Beside June were two young boys, Paulo 15 and Gabe 13 years, sons of Tony and Monina Mercado. They manned the VHF transceiver link with Fr. Reuter and Gen. Ramos.  
Inquirer Feb 88

Keithley was on the air when Gallaga's group arrived at the booth atop the J & T building. A skeleton force was operating the facility and June was getting lost in the plethora of new equipment that she had to instantly be familiar with.
     It was agreed not to air the radio station's call sign and frequency as it would alarm Marcos's troops. A phone-in number was announced instead and shortly, there was a barrage of calls.
 Malaya 28 Feb

ORLY PUNZALAN ­ "When our newsmen discovered that June Keithley was on Radyo Bandido, they started feeding her news. Harry Gasser, Bishop Baccani, Jun Tana, and the rest of the boys helped. Poor June Keithley. She did not have a mobile unit, did not have a crew. All she had was a radio station and a telephone whose number was not even supposed to be announced.Manila Chronicle Feb 87

AN MERCADO (Student) ­ My brother Gabe called to tell me that June Keithley was broacasting again. The Voice of Truth could be heard on 810 of the AM band. I asked him where they were, trying to sound as demanding as possible, as I was sure my mother would be very worried. He said he could not tell me. It was a secret.  PEOPLE POWER p. 191

Fidel Ramos: We were very lucky to have been able to hook up in that manner because to the audience, to the outside world, it appeared that our momentum continued and did not diminish with the demise of Radio Veritas.

A JOURNALIST - Through some ingenious phone patch, we heard Gen. Ramos from time to time, directing his troops from Radyo Bandido, cajoling, pleading, but in a most dignified way, with Artemio Tadiar, chief of the Marines who manned the ominous tanks. He reminded Temy of Christianly duties to God and to fellow man. "You will be treated with compassion and understanding and love." Then he said that any soldier who did not defect now would "be dealt with accordingly." Enrile went on the air and affirmed, "...they would be dealt with severely," almost blowing Gen. Ramos' PR efforts to smithereens. NINE LETTERS p. 28

FORT BONIFACIO - The Ver strategists looked for another way to "inject" Marines into Camp Aguinaldo, from where an assault on Camp Crame would be launched. Brawner was at the drawing board. At first he thought of shuttling the Marines by air. Risky. The land route would be safer. Following a suggestion from Natividad, CDC units would be utilized to sweep away human barricades so that the Marines could enter Camp Aguinaldo by way of Libis.  BREAKAWAY p. 71

Freddie Aguilar: Pagbalik ko sa Crame, nandoon pa rin 'yung mga madre. Sila pa rin. Nagbibigay ng inspirational talks. Kumakanta ng inspirational songs. Sila pa rin. Hindi talaga umaalis doon, the nuns and seminarians and priests. Grabe talaga. Solid na solid. After midnight na 'to. So nag set-up na kami. Tugtugan na. 'Yung mga taong aantok-antok, nagising sa rock 'n roll. Nagdatingan din 'yung mga merong camera. Para may ilaw, people turned on their flashlights at itinuro sa amin. It was really something. When I got back to Crame, the nuns were still there, giving inspirational talks. They stayed on and on, these nuns and seminarians and priests. A solid force. This was after midnight already. So we set up and the band started playing. The sleepyheads woke up to the rock 'n roll. And people with cameras started coming to record the event. For lights, people turned on their flashlights and shone them on us. It was really something.

AROUND CAMP CRAME, 1:00 AM - On a call by Cardinal Sin and other Catholic bishops, church bells rang eerily and households walked out to the streets in residential sectors surrounding Camp Crame when word spread that Mr. Marcos's forces were going to attack the rebels' stronghold.  Bulletin Today 25 Feb

housands of people were camped outside the Philippine Constabulary headquarters overnight to form a human shield against any attack by forces loyal to President Marcos.
      As hours passed, the question on everyone's mind was, "When will the Marines strike?" Rumors spread fast and wide each time Marines were reported to be assembling; droves of men, women, and children set off to block the roads.
      Buses had been pulled across streets, tires set ablaze, and lines or rocks and sandbags set up, although they would not stop tanks. People kept up their spirits with songs and prayers at makeshift altars.
The main gate, on which several people were perched, looked like a Christmas tree, festooned with banners and lit with searchlights. Soldiers armed with automatic weapons, heavy machine guns, and grenade launchers lounged around the gate. Some briefed civilians on how to throw petrol bombs as nuns sang hymns and gave out food. There seemed to be about 1,000 officers, although the rebels would not give numbers. Bulletin 25 Feb

RADYO BANDIDO - News of defections trickle in through the night, Cory speaks briefly, and whenever Ketly runs out of things to say, or whenever the tension needs easing, she spinned an old scratchy version of Mambo Magsaysay. June also played Bayan Ko intermittently. NINE LETTERS p. 28

Cory Aquino: I was hardly sleeping. While I would lie in bed and pretend to sleep, I didn't really. I guess the adrenalin just flowed and maybe that is why I wasn't conscious of the time. Events were overlapping. One day just seemed to go on into the next.

DZRJ, STA. MESA, MANILA ­ On the 12th floor of the building where the radio station was, in the center of the city, June was really terrified. She said, over the transceiver: "There are only six of us here ­ three boys and three girls. The place is so tiny! There is only one door! If the military come to that door, with an Armalte, there is no escape! Only the window! And the closest ledge is four stories down!"
     Monina, mother of the Mercado boys, phoned the office and said: "Could I have my sons back? They are in danger!"

When Monina wanted her children back, Fr. Reuter said, "Give your children a chance to be heroes!"  Inquirer Feb 88

CRAME WAR ROOM, 2:03 AM - Ramos lit up a cigar and reported that a Huey helicopter had been flown in by defecting Air Force pilots. On his mahogany table were a book by Dred Schwarz entitled "You Can Trust the Communists (To Be Communists)", a Bible open at Psalm 91, and a back issue of Asiaweek with himself on the cover.  Asiaweek 9 Mar

Freddie Aguilar:
May lumapit. Enough na daw ang tugtugan, napakaraming tao na daw. Kantahin ko na daw ang Bayan Ko to close the show. Pero kinausap ko muna ang mga tao. Inulit ko 'yung sinasabi everywhere ng mga pare't madre, na magkaisa, huwag gagamit ng dahas, huwag manunukso o manunuya ng kaaway. Hindi kasi maiiwasan, baka meron diyang may dalang baril, what if he starts shooting, e di naloko na tayong lahat. Hindi naman sa duwag tayo, pero why do we have to kill each other. All around, ganoon ang pini-preach. Tapos kinanta ko ang Bayan Ko, pampatindi ng nationalism. Siyempre tatapang lalo sila.

There was a huge crowd gathered by now. I was told to close the show by singing Bayan Ko. Before that I repeated what the priests and nuns were saying to the people in the barricades - to be united, to avoid violence, to avoid taunting the enemy. We didn't want anyone with a gun getting upset and starting to shoot. It's not that we were being cowards. But why do we have to kill each other. Then I sang Bayan Ko, to strengthen the sense of nationalism and make the people even braver.

FORT BONIFACIO, 3:00 AM - Ramas ordered two Marine battalions to prepare for another attack. General Tadiar had a choice of commanders - the level-headed Col. Balbas or the gung-ho Col. Reyes. Balbas had just arrived back, exhausted from a 10-hour patrol around the rebel camps. Tadiar sensibly selected the well-rested Col. Reyes. But when an aide approached him for the order, Tadiar blurted out the name of Balbas.  Veritas Special Oct 86

Balbas's 4th Marine regiment was reinforced by armor: 3 LVTH's and 3 V-150's. Army CDC battalions would lead the way through EDSA, turning right before Ortigas, going via Rodriguez St. and then to Santolan by way of Libis, then push beyond to the LogCom main gate. BREAKAWAY p. 71

CAMP CRAME - Ramos told huddled journalists that an attack was expected by daybreak from loyalist troops two kilometers away on Santolan Road. On radio he appealed to the people "to meet the forces organized by Marcos and Ver."  
Asiaweek 9 Mar

RADYO BANDIDO ­ With sophisticated radio locators, Ver's forces could not find dzRB simply because it was much too close, practically towering over Malacanang. They never knew how tantalizingly close their helicopters were to the radio tower they could have so easily bombed.
     As Monina Mercado walked up to the 12th floor, she saw something that made her realize that God and destiny were with the Filipino people.
     Crowding every step of the way up the spiral staircase were nuns sitting, kneeling, reciting the rosary. With them, a lone man, Ariston Estrada. A battalion of armed soldiers could not have attacked the station without drowning in a sea of martyrs' blood.
Inquirer Feb 88

WASHINGTON, D.C., Around 3:00 AM (Manila Time) - The National Security Planning Group met in Shultz's office, now with an acute sense of urgency. Bosworth in Manila reported that Marcos might attack the rebels at daybreak. A decision by Reagan was vital before then.
     Shultz personally wrote a step-by-step script for Reagan, proposing that Laxalt fly to Manila with a presidential message urging Marcos to resign, with Habib accompanying him to broker the transition.   
IN OUR IMAGE pp. 419-420

CAMP CRAME WAR ROOM, 3:30 AM - Gen. Ramos had just come in from a jogging tour around the camp. His cheeks glowed with sweat. He opened a box of Tabacalera Flor Fina and toyed with a cigar while Minister Enrile, seated on his left, puffed a smoke. Brigadier General Eduardo Ermita, a commanding general of the joint staff Civil Relations Services, held a copy of St. Francis of Assisi's prayer. But it was in English. Could somebody please translate it into Pilipino? The room buzzed about the imminent "attack." Officers filed in and out of the room, making their way around a floor of bodies, cameras and armalites. Coffee flowed. The room tensed with the report that three tanks had been sighted in Santolan. Gen. Ramos sent plainclothesmen to "verify." Minister Enrile concentrated on a Philippine Daily Inquirer as photographer Melvyn Calderon waited for the best angle. Three doctors sat quietly behind Enrile; the image of the Virgin Mary serenely looked on Ramos' back.  Mr. & Ms. 28 Feb

RADYO BANDIDO, Past 3:30 AM - Enrile warned the people through radio that two armored personnel carriers were on their way towards Ortigas. A look-out man on top of VV Soliven building had sent Enrile the information. QUARTET p. 58

EDSA, ORTIGAS - The human barricade braced itself for another eternity of suspense. A bottle of vodka was gulped down in a matter of minutes. The nuns started the prayers, kneeling down in front of the barricade. The APCs were coming...time again for flag-waving, for kapit-bisig, for praying.
     But again the APCs, upon reaching the edge of the human barricade, hesitated, stalled, backed off, turned around, retreated. Again, euphoria!

Freddie Aguilar: Sa Gate Two, biglang nagkasahan sabay-sabay 'yung mga sundalo. Sabi ko, ano 'to? Guerra na? Tapos ang tagal, nakabitin kami, you don't know whether there'll be shooting or not. Ang maririnig mo lang, 'yung kasahan, ganoon. Ang pakiramdam, 'yung parang sa sine, pag suspense na.
(At Gate Two, the soldiers suddenly cocked their weapons. What's this? I thought. Is it war? And then for a long time, we were hanging in suspense, just like in the movies, all you hear are the sound of guns being cocked.)

THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, D.C., Around 4:00 AM (Manila Time) - Reagan remarked at a National Security Council meeting that Marcos had to be "approached carefully" and "asked rather than told" to depart. He declined to telephone Marcos and tell him to go, nor would he send him a personal message. Nor would he countenance a replay of Jimmy Carter's refusal to allow the shah to enter the United States until he was near death. Marcos, he affirmed, could have asylum in America.
Shultz called Bosworth in Manila, ordered him to inform Marcos that his "time was up" and that "we will make the transition as peaceful as possible."  

FORT BONIFACIO, 4:14 AM - Balbas's regiment and supporting units jumped off from Bonifacio. This time the Marines moved more efficiently than they did the previous day. The CDC units under the direction of Brig. Gen. Victor Natividad would use tear gas to breach the human barricades at Libis.  BREAKAWAY p. 71

METRO MANILA, Before Dawn - Batasan members were awakened by Minority Floorleader Pepito Laurel's office and directed to proceed to UNIDO president Doy Laurel's residence at 6:30 AM for a meeting. Inquirer 26 Feb

CAMP CRAME WAR ROOM, 4:30 AM - Gen. Ramos received a note, and he broke into a wide grin. "Good news. Everybody is defecting to our side." Pushing back his eyeglasses, the general stretched to his full height. Retired Brig. Gen. Guillermo Picache, commissioner of the National Pollution Control, was joining the rebel forces because "there is so much pollution in the Marcos government." The room rocked with cheers. Another good news: the three tanks sighted earlier turned out to be garbage trucks. Gen. Ramos was amused. "That's symbolic. After all, we have been getting nothing but garbage all these years."  Mr. & Ms. 28 Feb - 6 Mar 

June Keithley relayed information to Gen. Ramos. A caller from Fort Bonifacio had just reported that "soldiers are massing and are about to leave for Camp Crame."

CAMP CRAME WAR ROOM, 5:10 AM - Ramos reported: "An overwhelming military force has been assembled and directed to move against us." Asiaweek 9 Mar

RADYO BANDIDO - Ramos broadcasted an appeal for more people. June Keithley reported on the "deteriorating" defense situation to her listeners.  

Fidel Ramos: I called upon everyone who was not needed in headquarters-either they were not part of our staff or of our operations center-to seek a safer place. I advised all foreign nationals that we would no longer be responsible for their safety. Also, over the radio I advised the foreign embassies that we were expecting an attack and requested them to inform the outside world of this.

RADYO BANDIDO - The broadcast was from Camp Aguinaldo now, from the rear gate which was a weak spot. Sneaky of those terrorists; they knew where it hurt the most. Ketly was about to sweat blood. "Magkakapatid tayo," she said again and again to the soldiers. She reminded them that the civvies were unarmed and unaggressive.
     The Dynamic Duo took their turn at the mike. They repeated their invitation to the soldiers to lay down their guns. To the lambs, they gave instructions on what to do in case of tear gas attack.  NINE LETTERS p. 29

LIBIS, SANTOLAN ­ Sitting there in the half-dark, Wawel Mercado, a student, could hear singing. There was a group from Tondo and they were singing ballads. I had never heard those songs before, but they were very deep, very sad. We all knew there wasdanger out there, somewhere. That was why many of us really didn't talk for any length of time. We smiled or chuckled but no one really laughed out loud. The singing, however, went on almost all through the night. Perhaps singing is ingrained in the Filipino. He sings when he is scared.  PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 192

SANTOLAN, OUTSIDE CAMP AGUINALDO, Around 5:00 AM - It was a large crowd, but the only vehicle was a large truck blocking the road. As the morning light began creeping across the Manila sky, an announcement came over loud-speakers broadcasting the Catholic pro-rebel Radio Veritas that an attack by troops loyal to President Marcos was imminent.
     The announcer's voice reverberated off nearby buildings as she appealed to the crowd: "Shine your flashlights on your faces to show that you are love and compassion, invoke the Virgin who protected the Philippines during the Japanese occupation, start the church bells ringing."  
Business Day 25 Feb

CRAME WAR ROOM - Rebel troopers prepared for battle. San Andres asked that final absolution be given him and his men. The men embraced and bade one another farewell. The radio played the PMA song, everyone stood up to sing it, some of them with tears welling in their eyes. Sunday Times Mag 2 Mar

Fidel Ramos: We were saying goodbye to the world and to each other. People started reaching out for their bibles, looking for their favorite passages. In my case I looked for Psalm 91, which is the psalm devoted to the protection of soldiers, and we found it very comforting.

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Marcos angrily rejected Bosworth and, going on television, claimed to be in control. IN OUR IMAGE p. 420

President Marcos accused former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and ex-Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos of wanting to grab power and run the government under a junta composed of Jaime Cardinal Sin, Corazon Aquino, Ramos, and a representative from business as members.
     Marcos said it was now obvious that Enrile and Ramos organized the coup d'etat that was supposed to take place Sunday morning. With this development Marcos said he considered Enrile and Ramos "guilty of rebellion and inciting to rebellion." Therefore he was "duty-bound to execute the law and the Constitution-the law of the land does not allow rebellion."
     Marcos said he still believed that a peaceful solution could be found to solve the crisis. "But I intend to enforce the law and I have enough power under the Constitution."  Business Day 24 Feb

Jose Almonte: Because of what the previous regime was doing -arresting people, even changing the structure of property and ownership - on grounds of national security, my feeling was that the action RAM was planning to take was the only right thing to do. The cumulation of all the actions of the Marcos administration had led to serious decay in the values of the people, even, to a sense of if we had lost our soul as a nation. And being among those legally authorized to handle the coercive powers of the state, we felt that it was up to us to do something about the situation.

Freddie Aguilar: Merong radyo sa opisina nina Ramos at Enrile. Naririnig ko kung anong inuutos ni Marcos. Full assault na, by land and by air. Diyos ko, eto na, 'kako, lulusubin na kami! Nagkasahan na naman 'yung mga sundalo.
(Over the radio in Ramos' and Enrile's office, I heard Marcos's orders. Full assault, by land and by air. God, here it comes, I thought, they're coming to get us! Once again, the soldiers cocked their weapons.)

FORT BONIFACIO - Ver and Ramas gave the signal for an all-out attack by riot police using tear gas, Marine artillery, helicopter gunships, and low level jet bombers.   Veritas Special Oct 86

CAMP CRAME - Over transistor radios, Marcos was heard vowing, "We'll wipe them out. It is obvious they are committing rebellion." Over Radio Veritas came Enrile's reply: "I am not going to surrender."Time 10 Mar

Freddie Aguilar: Nawala bigla 'yung mga sundalo, pati 'yung foreign correspondents. Apat na lang kami. Yung isa, photographer-reporter na Muslim, kinukunan ako ng litrato. Yung dalawa, tauhan ni Fr. Reuter na nagma-man ng VHS radio. Tinginan kami.
(Suddenly the soldiers and foreign correspondents disappeared. We were just four people in the room. A Muslim photographer-reporter who was taking my picture, and the two guys of Fr. Reuter who were manning the VHS radio. We exchanged looks. )

VILLAMOR AIR BASE, 5:15 AM - Sotelo asked the pilots if anybody wanted to back out. No one did. By coincidence, they received their first mission to fly two gunships to Fort Bonifacio. Sotelo used this as his cover. Business Day 12 Mar

THE WHITE HOUSE - Reagan still did not call publicly for the dictator to step down. The President flashed a private message to Marcos-his old friend was welcome to the US.
     Publicly, the White House announced that the US would cut off all military aid if Marcos used force against the rebels. But shortly after the message was released, clouds of gas rose around Camp Crame.
Veritas Special Oct 86

Rose Marie Arenas: That was the first time I really felt afraid because I had never been tear-gassed in my whole life, and my son was just a baby at the time and he was in the back of the car.

SANTOLAN, OUTSIDE CAMP AGUINALDO, 5:15 AM - Several tear gas bombs suddenly exploded, pushing the crowd back a few paces to wash their eyes and cover their faces with wet handkerchiefs.
     Out of the acrid smoke of the tear gas, the ghost-like figures of two members of a special anti-riot unit emerged, their black helmets glistening, their faces protected by gas masks.
Business Day 25 Feb

As riot troopers dispersed the crowds with truncheons and teargas, Col. Balbas's column broke through the east wall of Camp Aguinaldo and took up positions facing the rebel Camp Crame.
Veritas Special Oct 86

Hundreds of loyalists marched toward the civilian ranks headed by young seminarians and priests. The loyalist forces, which were soon joined by an Army unit, tried to advance on the crowd, wielding their truncheons and exploding more tear gas, but found themselves blocked by determined civilians. The crowd sang the National Anthem, prayed and applauded the loyalist troops, but refused to budge.  Business Day 25 Feb

Freddie Aguilar: Nakikinig ako sa Walkman ko. Nadinig ko si Keithley, tumatawag, we need more people, our brothers are being teargassed. (I was listening to Keithley on my Walkman. She was calling for more people.)

A JOURNALIST - The people were holding their ground. A strong gust of wind (I found out later) blew the teargas in the direction of the attackers. I'll never underestimate the power of prayer again. The soldiers seemed suitably impressed too. They ceased their attack and crosed over, to be welcomed with bear hugs and cheers. Quite a scene.   NINE LETTERS p. 29-30

Sonny Razon: We were telling Gen. Ramos that if we were shelled, or hit with helicopter fire, the first to go would be the third floor where we were. So we suggested moving down to the second floor. But he wouldn't go down! So what we did was to place a bomb blanket on top of his table-like what you do in explosives disposal; you cover the bomb with a blanket so that in case it detonates, there won't be any shrapnel. My plan was, when the shooting started, I'd force him down under the table.

Alex Sembrano: In case we were attacked, we would retreat to the Greenhills side where we had some 4 vehicles and soldiers waiting for us.

CAMP CRAME, Outside the War Room, 6:00 AM - A group of reporters huddled around a small transistor. Cardinal Sin was on the air. "May we come to a peaceful solution to our crises. ... I will bless the men in uniform, but only those who are for peace. Col. Luis San Andres, Gen. Ramos's public information man, smiled. "Huh, how's that for final absolution?" By the time Cardinal Sin said Amen, a soldier ordered everyone to leave the room. No one moved. The whirring of a helicopter broke the reporters' conversations.  Mr. & Ms. 28 Feb - 6 Mar

Freddie Aguilar: Eto na 'yung helicopter, naririnig ko, papalapit nang papalapit, palakas nang palakas. Tinginan kaming apat. Walang kumikibo.
(I could hear helicopters coming, closer and closer, louder and louder. The four of us exchanged looks. No one moved.)

ABOVE CAMP CRAME - All five gunships in the air, Sotelo felt serene. His pilot circled Camp Crame once.   Business Day 12 Mar

Fidel Ramos: It was just before dawn, when you could barely see the outline of anything in the sky. The sound of approaching helicopters filled the air.

Alex Sembrano: When those choppers came, that was the really scary part. We were just waiting. We had orders not to fire, not to shoot, unless they shot at us first. We were just waiting for the first round to hit us.

Rene Cruz: In the air, Sotelo's gunships were circling Camp Crame. We mistook the first pass for surveillance. We were sure that in the next pass, they'd start firing. All of us were really apprehensive. First, tanks and Marines. Now, the Air Force. We thought it was the beginning of the end. So I told the people, 'Disperse! Take cover!'

CAMP CRAME - At the crack of dawn Monday, Marine battalions began advancing from all directions. Then the roar of a dozen helicopters reached a terrifying crescendo. Soldiers bit their lips. Guns cocked. Squads ran to position. Reporters took cover. They were outnumbered and outarmed.   Mr & Ms. 28 Feb

ABOVE CAMP CRAME - On the second turn Sotelo's pilot slowed down and proceeded to land.   Business Day 12 Mar

Freddie Aguilar: Naku, sabi ko, eto na yata, nag-landing! Lulusubin yata kami by foot. Hinihintay ko na lang 'yung BANG! 'Yun na 'yon e. Alam kong uunahin 'yung building namin dahil nandoon sina Enrile at Ramos. Patay kami dito, parang ganoon ang nasa isip ko. Tapos biglang nagsigawan sila. Sigawan.
(I could hear them landing. I thought maybe they were coming at us on foot. I waited for the first bang, which would be it. Our building was the prime target since it contained Ramos and Enrile. I was sure we were dead ducks. Then I heard shouts. People were shouting.)

Rene Cruz: All of a sudden I saw that the helicopters were now coming in slowly, with lights on. I knew then that they were on our side. But I was afraid that the people might not realize it and fire at them, so I ran out and I was shouting like anything: 'Do not fire! They are coming in for us! They are joining us!'

CRAME GROUNDS, 6:20 AM - Seven Sikorskys bristling with rockets and cannon landed on the parade ground. The rebels braced themselves for a bloody attack.  Asiaweek 9 Mar

Out came airmen waving white flags and giving the L sign, a symbol of the opposition.  
 Time 3 Mar

The chopper crews disembarked in formation. There was a tense silence. Then a burst of clapping and cheering filled the air. A gigantic sigh of relief came. Smiles flashed. The man of the minute was Col. Antonio sotelo who led 16 combat pilots in a dramatic march to HQ.  
 Mr & Ms. 28 Feb

Rebel soldiers hugged the crews, and nuns walked onto the field to give them flowers.  
 Bulletin 25 Feb

Col. Antonio Sotelo said he was defecting with the entire elite 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force. He was cheered wildly by the crowd of soldiers and civilians who were expecting an air bombardment. Sotelo went up to the War Room where he was met with a tearful embrace by Ramos and his men.   
Sunday Times Mag 2 Mar

Fidel Ramos: Rene Cruz came bursting through the backdoor - our escape hatch - announcing that the Air Force had joined us. With him were Col. Sotelo and several of his pilots. There was instant applause and jubilation. It was totally unexpected. This was a major turning point in the revolution. Suddenly we had air power-the First NAFP Air Force.

ANTONIO SOTELO - "Minister Enrile with tears in his eyes hugged each and every one of us. Gen. Ramos and all the rest did the same thing. Morale went up 1000 percent. The enemy's morale went down 1000 per cent."   Veritas 16 Mar

Rene Cruz: At the time we really thought it was a miracle. What were our chances? If they had attacked us, we had nothing. We could fight maybe one day, two days, that's all.

Fidel Ramos: One of the first things we planned was a symbolic attack - using the helicopters of Col. Sotelo - against some targets in Malacañang, just to show that the rebels had acquired air attack capability.

CAMP AGUINALDO - Looking down from the high ground of Aguinaldo's golf course, Balbas had awesome firepower "boresighted" on the rebel headquarters only 200 meters away: 3 howitzers, 28 mortars, 6 rocket launchers, 6 machine guns, and 1000 rifles. Veritas Special Oct 86

Balbas got a briefing from Estrellado of ISAFP, not knowing that the unit had already joined the other side. Estrellado, tongue in cheek, gave an exaggerated picture of Camp Crame's strength.   BREAKAWAY p. 71

MANILA BAY - Commodore Tagumpay Jardiniano, Chief of the Naval Defense Force, held a conference of 50 officers on a gunboat. The graying commodore apologized to his men: "As early as Saturday I committed my unit in support of the Minister and Gen. Ramos for what I believe is a cause worth fighting for."
     After a stunned silence, the officers jumped to their feet and applauded. Soon a rebel frigate dropped anchor off the Pasig River and trained its guns on the Palace.  
Veritas Special Oct 86

Keithley got a call from someone claiming to represent the Presidential Security Command who said that Marcos "had just taken off." Then June got a call from Cory Aquino who said she had been told that Marcos had departed. This was followed by a call from Gen. Ramos announcing a "confirmed report" of the departure of the Marcos family.  
 QUARTET p. 57

6:27 AM - Keithley announced that "Mr. Marcos and Bongbong have just taken off from the Manila International Airport." She added-also falsely-that Ver's wife and Imelda Marcos left at 3:00 PM, Sunday, and Marcos daughters Imee and Irene the night before, leaving Gen. Ver "alone in Malacañang."
     Keithley told loyalist troops, "You are not fighting for anything or anyone anymore." The report was replayed for fifteen minutes and was credited with breaking the determination of the attacking Marines.   
Asiaweek 9 Mar

A JOURNALIST - The unbelievable news was that Marcos, Imelda and Ver had fled the country, and Marcos was presently in Guam. A shockwave of silence gripped the crowd, followed by wild whooping and cheering. Men and women openly wept with joy; strangers, hugged, danced, sang.   NINE LETTERS p. 30

MANDALUYONG, Doy Laurel's Residence, 6:30 AM - The topic of conversation was the setting up of a provisional government. Louie Villafuerte, Bobbit Sanchez, and Bono Adaza were designated to liaison with Minister Enrile on the subject.

CAMP CRAME, Around the same time - Enrile asked LABAN vice-president Tito Guingona to get in touch with Cory Aquino and Doy Laurel about setting up a provisional government. Enrile ordered that a skeletal cabinet be fashioned. He stressed that it should not be a military junta, but purely civilian government, and that the forces under him and Ramos wil constitute its military arm.   Inquirer 26 Feb

MBS TV CHANNEL 4, 7:00 AM - The announcement that President Marcos and his family had fled the country prompted a group of August Twenty-One Movement (ATOM) members headed by former Bureau of Land Transportation Chairman Mariano Santiago to go about taking over MBS 4, the government television station.   Philippine Daily Express 25 Feb

Fidel Ramos: We were on a high, so to speak, because of the 15th Strike Wing's defection to our side. Then came this news about the withdrawal of Marcos from Malacañang. I asked our intelligence staff to verify it from an asset inside Malacañang. Sabi daw, "Opo, nakaalis na" or words to that effect. So we went outside, Minister Enrile and I, to render a progress report to the people. Later on we made some speeches from the flagpole area inside the camp. I was jumping for joy because that's how happy we felt.

CAMP CRAME, Around 7:30 AM - Enrile and Ramos, surrounded by rebel troops, addressed the crowd inside and outside the camp. "This is the day of our liberation!" Enrile announced to a wildly cheering crowd.   Sunday Times Mag 2 Mar 86

The usually bland Ramos followed Enrile on the podium. Today he was absolutely ebullient, raising his clenched fist in the air and invoking People Power like a civilian politician.
     At the end of his speech the general, displaying a dash of uncharacteristic frivolity, did a frog jump into the air, which drew squeals of delight from the crowd.   

Two fighter bombers were seen, as if to follow up the attack that never was. The planes circled over Crame, tilted their wings and flew off in the direction of Clark. Their pilots had orders to bomb the camp but they didn't carry out their orders. The pilots were rebel officers.   BREAKAWAY p. 80

Sonny Razon: The lead pilot was the late Major Baula. Luckily he was sympathetic to RAM. He had orders to bomb or strafe Crame but he did not.

Rene Cruz: They were going to bomb us. Suddenly they saw a big big cross, from Cubao to Ortigas, and the length of Santolan across, filled with people. It's what stopped them, they say.

LUIS D. BELTRAN - The rejoicing at Marcos's departure (whether supposed or real) was almost manic. People cried in joy, ran out in the streets, embraced and hugged each other as if someone had announced that the Bubonic Plague was over.   Inquirer 25 Feb

Freddie Aguilar:
Ako, question mark. Ganyan ba kadali si Marcos? Hindi ako makapaniwala. Sobrang bilis naman ng rebolusyong ito, sabi ko. Tapos biglang narinig ko 'yung zoom zoom ng dalawang jet. Nag-join na din pala. Nakinig uli ako sa radyo. Si Marcos nagsasalita. Inikot ko yung dial. Lahat ng station si Marcos. Sabi ko sa katabi ko, si Marcos, nagsasalita. Sabi niya, hindi, tape 'yan.
I couldn't believe it was that easy to get rid of Marcos. It was going too fast, this revolution. Then I heard the zooming of two jets that had also just joined the rebels. I tuned in to the radio again. Marcos was talking. I turned the dial. Marcos was on all the stations. I told the guy beside me, it's Marcos. The guy said, no, that's a tape recording.
Strangers flashed wide grins at each other. Children in yellow T-shirts jumped in the streets waving yellow banners. Motorists honked their horns to the now familiar beat, "La-ban...La-ban...!" Teenagers aboard vehicles joyously waved the Philippine flag. Soldiers at Camp Crame flashed the L-sign at passersby shouting, "Maligayang Bagong Taon! (Happy New Year!)" Posters urging everyone to pray for peace were immediately replaced by new ones proclaiming the Filipino people's victory.
Tears rolled down the faces of the multitude, including rebel Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile who, together with ally AFP chief Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, threw open the gates of Camp Crame to share with the people the moment of rejoicing. Soldiers and civilians embraced one another
 Malaya 25 Feb

Tito Guingona was unable to locate Cory right away. Dropping by MP Cecilia Munoz Palma's place, he met instead with LABAN statesmen Senators Lorenzo Tanada, Jose Diokno, and Jovito Salonga, who all backed up the idea of immediately forming a civilian government with Cory at the helm. Cory contacted Tito at Palma's place. Inquirer 26 Feb

Cory Aquino: In the morning of Monday, when I met with the leaders of the opposition - Pepe Diokno, Jovy Salonga, Celing Palma, and Senator Tanada, Joker Arroyo was also there - they said, we just want you to know that your name is no longer being mentioned by Johnny Ponce Enrile in Crame. Whereas on the first day, my name was constantly being mentioned, even on Sunday, on Monday things had apparently changed, taken a 180-degree turn, and I agreed with the opposition leaders that it was imperative that I took my oath of office. So we called in the lawyers, Neptali Gonzalez and Rene Saguisag, to prepare the oath that I would be taking that afternoon.

DZRJ - Corazon Aquino thanked the people for support "given not only to me and Doy Laurel but to Gen. Ramos and Minister Enrile" and urged them to continue "peaceful non-violent moves."   Asiaweek 9 Mar

For a moment the historians were ready to mark February 24, 1986 as the "L-day." At exactly 9:00 AM however, President Marcos appeared on television and declared a state of emergency throughout the archipelago.   Malaya 25 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Marcos ordered Cendana to put him and his family on TV to disprove the story of his departure. BREAKAWAY p. 76

The crowds were pounding at the gates, demanding that the guards let them in because the Marcoses had left.  
Op. cit., p.79

Malacañang again summoned the generals to be on TV with Marcos to disprove Keithley's report.   Op. cit., p. 78

Reporter Vic Tanedo came early in response to Cendana's invitation. He saw Mrs. Marcos crying in the President's study. Marcos was talking into the telephone and Tanedo guessed it was President Reagan at the other end because Marcos was saying, "But Mr. President, I have to do this."
     When Mrs. Marcos stepped out of the study, her eyes now dry, she was met by reporter Amy Pamintuan who told her about the mob outside. Mrs. Marcos said she would take her car and ride out there where she could wave at the people to prove that the Marcoses were still in the country.
     Mrs. Marcos had gone down to board her car when Marcos emerged from his study and had aides call her back. Marcos told her to wake up the children for their TV appearance.   
Op. cit., p. 79

Alex Sembrano: It was General Paiso who first told me about Marcos. "Marcos just came out on TV," he said. "He's still here, you know. It isn't true that he has left. Can you get in touch with the general?" So I called up Major Razon by radio and I told him the news. He said, "Okay, we're going back in." 

MBS TV 4, BOHOL AVE. - Santiago talked to the station's security officer, a certain Col. Ronas, and tried to persuade him to abandon the station and stop the airing of President Marcos's Sunday night message. Ronas however said he and his men would not leave but defend it.
     A few minutes later, two truckloads of reformist soldiers emerged from Quezon Avenue and started to surround the compound. Before the troopers could position themselves, two gunshots rang out, apparently fired by a sniper on the second level of Channel 4's transmitter tower. Soon reformists returned fire as the crowd ran for cover. Then there was a long lull.
Daily Express 25 Feb

LUIS D. BELTRAN - 8:38 A.M. Events were overtaking every effort of newspapermen to report the flow of news... The Filipino people were either completely informed or misinformed depending on which radio station or which TV channel you were hearing or watching.
     The instant media were in total confusion, and with Radio Veritas knocked out, it was anybody's guess who was telling the truth. In the meantime we in the Inquirer together with the rest of news media were in no better position. The wires filed stories and withdrew them in rapid succession. UPI, for example, filed a story that Marcos was still in charge and then withdrew it as having been inadvertently filed. Our own reporters were out in the field with all our photographers, and their stories were in as much conflict as all of the rest.
     If our journalism those days was technically faulty-as in that issue in which we had three headlines-please remember that we were putting out the Inquirer in between looking over our shoulders waiting for troops to take us away.  
Inquirer 25 Feb

Eggie Apostol: It was like a circus. The unexpected was there all the time and of course there was the thrill of being mentioned as going to be put into prison. We had to keep looking at our backs. At the same time we were so angry that I think the outrage was stronger than the feeling of danger.

MENDIOLA, MANILA, Early Morning - Apparently brought by rumors that Marcos had fled the country, several hundred people gathered near Mendiola Bridge, only to find the usual dense row of barricades still in place, along with combat-ready Marines wearing white armbands.
     There were at least 50 soldiers toting Armalites and grenade launchers; a sand-bagged emplacement on one side of the bridge behind the wire sprouted what looked like the muzzle of an M-60 machinegun, with a long belt of ammunition trailing onto the pavement.
     Far from being daunted by the sight of arms and troops, the people started doing something which would have been unthinkable (and possibly fatal) just weeks ago: they started dismantling the barricade.
While the Marines watched, the iron horses (so long a famous symbol for frustrated demonstrators) were dragged towards waiting companions who started tearing them apart with rocks, small pliers and bare hands.
     "A remembrance," said one man as he displayed a strip of barbed wire he had twisted off. Strips were bent into circles and then decorated with yellow ribbons.
     About four of the iron barriers were stripped bare before the Marines fired warning shots into the air (a student said later that someone had thrown a rock at them), sending people scampering down CM Recto Ave.   
Manila Times 25 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO - Soldiers of opposing sides were in plain view of one another, with nobody having the desire to shoot at the "enemy."
     Right within Aguinaldo were Lt. Col. Jerry Albano and his Security and Escort Battalion of 200 officers and men, a unit of GHQ command that decided on the first day to join the troops protecting Enrile and Ramos. Albano was wearing the miniature Philippine flag as shoulder patch which Enrile and Ramos and everybody else in the rebel camp was wearing. On this day the flag had the sun pointed down to indicate it was Day 3 of the revolution. The patch was turned clockwise 90 degrees everyday, starting with the sun up.
     Also in the camp were soldiers belonging to the El Diablo group dedicated to reform at the enlisted men's level and to deal with organized crime with a mailed fist. They took positions observing the left flank of Balbas's troops. Albano's battalion was poised to hit from the right.
     At Balbas's rear, some distance away to be out of sight, was Task Force Delta, composed of Camp Crame constables. Although these rebel units had Balbas's Marines boxed in, they would not be taking any hostile action. Their orders were not to fire unless fired upon.   

MBS TV CHANNEL 4, 9:15 AM - Marcos went on the air. Imelda and daughter Irene were seated a little to his right. Grandson Borgy was running all over the place. Bongbong emerged later, dressed in fatigues.
Marcos declared a state of emergency even as he castigated the press and broadcast media for their partisanship and irresponsibility in announcing that he had fallen.   
Malaya Sun Mag 23 Mar

CAMP CRAME - Enrile and Ramos were about to hold a press conference. Civilians as well as reporters were crammed into the pressroom.
     Someone turned on the TV. Marcos was announcing that, contrary to reports, he had not left the country. He stressed that he had no plans to resign or concede.  
Mr & Ms21 Mar

Freddie Aguilar: Nagkagulo na! Pinatakbo 'yung isa para sabihin sa mga taong 'wag munang magsiuwian.
(Utter chaos! Someone was sent running to tell the people not to go home yet.)

Enrile checked and learned that Marcos was indeed still in Malacañang. He instructed Gen. Ramos to send a team "to take over Channel 4." In the meantime he sent a helicopter group "to fly over Malacañang and hit the area with rockets." His order was not to hit the Palace itself "because we do not want to harm the President."   QUARTET p. 85

Fidel Ramos: Of course we were very disappointed to hear that Mr. Marcos was still in Malacañang. I told everybody, "Well, we just have to go back to work." First we dispatched teams to try to capture or control Channel 4 which was being used to beam the messages of Mr. Marcos. Then we proceeded with the planned action against Malacañang.

CAMP AGUINALDO, 9:00 AM - Gen. Josephus Ramas gave Balbas and his Marines the "kill order." With his artillery ready to fire at pointblank range, Balbas lied to Ramas. "We are still positioning the cannons and we are looking for maps."
Ramas: "The President is on the other line waiting for compliance!"  Veritas Special Oct 86

Balbas tried to contact Tadiar to check if Ramas's order was really cleared by Marcos. Balbas was told Tadiar had gone to Malacañang. He tried to reach Brawner but nobody knew where Brawner was.   BREAKAWAY p. 77

MBS TV CHANNEL 4 - President Marcos said that the government's "maximum tolerance" policy had been lifted. The government would now defend all installations, including communications, and freedom of the air, so that the government could operate more smoothly.
     He said radio and television stations should not broadcast any news about military operations without first confirming them from the Office of Media Affairs.
     Also, his inauguration would go on as scheduled tomorrow noon. He appealed to civilians being used as human barricades to get out of the line of fire just in case hostilities took place.   
Daily Express 25 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO, 9:20 AM - Ramas again barked the command through the radio: "Colonel, fire your howitzers now!" Balbas replied, "Sir, I am still positioning the cannons."   BREAKAWAY p. 77

EDSA - Frantic efforts got the people back to the barricades. This time, millions took to the streets.  Sun Inq Mag 1 Jun

June Keithley: Until now, marami ang nagsasabi, 'June, propaganda lahat 'yon, nagpagamit ka lang.' Sabi nila, at that specific time when I announced the news na umalis na si Marcos, kakaunti ang tao sa EDSA. Marami ang natakot lumabas dahil nagti-teargas na sa Libis. Pero, on hearing the news of Marcos's departure, nagsidatingan na lahat ng tao. The crowd not only doubled, but tripled. And then came the news na hindi pa nakakaalis si Marcos. And so these people daw were trapped in EDSA to become a bigger buffer force between the Marcos military and the rebels.
(Until now I am told, "June, that was all propaganda, you were used." They say that when I announced the news that Marcos had left, there were not too many people in EDSA. Most people had stayed home because of the teargassing in Libis. But on hearing of Marcos's departure, the people started pouring in. ... Then came the news that Marcos hadn't left yet. By then the people were trapped in EDSA and had grown into a bigger buffer force between the Marcos military and the rebels.)

Fidel Ramos: I think it was a comedy of errors, really. I cannot claim credit for deliberately creating that situation. I do admit having used propaganda techniques for the purpose of enhancing the morale of the people while demoralizing the elements hostile to us. But in this particular case, we were on the receiving end of the news. Pina-verify pa nga namin. Siguro there were clear signs of departure or retreat.

MBS TV CHANNEL 4 - In the middle of Marcos's presscon, Gen. Ver requested the President's permission to attack Camp Crame. However Mr. Marcos restrained Ver. "My order is not to attack." He added though that "if any attempt is made to take over any military installation," Ver and all military commanders were to defend their personnel and installations with small-arms fire.
The President was emphatic in his directive against the use of any heavy weapons like tanks, mortars, recoilless rifles, and others. However he authorized the use of anti-aircraft weapons against some helicopters taken by some rebel military men.
25 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO - After frantic efforts with the telephone, Balbas finally got connected with Tadiar who was at the Community Hall in Malacañang Park with other generals.
     "Sir, I have been receiving orders from Gen. Ramas to fire the LVTH-6's at Camp Crame. Is this cleared by Malacañang?" Tadiar asked him to wait while he verified. He drove off toward the Palace.   

CAMP CRAME - Major Charles Hotchkiss's 20th Air Commando Squadron of the 15th Strike Wing got its first mission: cripple the Malacañang radio transmitter. One Sikorsky gunship was sent up.   Ibid.

Fidel Ramos: We also continued that morning to gather more units to our side. The 5th Fighter Wing finally declared for the Enrile-Ramos forces, as well as Clark Air Base under Col. Romy David. It was not all propaganda. Especially when I was reporting about important units of combat forces defecting to us, that wasn't propaganda. When I said we now have the 12 regional commands of the PC-INP-countrywide 'yan-I had first verified that with each of them or, if they were not around, with their deputy commanders. When it was about military defections, there was a basis in truth and reality for what we were saying. Because when there is a crisis, you cannot use propaganda, you cannot use bola, kailangan talagang nakausap mo sila, talagang nangako sila na susuportahan ka. Kung nambobola ka lang, lalong hindi ka nila susuportahan.

CAMP CRAME - The gunship returned within minutes. The pilot could not see the transmitter.
     Evangelista and his co-pilot 1st Lt. Richelieu Halagao were instructed to inflict "just the desired amount of damage." They were to hit Malacañang with a few rockets to rattle, but not hurt, its occupants.

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Tadiar met with Gen. Ver who told him that Marcos indeed approved the fire order.
Tadiar picked up the phone to Balbas in Camp Aguinaldo. "I think the order of Ramas has been cleared. So you may fire."
"Sir, if I may," said Balbas, "the people have been let inside Crame already and we will be hurting a lot of civilians."
Tadiar paused. "Then hold your fire and use your discretion."   
Veritas Special Oct 86

Alex Sembrano: It was mostly psychological warfare. Like with Col. Balbas-General Ramos asked his relatives, his wife and children, to call Col. Balbas and tell him that they were in EDSA. That's why Balbas couldn't pull the trigger.

MBS TV COMPOUND - Following an exchange of gunfire a demonstrator waving a yellow Cory banner crossed the street and scaled the wall of the compound. At this juncture, a wounded Army man came out from the compound signalling the surrender of troops outside the building.   Bulletin 25 Feb

USA - Shultz and Armacost met at the State Department with Blas Ople, Marcos's Minister of Labor, who came to plead the Philippine President's case. The Americans gave Ople a blunt message: Marcos had lost control of his army, the troops under Gen. Ver are ineffectual, and if Marcos does not step down, the country could be heading for civil war.  
 Time10 Mar

CHANNEL 4, 9:56 AM - Marcos was still on. As he was about to answer a reporter's question of how he was in control, the television screen blacked out.   Malaya Sunday Mag 23 Mar

Fidel Ramos: The capture of Channel 4 was effected by then Major Rudy Aguinaldo who became governor of Cagayan, assisted by my senior aide, Major Sonny Razon. And on the streets they were supported by people power organized by Col. Mar Santiago, who used to be chief of the Land Transportation Office. In a sense, the false alarm turned out to be a good thing because it spurred us to greater actions. Like taking over as much of the media as possible.

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Marcos was visibly disturbed although he continued with the presscon as if nothing happened. Information Minister Gregorio Cendana was less composed as he fiddled around with the television's channel selector. His face dropped as he saw that all other channels except 4 were on the air.   Inquirer 28 Feb

MALACAÑANG PARK, 10:00 AM - The Presidential helicopters landed in the Pangarap complex across the river from the Palace. The Air Force group was composed of five pilots and four soldiers.   QUARTET p. 62

NAGTAHAN SIDE, MALACANANG, 10:15 AM - Marines and Presidential Security Command troopers in full battle gear kept cocking their automatic rifles as a crowd of about 3,000 began inching towards Malacanang.
Several V-150 commando cars with mounted cannons started blocking Nagtahan Bridge by mid-morning. The maneuver was met with jeers from area residents and people who marched all the way from Camp Crame, one of whom was waving a huge Philippine flag.   
Veritas Extra 25 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Tommy Manotoc received a call from JUSMAG's Brig. Gen. Ted Allen who offered American helicopters or navy boats to transport the ailing Marcos and his entourage out of the beleaguered Palace.   MALACAÑANG p. 148

OVERHEAD - Evangelista's gunship popped up behind the Manila Post Office, and in seconds was poised to fire at the palace.
The attack came so fast that although many handheld guns blazed at the helicopter as it sped over the Palace, only one bullet, probably from an Armalite, went through its right side. Anti-aircraft guns in the tanks failed to fire.   

MALACAÑANG PALACE - When the bombs fell on Malacanang, all the Marcoses, from the president to the smallest grandchild descended to the ground floor, near the elevator, where it was safest.   

The generals and other officers scrambled for armored vests. The First Family huddled in a room and came out of the attack unscathed. Marcos went through the incident calmly. Then he was angry. Cendana knew another press conference was in the offing.   

The 15th Strike Wing fired six rockets, hitting the room of Imelda Marcos and the garden. Damage was negligible but it conveyed the warning that the rebel force could strike any target at will.   
Business Day 12 Mar

One rocket hit the garden of Dona Josefa Edralin Marcos's garden, about 30 to 50 meters from the helicopters. Some shrapnels hit the choppers but they were still flyable.   

Gate 2 was strafed, wounding the ankles of two soldiers on guard and damaging the Audi sportscar of Presidential son-in-law Gregorio Araneta.
Mr & Ms 21 Mar

In a rage following the rocket attack, Gen. Ver radioed the Wing commander of the F-5 Fighters then over Malacañang. "This is Gen. Ver! Bomb Camp Crame immediately!"
     "Yes, sir!" answered the rebel squadron commander. "Proceeding to bomb Malacañang Palace now!" Marcos had lost his jet fighters.   
Veritas Special Oct 86

CAMP AGUINALDO - Balbas got a "frantic call" from Col. Irwin Ver, Commander of the Palace Guard, ordering a "full attack" on the rebels. Lying boldly, Ver said the Palace was hit and they suffered 10 casualties.   Ibid.

This was followed by a call from Tadiar asking if Balbas had fired as ordered. Balbas replied, "Sir, there is danger that there would be an unacceptable number of civilian casualties."

MBS TV COMPOUND - The Reformists and their supporters formed ad hoc committees. Tony Santos for production, Fr. Efren Datu for radio, Orly Punzalan for TV, Judge Gutierrez for accreditation, and Jose Mari Velez for news.  Malaya Sun Mag 13 Apr

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Presidential Press Staff head Lito Gorospe was forced to phonepatch Marcos with crony-owned Broadcast City housing Channels 2, 9, and 13. From his home Gorospe held together two telephone headpieces, Marcos on one line, Broadcast City on the other. But Gorospe had a partyline who lifted the phone all of a sudden. And a giggly girl's voice went on the air: "Hello? Hello? Who's this?"   Inquirer 28 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO - Another order came from Ramas to fire the howitzers and mortars at Crame. Balbas came back with a familiar tune. "Sir, we are looking for maps and positioning the cannons and mortars."
Ramas told Balbas, "General Oropesa is going there by helicopter to supervise the operation."   

CAMP CRAME - Gador of the Cagayan 100 intercepted the message about Oropesa's going to Camp Aguinaldo.  Op. cit., p. 84

MALACANANG PALACE, 11:30 AM - Sgt. Reginaldo Albano received a document signed by Marcos, addressed to Ver:
     "An emergency now exists on account of the conspiracy to assassinate the President and the First Lady and carry out a coup d'etat. The emergency is exacerbated from day to day by continuing news reports, comments, interviews, and feature stories which purvey orchestrated false propaganda to inflame public passions and conceal the fact that the government is stable and is in full control throughout the country.
     "In view of the foregoing, you are hereby ordered to close down operations of all newspapers of so-called `Alternative press' specifically those listed hereunder:
     "(1) The Philippine Inquirer (2) Malaya & We Forum (3) Veritas (4) Mr & Ms (5) The Manila Times (6) Business Day (7) Sun Times (8) Free Press.
     "You shall implement this order immediately."  
Inquirer 29 May

MBS TV COMPOUND, 11:30 AM - The people took over Channel 4 amid applause and the familiar "Cory! Cory! Cory!" chant, accompanied by car horns blasting away in unison. A big yellow-clad crowd walked victoriously up Bohol Avenue towards the station. At the intersection of Bohol and Cebu Avenues, a yellow pick-up truck was parked, its public address system playing the Ave Maria hymn. A priest astride the truck set up an improvised altar for a thanksgiving Mass.
On the sidewalk in front of MBS 4, the crowd cheered as the lobby portrait of Marcos was carried out and burned.
Inquirer 25 Feb

11:45 AM - Radio Veritas began broadcasting with MBS 4 facilities. Maan Hontiveros sent a note to Col. Santiago, who was inside the compound, that she and a technical TV crew were ready to help start up telecasting on the newly liberated MBS 4. Ibid.

MALACAÑANG PARK - The helicopter crews were getting restless. They expected to fly out the President and his family but no orders came. They consulted their commander who was a relative of Mrs. Marcos. He said they could do whatever they wanted: stay in Malacañang, retire to Villamor, or go over to Crame. The commander assured them that their names had already been submitted to Crame so they would not be harmed there.
     Since the pilots considered themselves professionals, neither loyalists nor reformists, but soldiers assigned to fly the President, whoever the President might be, they decided to stay on.  

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Watching the President grope from hallway to bedroom, Aruiza realized that the momentum of events was now too swift for the President's reflexes. The gloom of dusk seemed to have descended on his mind; through this fog, the reality of conflict and danger at times broke, a pin of light touched his consciousness long enough to provoke a spark of alertness and a flash of the old will power. Then the medicines brought their peculiar twilight again, and the calm and contentment of his bedroom filled his ailing body once more. He could not have, even if he wanted to, reacted except languidly to the mounting peril. MALACAÑANG pp. 127-8

Sonny Razon: By this time we had civilians with us who had radios and were monitoring the frequency of Gen. Ver. There was this general whom Gen. Ramas ordered: 'Get the helicopters from Villamor, pick up the Rangers, and proceed to Camp Aguinaldo.' One of us suggested that we beat them to the helicopters in Villamor. 

CAMP CRAME, 12:00 NOON - Sotelo dispatched three gunships. "Look for helicopters, Huey or whatever, anywhere in the air or on the ground, and shoot them.   Business Day 12 Mar

The three helicopters flew over Bonifacio. There was no helicopter on the ground there. They then turned to Villamor. There were five helicopters aligned at the flight line with crew obviously preparing the aircraft.
     Hotchkiss caught their radio frequency and said, "I ask you to vacate the area. Get out of the helicopters and just vanish because I have orders to destroy the helicopters."
     The reply: "Come and get it."
     When the tarmac was cleared, the raiders strafed the five helicopters on the ground with fifty caliber bullets. All were completely crippled. One exploded. There were also C-130's, Fokkers, Nomads and other planes there. Not one of them grazed by a single bullet. Neat job.

CAMP AGUINALDO - Balbas received a call and instructions from Tadiar. "Establish a modus vivendi with the hostile forces. Tell them you are withdrawing. Then take your unit back to Bonifacio right away."
     By 12:30 PM the Marines pulled out by way of the Logistics Command, took the route along Rodriquez Avenue and Shaw Boulevard. The human barricades along Shaw broke ranks for them to go through smoothly.   
Op. cit., p. 85

Freddie Aguilar: Kausap ko sina Armida nung dumating ang misis ko, nag-donate ng bigas, at para kumustahin ako. Sabi ko, mukhang OK naman, hindi delikado pag araw. Ang feeling ko nga, nakakaistorbo pa ako sa mga tao, pag nakikita nila ako, nagkakagulo na, humihingi ng kanta, e halos wala pa 'kong tulog. Sabi ko, babalik na lang ako mamayang gabi.
(I was chatting with Armida when my wife arrived. She brought a sack of rice and wanted to know how we were. I said it was less dangerous during the day. In fact I felt like I was just disturbing the peace because when people saw me, they'd shout for some singing and I wasn't up to it. I hardly had any sleep. I told them I'd be back that night.)

Rose Marie Arenas: We were praying with the nuns. The priests were saying mass here, mass there. There were trucks coming in with lots of coffee and food, tons and tons of food, and more barricades.

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 1:00 PM - Ver gave secret orders to Piccio to launch an air attack on Crame. Piccio replied, "But, sir, we have no more gunships. They have just been destroyed."
     Ver looked around for pilots at Malacañang. He got a few. But he could not give them planes. Thefighter-bombers were at Clark without gas.   
Op. cit., p. 87

MBS-4 - Tito Cruz, a senior newscaster of Radio Veritas recalled the moment he stepped foot inside the radio station. "It was so dark . When I entered the booth I had to use my lighter to see the right switches."
Cruz's first words on the air were: "I would like to announce to the public that MBS-4 has been secured by the forces of the people. Let us pray and thank God for our freedom."   M
anila Times 26 Feb

THE NEW CHANNEL 4, 1:25 PM - "Channel 4 is back on the air to serve the people. Now you will get the truth from this channel." With these words Orly Punzalan inaugurated the New Channel 4.
Maan Hontiveros, feisty producer of Ms. Ellaneous, a defunct Channel 4 program, continued with, "I'm very happy to be a part of the first free broadcast of Channel 4."   
Malaya Sun Mag 13 Apr

Maan and Orly called on the former technicians of ABS-CBN, whose facilities were used by the government during the martial law era, to report back to work.   
Manila Times 26 Feb

The first few hours on the air were scraped together by Hontiveros and mostly Radio Veritas mainstays Punzalan, Frankie Batacan, Keithley, Frs. Ben, Larry, and Guido, Harry Gasser, and Bishop Buhain.   
Mr & Ms 7 Mar

Complaints and appeals poured in from various sectors. Through radio and TV broadcasts, people were mobilized and sent to areas where vast crowds were needed to ward off attacks of Marcos loyalist forces, notably MBS-4 itself, and Camps Crame and Aguinaldo.
     A few callers suggested names for the "liberation" radio and TV stations. Radyo Pilipino, they complained, was already being used by radio stations owned by presidential crony Eduardo Cojuangco. Interesting names cropped up: Radyo Cory, Radyo Laban, Radyo Ninoy, Radyo Pinoy.
     Tia Dely, the famous radio personality, came with a batch of favorite Pilipino songs. The Radio Veritas staff, in its haste to man the government stations, forgot to bring the hot hits of the past weeks, Mambo Magsaysay and Onward Christian Soldiers.
     Entertainers, TV and movie stars also came to the station to broadcast news and to perform. There were Jim Paredes, Noel Trinidad, Subas Herrero who jubilantly said before the camera: "Tama na, sobra na!" and then paused. "Ang sarap sabihin (on the air) ano?"
     Nobody captured the feeling better than Tia Dely. She said on air, "Sa wakas, nagbubukang liwayway na rin. (At long last, we are seeing the dawn.)"  
Manila Times 26 Feb

BOHOL AVENUE - The people sprang into action to defend the new-found freedom of the airwaves. Metro Manila Transit buses were immediately commissioned into the service as barricades at crucial entry points to the facilities. A milling crowd maintained barricades for the next 34 hours, many barricaders shunting back and forth from Bohol Avenue to the Crame area.   Ibid.

SANTOLAN, LIBIS, 2:00 PM - A jeepload and a truckload of Philippine Marines screeched to a halt in front of a human barricade of 200 boys and girls from the Ateneo University. The Marines demanded to pass to assault Camp Crame. The kids-of high school and college age-shook their heads and refused to budge. They pleaded with the soldiers to go back, or else join the revolution. Stand-off.
     After a half hour, the Marine officer-in-charge lost patience. He gave the order, "Fix bayonets!" as the horrifed nuns and priests and kids, who had linked arms, listened. Then he instructed his men: "When you advance, don't think of anything. Just thrust your way through." They started marching forward in lockstep, their sharp bayonets glistening.
At the last minute, the priests ordered the students to give way-and the Marines pushed their way through. Many students fell to the ground or hugged each other, sobbing in anger and frustration.
PEOPLE POWER (II) 1986, p. 208-209

MANDALUYONG, 2:00 PM - In Doy Laurel's residence, the Batasan members continued the plans for putting up a new government. Cory Aquino joined the group as did Guingona and Palma.
     The MP's recommended that the new government not be provisional in nature, but constitutional, de jure, and permanent. The MP's tackled the question of documentation of the event, such as the procedure of the proclamation, the drafting of the text, the framework to be followed. A unanimous decision was also made to have a proclamation ceremony on Monday evening.
     Lastly they tackled the list of Cabinet positions as well as the vital publc utilities to be filled up. Laurel presented Cory with his listing of 15 Cabinet positions, together with suggested names to fill them. One eyewitness said it made Cory's eyes pop out. Inquirer 26 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE, About 3 PM - Ambassador Peter Sung of Singapore called with an urgent message from his government to the president. Singapore was offering President Marcos its hospitality and inviting him and his family to fly there.
     After hearing it, the president was silent, but after the brief pause, he said he had no intention of leaving the country and was nevertheless grateful to Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew for his and his government's solicitude.   MALACAÑANG p. 129

EDSA, 3:00 PM - An overflowing crowd filled up EDSA from Cubao to Ortigas Avenue, the Santolan Road from San Juan up to Libis, Murphy, and all subsidiary streets surrounding Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame.   Bulletin 25 Feb

People power was still at its greatest-in power and intensity-as more than two million people converged on the Cubao area to Greenhills and the vicinity of Ortigas to Antipolo to protect Enrile, Ramos, and other officials.   Op. cit.

Fidel Ramos: Regarding the number of people who were in EDSA, this is where there was a little exaggeration because we were encouraging the people to come and to stay.

BARRICADES - The sights were a near-surreal melange of burning tires, activist flags, and streamers, tents, vendors, sandbags, vehicles, portable radios, candles, percussionists marching to the Ati-Atihan beat, foreign correspondents, entertainment personalities trying to catch attention with cheap gimmicks, and religious altars everywhere.
     The atmosphere was generally relaxed and festive, almost like a carnival where crowds endlessly streamed past each other, old friends and old acquaintances meeting and reuniting with one another, strangers throwing sandwiches and biscuits to the crowd, and families distributing other food and refreshments. Everywhere one turned his head, there were ubiquitous images of the Blessed Mary. Religious icons as part of the barricades.
      To be sure, the barricades consisted of several layers: private cars, panels, buses, garbage trucks, sandbags, ropes and strings; the religious statues and the people standing, kneeling in prayer, or slumped on the pavements, sometimes arms inter-linked.  Malaya Sunday Mag 9 Mar

THE NEW CHANNEL 4 - In came the superstars, the not-so stars, the propagandists of Cory. The station became a Cory-Enrile-Ramos propaganda machine non-stop 24 hours.   Ibid.

Volunteers turned up en masse: stars, telephone receptionists, food brigades, technicians, cameramen, many abandoning posts at the other TV and radio stations where the Marcos grip refused to relax.
     The 24-hour teleplay featured everything from Mommy-I'm-fine messages to requests for toothbrushes to T-shirts to briefs (for soldiers who hadn't changed for days); from reports of defections to news on what the rest of the world thought of the      situation; from discussions of legalese to stories about people power.
The crudity of the show's programming was explained by sources to be the result of the cannibalization of the station. Millions of pesos worth of equipment were said to be lost. Keys to the OB vans, cameras, and other equipment were reported missing.
     Cameramen and other technicians undertook their jobs without knowing whether there was a possibility of relief since recruitment of technicians took a slightly more troublesome route than the recruitment of stars who seemed to pour in continuously.
     Jumpy security men at the gates had to bar hordes of people-whether they were Con-Con delegates or volunteers-for fear of infiltrators. Aesthetics took a while to establish.   Mr & Ms 7 Mar

CAMP CRAME, Afternoon ­ Ramos and Enrile were watching the first television boradcast over Channel 4. They applauded when a military officer explained why soldiers should pledge their allegiance to the rebel forces.
     The conversation turned to other issues. Ramos told Enrile his stand on political detainees: "We can work with the cause-oriented ones, but we have to keep out the hardcore communists."
     Enrile asked that Brig. Gen. Gen. Samuel Soriano, chief of the legal affairs division of the Ministry of National Defense, be called by telephone. He instructed him to "review expeditiously" the cases of all political detainees "who have unjustly been detained under the Marcos government," preparatory to their release.   Business Day 26 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 3:00 PM - Ochoco called for a conference to plan the defense of Malacañang and counter-action to regain ground lost to Enrile and Ramos. The outcome was the organization of a Malacañang Defense Group with Ochoco as chief, Brawner as his assistant for operations. The group intended to retake television and radio stations already in rebel hands.

Ver directed Col. Romeo Ochoco of the Air Force to arrange for the evacuation of his close friend, Mrs. Edna Camcam, and her children.   Op. cit., p. 88

Mrs. Brawner called up her husband, exerted pressure on him to join the other side, reported that Commodore Tagumpay Jardiniano and some other PMA classmates were already in Camp Crame.   Op. cit., p. 90

GMA CHANNEL 7, QUEZON CITY - A group of Army men on board a truck and jeep swooped down on Channel 7, a television station located a few blocks away from MBS 4. The Army group, estimated at 30 men led by Lt. Leo Carisa, secured the compound which houses Channel 7, DWLS-FM and several radio stations. Carisa said they were ordered to secure the Channel 7 compound to stop it from broadcasting anti-government propaganda.
     Starwatcher Inday Badiday was broadcasting over 7's DZBB when the loyalists entered the station, demanding that she go off the air. Inday refused to relinquish her air waves except on the orders of the station head.   Bulletin 25 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Col. Romeo Lim phoned Brawner from Ranger headquarters to report a "serious morale problem" among the troops. Brawner asked for permission to go to his headquarters. Ver declined. Brawner called up Ramas. Ramas said he would consult with Marcos. After 10 minutes, Ver told Brawner he could go but he should convince his boys to do their duty.

Rene Cruz: It really felt like a miracle was happening. Soldiers not firing even when ordered to, my own children and wife out in EDSA and actually enjoying it, and the weather so nice and cool throughout the four days.

MIKE MARABUT ­ My children and the older grandchildren were all at EDSA. Not always together, but for the next three days they would just go home to have lunch or dinner and then go back to the highway on their own.
Were we afraid of whatever? Yes. In our conversations, it all came out. What do we do if the planes fire on the crowd? What do we do if the soldiers use tear gas? What do we do if there is panic in the crowd?
We instructed one another. Try to stay near a wall. Lie on the ground if there is firing. Always have a handkerchief or towel, wet if possible, in case of tear gas. Stay cool.   Business World 24 Feb 95

Joe Almonte: If there was any in RAM that really planned on violence, it was our group, a small group. The miracle is that the plans we put up did not happen. As Gen. Ramos would say, EDSA must have been scripted in heaven. We were only acting out what the Lord, as commander-in-chief, must have wanted to happen. On the part of the people, everything was spontaneous, no one commanded anyone to stand before a tank, but they did, voluntarily.

Rose Marie Arenas: You could see that there was that sharing going on with Filipinos in that four days' ordeal. We can be good if we want to be good, religious if we want to be religious, and spiritual, very spiritual. Everybody was receiving holy communion, praying together, and my tears were going down my cheeks, because when you hear men praying and singing, parang it's so touching, more than the girls, 'no?

MBS RADYO PILIPINO, 3:55 PM - For the first time in almost three years, Bayan Ko was played on the government radio station. Hearing the patriotic song sent shivers down our spines. It was hard to believe that the Fiipino classic, which had been banned from the airlanes by the Office of Media Affairs because it was considered an "opposition song," was now being played over DWIM, now called Radyo Pilipino.   Manila Times 26 Feb

GMA CHANNEL 7 - Inday Badiday was ordered to sign off. When she and the rest of the Channel 7 crew marched out of the buildings, they found a huge crowd of citizens already setting up barricades around the grounds.   Mr & Ms 7 Mar

MANDALUYONG - In a closed-door meeting of Opposition leaders at the residence of former Speaker Jose B. Laurel . Malaya 25 Feb

. . . opposition and some KBL members signed a proclamation of Mrs. Corazon Aquino and former Senator Salvador Laurel as duly elected candidates in the February 7 elections.   
Bulletin 25 Feb

Fidel Ramos: There were constant meetings between Minister Enrile and Mrs. Aquino's representatives. There was talk of a provisional kind of government, a junta, if you want to call it that, consisting mostly of civilians and a few from the military to run the government temporarily, assuming that we won. But we left all that planning to Minister Enrile. We in the military weren't too concerned at the time about what our role would be. We left that in the hands of civilian leaders.

EDSA / ORTIGAS, Afternoon - Mrs. Corazon Aquino emerged for the first time since Saturday. There was clamor during the weekend for Mrs. Aquino's visible presence to inspire the thousands of people who had trooped to and held vigil around Camp Crame.
     In the company of family members and close supporters, Mrs. Aquino emerged from the main entrance of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) building and spoke from a makeshift stage built on the building's front steps.   Business
Day 25 Feb

CORAZON AQUINO: "We have recovered our freedoms, our rights, and our dignity with much courage and, we thank God, with little blood. I enjoin the people to keep the spirit of peace as we remove the last vestiges of tyranny, to be firm and compassionate. Let us not, now that we have won, descend to the level of the evil forces we have defeated.
     "I have always said I can be magnanimous in victory, no more hate, no more fighting. I appeal to all Filipinos of both sides of the struggle. This is now the time for peace, the time for healing."   
Bulletin 25 Feb

Cory Aquino: I had already said on Radio Veritas that I would be going to EDSA. For security reasons I did not announce the specific time. Anyway, it was Peping and my security who decided that POEA would be the best and safest place for me, so that's where I went Up to now, I think, Johnny Ponce Enrile disputes that I was there. But there were so many priests and nuns there. And I had sung again the "Our Father." But we didn't stay long, at the most maybe 15, 20 minutes. It was really fast, because it had been impressed upon me that if something happened to me there, it would really be very bad. I was really prepared to do whatever was necessary, but they said, no, no, it's important that you stay alive.

MANDALUYONG, 4:30 PM - A provisional government was set up immediately after Aquino and Laurel were proclaimed. Malaya
25 Feb

Batasan members agreed that the posts of Prime Minister, Finance, Defense, and Foreign Affairs should be the first posts to be filled up.   
Inquirer 26 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 4:30 PM - Ver and Ramas decided to launch a final "suicide assault" on the rebels. Veritas Special
Oct 86

Tadiar is alerted to prepare one Marine battalion to operate with Army elements in an assault on Crame.   

US EMBASSY - Through their intelligence network the Embassy learned of the plan and flashed the news to Washington.  Veritas Special Oct 86

THE WHITE HOUSE, 6:00 PM (Manila Time) - President Reagan was awakened by his National Security advisor, Admiral Poindexter. Reagan finally agreed to publicly call on Marcos to resign.   Ibid.

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Tadiar summoned all his staff officers and unit commanders, and called for a consensus. The consensus: the Marines would no longer take part in military operations that would result in the unnecessary death or wounding of innocent civilians. There were no objections to defensive operations for the protection of the President.   BREAKAWAY p. 89

FORT BONIFACIO - Brig. Gen. Ramon Cannu told Brawner to talk to his men at once because they were unwilling to go on a mission directed by Marcos. Brawner summoned all the Ranger officers and told them he had made up his mind not to comply with that mission order either. He warned them that this decision should not be known to adjacent units because they could move against the Rangers. He asked the officers to explain the situation to their men.   Op. cit., p. 90

ARMY CONFERENCE ROOM - Tadiar attended discussions on the new plan to attack Crame as ordered by Marcos. The plan was to use elements of the 42nd Infantry Battalion from Quezon province and elements of the Marines for an assault on Crame. The route to be taken from Bonifacio to the objective was Nagtahan-Greenhills-Santolan. A reconnaisance team was sent out to try the route. It came back with the report that hundreds of thousands of people were barricading the way. Civilian casualties could not be avoided. Ramas and Oropesa asked Abadia for his recommendation. Abadia was for informing Marcos that the plan was not feasible. Marcos agreed but asked that other options be explored.
     The next plan was for a mortar attack on Crame from Rosario Bridge in Pasig, about three or four kilometers away. Abadia said no. Palafox recommended that the 54th Infantry move from Camp Aguinaldo to Fort Bonifacio for the attack. Abadia and Ramas vetoed the idea. No new plan was sent up to Marcos.  
 Op. cit., p. 89

Fidel Ramos: The other side had a lot of guns but, because the particular situation was a little different from what they had been expecting, they weren't able to respond right away; they took a while adjusting to the new situation. De kahon kasi kung mag-isip. Kami naman dito, como very fluid 'yung situation namin, we had to think fast, plan fast, and act fast.

CAMP CRAME - Roman Cruz Jr.'s letter of resignation from his position as chairman of the nation's flag carrier, Philippine Air Lines, and from all his other government positions, dated February 23, was brought by PAL Executive Vice-President Martin Bonoan.
     The resignation was addressed to President Corazon C. Aquino, making Cruz the first government official to recognize her as duly elected President of the Republic.
     He also sent another letter, this time addressed to President Marcos, where he gave as a major reason "the circumstances under which the elections were conducted."   I
nquirer 25 Feb

EDSA, Late Afternoon - Hundreds of thousands of people cruised past one another, passing by still-bigger stationary crowds. In front of the Crame gate, Fr. Frederick Fermin, OP, former rector of UST, megaphone in hand, was talking to UST people seated and cordoned off. "We are very fortunate that Mr. Marcos is NOT an alumnus of UST..." This, as other university groups (Ateneo Law, San Beda undergrads, Maryknoll Sisters, etc.) huddled in their own spots.
     As one elbowed his way through the crowd, he saw another group forming a circle, heads up, eyes closed and hands slightly raised with palms open, mumbling a prayer and then singing the Lord's Prayer. A few feet away, young fans were screaming at the sight of Ricky Davao, Jay Ilagan, Gina Alajar, and Amy Austria together. Still farther, a family had apportioned and roped off several square feet of the road from the traffic island with a makeshift shelter, stool, a large cooler, and charcoal stove. Land-grabbing! Yet nobody minded.
     Everyone was friendly and helpful. When evening came, the cheerful mood grew solemn, the people's smiles rarer, and the fingers turning the rosary beads faster. By then it was not just religion working. It was faith.   
Malaya Sunday Mag 9 Mar

Cory Aquino: Somehow it took the lawyers so long to prepare my oath of office. It was a question of whom do I pledge allegiance to? Finally they decided that it would be to the fundamental law of the land. I remember waiting. When we returned from POEA, it was finally ready. But then, I was saying, I don't want to take my oath when it's dark because we will also be endangering the lives of the people. I said we'd just do it on Tuesday.

Joe Alejandro: I was going back and forth, EDSA and Alabang. I was most impressed by the crowd in EDSA . Everybody followed instructions. At the same time everybody was taking the initiative. You go to EDSA, if you're seen with a knife, you're thrown out. It was as peaceful as that. Yet in all that seeming confusion, you could drive your car in and people would give way. It was a very orderly crowd.

Rose Marie Arenas: We would go home once in a while. The first time we went home we had to make pakiusap to both the rebels and the government to please let us pass because there's a baby in the back. So it was sort of my small son who helped us get through to go home. And then pagbalik, we said the baby has to go back, our relatives are inside, the brothers and sisters are there; they were all very nice, no one was impolite.

Rene Cruz: The whole four days, there was no report of pickpocketing, no mugging, no untoward incident.

Jose Almonte: After EDSA this guy asked me to write him a commendation. I asked what his contribution to EDSA was. He said he was there with his camera, taking pictures. I said, let me see some pictures. He said he had none. I said, why not, if he was there taking pictures? He said, "Sir, because I had no film." So I said, how can you say you were taking pictures if you had no film? "It's like this, sir," he explained, "I pretended to take pictures of the pickpockets I knew so they wouldn't pick pockets." Not that it was necessary. Did anyone lose anything in EDSA? No. But this guy was there to make sure it did not happen. I gave him a very good commendation.

THE NEW CHANNEL 4, 6:00 PM - Live from Camp Crame Enrile and Ramos held a press conference attended by local and foreign media representatives. They announced an "almost complete" takeover and control of the New Armed Forces of the People. Ramos said the Strike Wing's defection was followed by that of the entire naval force led by Commodore Tagumpay Jardiniano; the enitre 5th Figher Wing at the Basa Air Base in Pampanga; also the 800-strong command at the Clark Air Base led by Col. Romeo David. "These render the loyalists practically without air and naval strength."   Bulletin 25 Feb

WASHINGTON, D.C., 7:30 PM - The United States endorsed the provisional government of Mrs. Corazon Aquino, abandoning a 20-year ally in Mr. Marcos for the sake of a "peaceful transition" in the Philippines.
     The full text: "We have heard disturbing reports of a possible attack by forces loyal to Gen. Ver against elements of the forces who have given their support to General Ramos and Minister Enrile.
     "We urge those contemplating such action to stop. President Marcos had pledged to refrain from initiating violence and we appeal to him, to those loyal to him, and all other Filipino people to continue to do so.
     "Attempts to prolong the life of the present regime by violence are futile. A solution to this crisis can only be achieved through a peaceful transition to a new government."     
 Times Journal 25 Feb

Jose Almonte: Our objectives were totally non-political. We were not angling for any political position. We were not after money or power. All we wanted was for a new government to give the people their due. We agreed that after the action we would all go back to our own small tasks."

USA - Blas Ople talked to Marcos by telephone. The Philippine President was angry that while his Palace was being threatened and his television station taken over, the US was telling him not to defend himself. He told Ople that Mrs. Marcos was there beside him and "she doesn't want to leave."   Time 10 Mar

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Arrangements were made for a televised interview with the President on Channel 9. Retired Brig. Gen. Pacifico Lopez de Leon was sent out for this chore. Cendana did not invite any reporter to cover the event. Explained an aide of Cendana: "The President does not want to talk with the press corps any more. He does not want them to see how empty the Palace is."   BREAKAWAY p. 94

CHANNELS 2, 9, 13 - Three television stations phonepatched Marcos from Malacañang Palace.   Malaya Sunday Mag 23 Mar

The first half of the nearly two-hour interview was conducted with a three-man panel of interviewers (including Ruther Batuigas and a Gen. Pacifico de Leon) assembled by Channel 9 which televised only still photos of Marcos in different poses, leading countless interviewers to wonder if it was indeed Marcos they were hearing over the airwaves.   
Malaya 25 Feb

Marcos denied that the voice was that of Willie Nepomuceno, as claimed by an irreverent caller.   
Malaya Sunday Mag 23 Mar

Marcos said his family "is cowering in terror in Malacañang because of the threat of bombarding by helicopter" but he vowed he would defend the Palace "to the last breath of my life, the last drop of my blood." He said he had "no intention of going abroad" or of resigning.  
 Malaya 25 Feb

8:10 PM - Marcos appeared live on TV with Mrs. Marcos, son Bongbong, daughter Imee, and grandchildren. "All of us in Malacañang are dressed and prepared for any eventuality," Marcos said as the camera panned to Bongbong at the sidelines who was wearing a military fatigue uniform.   Op. cit.

The President called on loyal followers to report to the Mendiola Street barricade near Malacañang to enlist and be issued firearms or call him by telephone or come to his inauguration at the Palace tomorrow.
     He reiterated that the country was under a state of emergency under which the government could take over broadcast media.
     Mr. Marcos appealed to the people to obey orders only from him because he was the duly constituted authority under the Constitution. He assailed Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and ex-Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos with trying to take power from Cory Aquino and former Senator Salvador H. Laurel.
     "I am appealing to the citizenry not to believe in this illicit, illegal, and immoral third force," adding that Enrile and Ramos were riding on Mrs. Aquino's popularity but that they would use her and grab power.   
Op. cit.

Ruther Batuigas asked him if he was imposing curfew and he replied, "Well, now that you mention it, I hereby declare curfew all over the country from 6 PM to 6 AM effective tonight."   Malaya Sunday Mag 23 Mar

Fidel Ramos: We also continued to counter with our own version every item of information or any announcement coming from Malacanang. We made sure we dominated the information and propaganda war.

THE NEW CHANNEL 4 - Dissident Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile appeared on TV to tell the people to ignore Mr. Marcos's orders because he was an "illegal President."   Manila Times 25 Feb

Opposition lawmakers were frenziedly contacting colleagues from the KBL, inviting them to attend a special session of the Batasang Pambansa to reconsider the legislature's proclamation of President Marcos as winner in the February 7 special Presidential election.
     But the old lion from Batac, ailing and grievously wounded, still held out at the Presidential Palace, apparently determined to stand his ground, and like his adversaries in Camp Crame, was prepared to stick it out to the bitter end.  
 Bulletin 25 Feb

WACK WACK, MANDALUYONG - A much smaller group than the Batasan's met at the residence of Cory's relative. Present, aside from the President-elect and Vice President-elect, were LABAN President Jovy Salonga, Aquino spokesmen Rene Saguisag and Teddy Locsin Jr., and adviser Jaime Ongpin.
     The group tackled specific nominations of the Cabinet. Deliberations dragged on a bit, necessitating postponement of the proclamation.   
Inquirer 26 Feb

A contentious issue between Mrs. Aquino and the Enrile-Ramos group was where to hold her inauguration. Three groups of Aquino advisers said it should take place at Club Filipino, claiming it was there that the first Filipino women's organization was formed during the Spanish regime. Enrile wanted it at the multi-purpose hall of Camp Crame, the rebel headquarters, citing security problems if they left the camp. The politicians, however, could not accept the idea of a new President sworn in inside a military camp.  Asiaweek 9 Mar

Fidel Ramos: Some of us wanted to hold the inauguration in Crame, of course, because that was where most of the action had taken place. But others preferred that it be held in Club Filipino. The majority prevailed.

8:30 or 9:00 PM - The group disbanded. Before then, the appointments of Doy Laurel as Prime Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile as Defense Minister, and Fidel Ramos as Chief of Staff had been made.   Inquirer 26 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Ramon Aquino and his son had dinner with the Marcos girls, Imee and Irene, and their husbands. Imee talked about the Metro Pop. Irene made plans to go out with her music crowd. Bongbong Marcos was dressed in fatigues and relished it. "Feel na feel ko ang get-up ko ngayon," he told the Aquinos.
     Only the two sons-in-law of the Marcoses - Greggy Araneta and Tommy Manotoc - seemed worried about the situation. The Palace was one big fortress, with military men sleeping all over the place, including the corridors.
They sat up till 11:00 PM talking.   
Inquirer 5 Mar

Rose Marie Arenas: My friend Francis Lee who owns two or three Chinese restaurants was cooking and cooking. So was my cook who makes the best siopao and siomai. We were also delivering food to the relatives of General Ramos in Alabang and to the nuns and the crowd who had gathered outside the house. I even talkedto Ming.

DOWNTOWN MANILA - The curfew crowds roaming all over downtown Manila as well as the wide-open fleshpots of the tourist belt were just as large as the hordes of concerned citizens manning EDSA and Santolan and Ortigas, not to mention the equally militant sectors of San Rafael and Mendiola and Legarda and the Sta. Mesa rotonda.   QUARTET p. 70

Ming Ramos: People kept coming. We prepared coffee for them but they said not to worry. And people kept sending food. They thought we didn't have any. There was so much food, our youngest daughter Margie gained a few pounds.

Margie Ramos: There were sandwiches, doughnuts, spaghetti, hamburgers, juice, all sorts of food. What a waste if you just stare at it, 'di ba?

BEHN CERVANTES - Inside Channel 4 are numerous military men to secure the place, plus hordes of media men, entertainers and kibitzers who know when opportunity strikes. There are going to be new shows, new bosses, new opportunities. After a day of power, there are also signs of new Ronnies and new Ritas. Worse yet are the self-appointed Tita Marys.
     In the spirit of forgiveness and an acceptance of the fact that human beings are survivors, you decide to ignore these performers who are, after all, the most experienced in the dog-eat-dog world of that other world called Entertainment. However, when some Johnny-come-lately, you are told, has to approve a formal organizational statement you have, you say, "No way!" When martial law was declared and Censorship was the thing, you did not follow the rule. Who is this Johnny who has the unoffical power to approve or disapprove? In your mind you say "Up yours!" and read the statement anyway.
     The space is small in that studio. The executive office upstairs even smaller. Not all of these self-appointed bosses will be taken in. In time they will collide and survivors will remain.
     Here we go again! Business Day 14 Mar

Before Edsa 1965-1986: Marcos Times
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The Flight

Email: Angela Stuart-Santiago