Fidel Ramos: That day we had to develop additional forces outside Crame and Aguinaldo and, of course, we needed to reinforce our military forces. This is why our call to the people to come and support us was very constant. And we were able to do this through June Keithley and the radio broadcasting crews of Radio Veritas who were on the job, calling on the people, transmitting for us even messages which were tactical in nature. This was the first time in military history, anywhere in the world, when private broadcast media, run by concerned citizens, were used to transmit or relay military orders or directives to military units in the field."
STA. ANA, MANILA Father James Reuter, S.J., was the vital link in the communications system of the revolution. He had a VHF radio link to Gen. Ramos in Camp Crame; another to Veritas radio station where June Keithley was broadcasting; and a telephone line to the US Embassy political section headed by Pssst Kplan, Scott Hallford and Bruce Thomas. Inquirer Feb 88
MALACAÑANG PALACE -
Tonight, nothing was working. The Enrile-Ramos team was on the
air, making noise without letup over Radio Veritas and other
stations, waging an aggressive propaganda war. Eager to confront
the rebels, presidential aide Col. Aruiza called up Gen. Ver
on the other side of the river and urged him to act. Ver said,
"I have no instructions from the President."
Past Midnight - Butz Aquino sought out Gen. Ramos to tell him,
"The troops are here!" Butz was surprised to see the
general "so relaxed, with his cigar, like he has no problem,
as if it's a social visit." He was glad he saw Enrile first
because then, "there was urgency."
Rene Cruz: Everybody brought food - sandwiches, chicken, hamburgers, all kinds. Colgate-Palmolive even sent toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap for everyone.
Rose Marie Arenas: I'm an expert on food brigades. We were the first to bring in lots and lots of food. The first day we even served them on silver trays. The generals, like General Rene Cruz, were the ones receiving the food. I didn't see General Ramos eat. I think he was only taking shark's fin soup. And we gave them all rosaries. I didn't enter the room; it was Rachel who gave rosaries to General Ramos and the soldiers. Of course the priests wanted to say Mass. But I asked them to please give the soldiers and everybody inside mass absolution because they wouldn't be able to hear mass, we didn't know what was in store for us.
Fidel Ramos: It was the nuns who operated the food brigade. They made sure that everybody in the camp who needed food got fed, soldiers and civilians alike.
Rose Marie Arenas: We were using silverware from my house, including my gaseras. We also bought all the flashlights and batteries in Manila; we had to check that each and everyone was working, And the soldiers were quarreling over them because you know, they needed flashlights.
Sonny Razon: All of a sudden, there was so much food. Also cigarettes, piles and piles. I started smoking again. Nerves, I guess.
Alex Sembrano: That first night it wasn't so scary yet. All we did was wait.
MALACAÑANG PALACE - Marcos called Olivas for a fifth time about dispersing the crowds on EDSA. Olivas finally told Marcos, "The crowd is beyond the capability of my men to disperse." Veritas Special Oct 86
Marcos ordered Olivas to get in touch with Major Gen. Josephus Ramas, Commander of the Army, and ask for reinforcements. Olivas did not contact Gen. Ramas. BREAKAWAY p. 41
CAMP AGUINALDO, EDSA
GATE, 12:30 AM - A lady speaking through a megaphone announced that
Gen. Ramos was in Camp Crame, saying that it was the strategy agreed
upon with Minister Enrile, and she requested that some of the crowd
should go there "para magka-guardiya doon."
MBS TV CHANNEL 4, I:00 AM - Marcos presented another alleged assassin, Major Saulito Aromin, who claimed to be part of five combat teams that were to have crossed the Pasig to attack Malacañang and kill the Marcoses. QUARTET p. 35
CAMP AGUINALDO - More
people came in to lend moral support: MP Rene Cayetano, Atty. Carlos
Platon, Atty. Vic Alimurung, Oscar and Diana Santos. Several mayors
from Cagayan arrived. They all embraced JPE and cried unabashedly. Hagulgol
din si JPE.
CIA agents who had set up shop in a back office of the Defense Ministry kept Ramos and Enrile informed of everything Ver did, and passed on all communications coming out of Malacanang. Enrile stayed in frequent contact with Ambassador Borworth through this backroom CIA link. DYNASTY p. 414
RADIO VERITAS, 1:45 AM - Letter of resignation of Supreme Court Justice Nestor Alampay was read by his daughter Maria Belen. QUARTET p. 35
Fidel Ramos: I told my wife that if any of the hostile soldiers of Mr. Marcos and Gen. Ver tried to penetrate our residence, she should let the womenfolk meet them, starting with my 90-year old mother-in-law and my 3-month old granddaughter.
Alex Sembrano: When I heard that, I said, "Hey! That's my daughter you're giving away!
CAMP AGUINALDO, MND -
Winnie Monsod, economics professor of the University of the Philippines,
entered the office bringing a plastic bag containing P481.50, donations
from sympathizers massed outside the camp. She told Enrile, "It's
for a communication system, so that they can hear you. They're getting
2:30 AM - Enrile dismissed as a "bunch of bull" Marcos's charge of a coup aborted. If Marcos really wanted to talk, Enrile said, he was willing to oblige, but not at Malacañang. "We might never get out of there alive." QUARTET p. 35
RADIO VERITAS, 2:59 AM - MP Homobono Adaza called from Cebu. "This move of Minister Enrile and General Ramos deserves the congratulations of our people, and they need the support of everyone." PEOPLE POWER (I) p. 85
CAMP AGUINALDO - Armida brought in a showbiz friend, superstar Nora Aunor, who was hooted by the crowd outside. They compared her to the balimbing, the fruit that's as many-sided as a starfish. When she faced Enrile, for whom she campaigned when he ran for Parliament, she started to explain that she accepted not a centavo from Marcos, but Enrile cut her short by taking her so swiftly in his arms, she was lifted off the floor. QUARTET P. 26
Only 300 determined mutineers guarded the camp starting 3 PM Satuday while the military rebel leaders fired off frenzied and continuous press conferences up to 3:30 AM Sunday. Not a wink was taken. Many could not understand why the Marcos forcs did not deal a quick and decisive blow during that long and vulnerable night. Mr & Ms. 28 Feb
FORT BONIFACIO, 3:00 AM - General Ver finally called his commanders together at the Officers' Club to discuss plans for a counter-attack. With over 100 senior officers attending, the meeting lurched aimlessly from the coup to the counter-attack. Ver appointed Army Chief Gen. Josephus Ramas, a protegee with no significant combat experience, to lead the assault on the rebel camps. Veritas Special Oct 86
CAMP AGUINALDO - Ernie Maceda, Joey Laurel, and former Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel III came to see Enrile. JPE suggested that maybe they should consider setting up a provisional government. Veritas 9 Mar
Enrile urged that Corazon Aquino announce not later than Tuesday the formation of her own government as the duly-elected President. Malaya 24 Feb
RADIO VERITAS, 3:07 AM - Cardinal Sin went on the air to implore Marcos troops not to use their weapons and to Gen. Ver not to use violence. He asked the faithful "not to abandon Enrile and Ramos." QUARTET p. 35
Rose Marie Arenas: I sincerely believe that if the Cardinal did not call the people and did not call the nuns, they would not have come. The religious will only follow His Eminence. None of us would be followed by the nuns and priests, they only came when the Cardinal called for them. We had people power already but the frontliners were the religious.
3:11 AM - Jaime Ongpin broadcast an appeal to "concerned citizens" to assemble "in very large numbers" at Camp Crame and Aguinaldo. "Large groups are a deterrent to violence." Ibid.
ENRILE "The boys (reformists) are committed to one
single act: resist if assaulted. We won't be a party to repression.
If he wants to repress the people, we'll be part of the people.
I'm 62 years old, I can go to jail." Business Day
MALACAÑANG PALACE - Twice, Col. Aruiza tried breaking into the president's bedroom, but both times, he was stopped and told that the president was resting. This was how it had been for the last six years. There would be problems to be solved, important decisions crying out to be made, but the president, protected by his doctors, nurses, and close-in security, could not be disturbed. MALACAÑANG p. 107
CAMPS' GATES - Butz's troops waited and braced for the attack expected at 4 o'clock. Their numbers had dwindled, from 20,000 to around 2,000, deployed in several places. If they were attacked now, "Patay na!" Sun Inq Mag 1 Jun
EDSA, 4:00 AM - Nora Aunor wept inside her car amid shouts of "Sipsip!" and "Balimbing!" by an angry mob swarming all over her vehicle when she started to alight and join the ranks of movie celebrities outside the camps. Not even the pleas of committed film artists Behn Cervantes and Johnny Delgado, who jumped on top of Aunor's car to pacify the crowd, could assuage the enraged men and women. Malaya 24 Feb
Rose Marie Arenas: Those who want to sleep would sleep and those who want to use the usual necessities, you knock on people's doors. We couldn't go to Greenhills anymore, it was too far, so we just went around that area. And people were so kind, we were allowed to go into all those apartments, and I saw how poor the people were who lived inside those small iskinitas. But they were all so hospitable, they offered us drinks, they even invited us to stay overnight.
- As the EDSA crowd thinned, seven RAM officers devised a plan
to recall people power to EDSA. A newspaperman reminded the planners
that Minister Enrile and Gen. Ramos had the capability to preempt
the use of vast media outlets (244 newspapers, 33 of which were
based in Metro Manila, including 7 big national dailies; 185
weekly publications, including 46 comics magazines; 286 radio
stations, 46 of which were broadcasting in Metro Manila; 26 television
stations, 5 of them in Metro Manila) as a psychological propaganda
weapon. Preemptive action would necessarily deny Malacañang
maximum access to media and Marcos would lose the propaganda
D.C., 4:00 AM (Manila Time) - US Secretary of State George Shultz
assembled a few of his staff in his elegant seventh-floor office.
They were dressed casually, the weekend custom. Among them were
Michael Armacost, former U.S. ambassador in Manila and now undersecretary
of state; Paul Wolfowitz, the assistant secretary for Asia; and
Charles Hill, Shultz's close aide and alter ego, a diligent professional
with a razor-sharp mind. Even at this late stage they were struggling
to shape a firm Philippine policy - proof again that policies
are often forged in the heat of crisis rather than in cool contemplation. IN
OUR IMAGE 1989, p. 418
Alex Sembrano: Towards early morning - that's when attacks happen - we were getting a bit edgy already. But still nothing happened.
Chula Sembrano: How do I remember those days? Sleepless nights. We were never sure what would happen next. Will they call? Will we see them again? Everybody was praying. They were saying Masses right outside the house. Some people slept outside, like a little EDSA.
Cristy Ramos: They even got heavy machinery like bulldozers, payloaders, and they blocked off our street for security. It helped, made things a little less scary.
FORT BONIFACIO, 5:00 AM - Gen. Josephus Ramas called a planning conference at the Army headquarters. Present were Maj. Gen. Piccio, Air Force Commander; Brig. Gen. Brawner, Operations Commander; Commodore Martillano; Brig. Gen. Suarez, 52nd Engineer Brigade Commander; and Brig. Gen. Angel Sadang. Brig. Gen. Isidoro de Guzman, RUC 3 Commander, excused himself from the meeting. BREAKAWAY p. 47
5:30 AM - Although he had three Army combat battalions standing by, Ramas announced that Gen. Tadiar's Marines will lead the attack-a decision that stunned Tadiar. His Marines were tied down defending the Palace and it would take hours to move them. Veritas Special Oct 86
CEBU CITY - US Consul Blaine Porter called on Cory at the convent, informed her that a sub had arrived, ready to take her to Manila if she wanted. Cory turned down the offer. Inquirer 26 Feb
MP Ramon Mitra's offer of sanctuary in his native Palawan was declined. Asiaweek 9 Mar
Cory Aquino: Over breakfast with opposition leaders in the Carmelite monastery, Monching Mitra was saying we should go to Palawan, and then on to another country. There were all kinds of suggestions. I said, I think I'd just like to go back to Manila. I figured that Marcos was very much concerned with EDSA and would not be thinking about me. I felt that the sooner I got back to Manila, the better.
MALACAÑANG PALACE - In compliance with Marcos's wish that Enrile and Ramos be denied escape by air, Ver ordered Singson to have his people destroy the two helicopters parked behind the Ministry building. Singson told Ver it was impossible to blow up the helicopters because a single explosion, even from gunfire, would provoke hostile action that could lead to the "bloody mess" that Marcos wanted to avoid. Balbanero seconded the motion. The order was not carried out. BREAKAWAY p. 48
|Early that morning, General Ramos made a very quick visit to Camp Aguinaldo.|
Ramos told Enrile that
he should join him in Camp Crame. Then the general returned to Crame
and was wildly cheered by the crowd along the way. Op.
cit., p. 50
PALACE - Impatient over the lack of action against the crowd,
Ver sent malacañang CDC elements to Libis, behind the
Ministry building, and to Bonny Serrano Avenue, which bound Camps
Aguinaldo and Crame on the northeast. By this time the crowd
had swollen to almost 50,000 and was increasing by the minute.
STA. ANA, MANILA, 8:00 AM Cardinal Sin called Fr. Reuter and ordered him to find another transmitter. There were three possibilities: dzRH under Col. Honesto Isleta and Gen. Eduardo Ermita; Far East Broadcasting of Protestant Minister Fred Magbanua in Valenzuela; and dzRJ (Ramon Jacinto) in Sta. Mesa, under Col. Ruben Ciron. Inquirer Feb 88
Folksinger Freddie Aguilar, ardent anti-Marcos activist, was with the Hocus Pocus band in Calapan, Mindoro, the morning after a benefit-concert gig.
Ang balita, nag-resign na sina Ramos at Enrile. Baka daw mag-declare
uli ng martial law si Marcos. Mabuti pa daw, huwag na akong bumalik
sa Manila, magtago na lang ako sa Mindoro. Sabi ko naman, bakit
ako magtatago, baka isipin niya natatakot ako sa kanya. At saka
hindi na 'kako puwedeng mag-declare si Marcos ng martial law,
unlawful na `yon, unconstitutional, kahit doon sa constitution
na ginawa niya, bawal na.
PALACE - Tadiar waited three hours for permission to withdraw
his troops from the Palace. Finally he shouted at Ramas: "This
is insane! I am still waiting for permission to move troops,
yet you are ready to move out!"
VILLAMOR AIR BASE - Photos showed two helicopters in Camp Crame. Sotelo was ordered to prepare two gunships to disable the helicopters and to stop the rebels from escaping. The go-signal to strike was to be given by President Marcos. Sotelo met with his pilots and asked for volunteers to fly the mission. No one volunteered. Sotelo then revealed his plan to fight on the side of the rebels. They discussed the game plan. Business Day 12 Mar
9:00 AM - Army Commander Ramas called another planning conference
and put together two Provisional Tactical Brigades (PTB) out
of the First Marine Provisional Division (FMPD), each having
two battalions and an armored company, in line with plans drawn
up by Brawner. The FMPD was placed under the command of Brig.
Gen. Jose Paez; the 1st PTB under Col. Braulio Balbas; the 2nd
PTB under Col. Eugenio Reyes; and the armor under Maj. Sergio
Tony Abaya: By eight, nine, in the morning, we had about four, five hundred people all around the house of General Ramos, protecting his family and children. It was like a mini-EDSA in Alalbang. People from as far as Las Pinas and from all walks of life were here, taking turns. Many kept going back and forth to EDSA, keeping in touch.
CAMP CRAME, 9:30 AM - Brig. Gen. Eduardo Ermita, Col. Honesto Isleta, and retired Col. Noe Andaya prepared the text of a written appeal to AFP units and individual officers and men to move over to the rebel side. Col. Ruben Ciron dictated it to a friendly printing press for 50,000 copies by afternoon. BREAKAWAY p. 63
Gen. Ramos announced that he and Enrile had a majority of the 12 PC-INP regional and provincial commands, as well as paramilitary groups, backing them. Inquirer 24 Feb
Ramos set his aides and staff officers, young lieutenants and captains, calling up classmates and friends in the Marcos-Ver camp.
Fidel Ramos: This sort of psychological play was going on almost the whole day Sunday. And somehow it worked. We were able to mobilize to our side some sizable and major components of the AFP.
EDSA "I used to hate the military and the police," Yolanda Lacuesta, wife and mother, recalled, "but on Sunday I found myself preparing sandwiches for them. I heard over the radio that they needed food. O had to squeeze through a crowd just to bring food to the soldiers. I remembered all the times when I cursed them during rallies and was amazed that now I walked so far and worked so hard for them. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 122
AMADO L. LACUESTA,
JR. (Screenwriter) - When I first saw the barricade of sandbags
across EDSA near White Plains road, I didn't know whether to
cheer or laugh. It was barely thigh-high and looked puny, as
though it couldn't stop a pushcart. But the young people astride
it, waving their banners and laughing and cheering and flashing
the L-sign, did not seem worried. One of them brandished a home-made
placard: "Subok sa Krisis, takot kay Mrs." (Tried in
Crises, Afraid of Mrs.). I pointed it out to my wife and we laughed,
flashing the L-sign back at them. Their enthusiasm was catching.
Cory Aquino: We were thinking of all going home to Manila on a Philippine Air Lines flight but we were told that PAL was fully booked. Bea Zobel had offered their plane but Bono Adaza took that plane instead.
FORT BONIFACIO - The Ramas
juggernaut was poised for the slam on the beleaguered camps.
But Ver and the other generals left Ramas at the Fort and rushed
to Malacañang to stand behind Marcos during a televised
press conference. BREAKAWAY
PALACE - The scenery had become more metallic: the grounds were bristling
with armor. There were two tanks in front of the Administration building,
three in front of the Maharlika Hall, and three more at odd places.
Sonny Razon: Whenever there was a lull, I would think about my family. What would happen to them? How would my wife explain this to my kids? If we lose, we're bandits, rebels. How would my wife tell my kids, explain to them about my beliefs and my actions?
CEREMONIAL HALL, 12 Noon - Enter Marcos. The four detained officers were brought in, in two's, by Diego, the PSC lawyer. Ver glared at the captives as the four men took seats to the President's left. Marcos presented them and said there were others who had been arrested but were still being interrogated. Malajacan read his statement and Brillantes his affidavit. Ibid.
President Marcos said his men surrounded the two military camps. His men were "one artillery shot away because I don't want any overly enthusiastic soldier firing his weapon. They are around the camp but I told them to stay away." He added that he was changing the order, moving them closer. Business Day 24 Feb
He scoffed at Enrile's
and Ramos's demand, echoed by foreign governments, that he resign. "Certainly
I will not resign on the say-so of those who criticize my administration."
Fidel Ramos: We continued to use the phones, my aides and I, to mobilize to our side other sizable and major components of the AFP. I was calling the commanders, my young lieutenants and captains were calling their friends, their wives were calling the wives of other friends on the other side...classmate to classmate calls, relative to relative calls...this was going on all the time.
VILLAMOR AIR BASE, 1:00 PM - The order to disable the helicopters at Camp Crame was scrapped. Instead the 15th Strike Wing flew four reconnaisance sorties the rest of the afternoon. Business Day 12 Mar
1:30 PM - Ver gave the command for the "intimidation" force
to jump off towards Aguinaldo and Crame. Ver's idea was for the axe
to fall while Marcos was telling Enrile and Ramos to yield.
CEBU - Immediately after lunch Cory flew to Manila in a private Cessna plane. Asiaweek 9 Mar
Cory Aquino: We took the same plane that brought us to Cebu. It was a light plane, a private plane. I think the Cebu tower did not officially inform Manila that I was a passenger on that plane. Because when I landed at the airport, I didn't see anybody there except CNN.
After lunch na noong dumating ako sa Makati galing Batangas.
Paglabas namin ng tollgate, may mga tangke! 'Yung isa, nakatirik
doon sa bago umakyat ng overpass. Sabi ko sa driver, bagalan
mo, lolokohin ko lang ng konti 'yung sundalo. Binaba ko yung
bintana, sabi ko, pare, saan ang sunog? Ang sama ng tingin sa
akin nung sundalo. Ayun pala, loyalist ni Marcos. Meron pa silang
1:30 PM - Butz was called to a meeting with Gen. Alfredo Lim,
who was "calm as usual." Lim had been ordered to go
to EDSA with army troops and anti-riot squads to disperse the
crowds that were massed around the camps. He had more than 350
soldiers in several army transport trucks.
At 2:00 PM,
the RAM decided it was time to consolidate forces with Gen. Ramos
in Camp Crame. Enrile prepared to vacate the Ministry building.
FORT BONIFACIO - It was a formidable column, spearheaded by armor. Witnesses counted 6 tanks, 10 APC's, 8 jeeps, and 13 six-by-six trucks. The column rolled through Forbes road and turned right into EDSA. BREAKAWAY p. 60
At 2:20 Cory
arrived in Manila and headed for a sister's house in Wack Wack
Subdivision in Mandaluyong.
EDSA, CAMP GATES - Enrile and his men moved out of Camp Aguinaldo in a very disciplined formation, his men surrounding him, and accompanied by nuns saying the rosary and carrying images of the Virgin Mary. Sun Inq Mag 24 Feb
Enrile left behind a small group of soldiers, clerks, and some officers of ISAFP who had declared their loyalty to the rebels. BREAKAWAY p. 58
MALACAÑANG PALACE - Ver got wind of morale problems in the Army, Air Force, and Marines. He went to Fort Bonifacio together with Ochoco, Bello, Corrachea, Brawner, and Col. Ver to give the boys a pep talk. On the advice of his son, Ver took along detainees Morales, Aromin, Malajacan, and Brillantes to display them as proof that the reported assassination plot was for real. Op. cit., p. 58
At 2:47 tanks were reported rolling towards Camp Crame from Guadalupe in Makati.
EDSA, GUADALUPE To get to her sister's house in Wack Wack, Greenhills, Cory's party had to go through EDSA. As the column of seven tanks and a contingent of two Marine battalions rolled down the highway, Cory's car moved right along with the tanks. Inquirer 25 Feb 90
Cory Aquino: CNN followed me all the way to Wack Wack. We were driving alongside the tanks, but our car had tinted glass windows so nobody knew that it was us, except CNN. I don't know, maybe they thought that CNN was following them.
- Two cars of civilians (Vangie Durian, Viring Ongkeko, Aida
Ciron, Charito Jackson Chu, Jojo Durian, Jeffrey Gaballes, and
Eugene Ongkeko) coming from the old Makati Hotel cleared the
Guadalupe Bridge and saw ahead of them a convoy of nine to twelve
amphibian tanks. They immediately overtook the tanks and left
the convoy behind. As they neared the Ortigas corner EDSA intersection,
they saw hundreds of cars directly ahead of them, possibly going
to reinforce Crame. Behind them they saw some JD and DM buses
coming their way. They stopped and hijacked the buses. "Please
help us! The tanks are coming!"
A TEACHER - "What a switch! The military is supposed to protect civilian lives, yet there we were, prepared to camp out as long as it took to protect military lives until Marcos gave in, or bombed us off the face of the earth. We didn't really know what manner of harm they intended to inflict on us. We dared not think about it, because that would make us afraid. Was David afraid when he faced Goliath? Or was he not, because God was on his side? God was on our side. We could not be afraid. Period." NINE LETTERS 1986, p.18
SANGLEY, CAVITE, 3:00 PM - Sotelo got firearms and "felt out" his pilots and no. 2 man. The T-28 pilots, he found out, were with him. But his no. 2 man was a loyalist. Business Day 12 Mar
Rose Marie Arenas: From Santolan we went to the Mormon church in White Plains. The gates were closed and we went up the fence, and we saw the tanks coming up, one after the other, the APC's coming more slowly. So I really cried and cried and I called up my mother and I said, mom, call Cardinal Sin, send more people, call everybody. And my daughter said, Mommy, don't worry, they're calling the reserves from Nueva Ecija, the Ilocos, everybody loyal to those inside.
EDSA / ORTIGAS - The people watched tensely. The convoy of tanks slowed down as they approached the barricades. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
The crowds outside the rebel camps had grown from 500 at dawn to over 500,000 by mid-afternoon. Veritas Special Oct 86
The Marines decided to bypass the human sea, turned right before reaching Ortigas, and crashed through a cement wall into a vacant lot aiming to exit at a portion of Ortigas, but the exit was again blocked by onrushing masses of people. BREAKAWAY p. 60
Tadiar radioed Gen. Ramas for instructions. Ramas: "Ram through! Ram through the crowds, regardless of casualties!" Veritas Special Oct 86
The tanks did not move.
The soldiers alighted from the tanks, their chests bemedalled with strings
of bullets. The people, some in tears, held their rosaries tightly.
The soldiers, in their rubber shoes, stood straight, their M-16 rifles
held at attention.
EDSA, CAMP AGUINALDO GATE - A mammoth crowd met Enrile at the gate. Chanting, "Johnny! Johnny!" the crowd parted like the Red Sea, allowing Enrile and his 300-strong security to cross the highway bearing their arms. Inquirer 24 Feb
The people linked arms, creating a protective wall for the reformist troops. Col. Honasan forged ahead to shield Minister Enrile as they crossed the street. Honasan was very scared when they started out. But when they hit the first row of people, and the people started to wipe the soldiers' brow, give them food, and thank them, Honasan knew they had won. "All my fears disappeared. The worst scenario, for me, was not that we would have been bombed but that the people might turn against us." PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 155
Sonny Razon: Vic Batac and Red Kapunan were the brains of RAM, but Gringo was also smart, and he was the one with charisma.
Alex Sembrano: I trained under Gringo, and he was a very highly respected officer. Whatever he asked you to do, he would do it first, he was that kind of leader. He also called people by their first name, even the soldiers. That's why he was really well liked.
EDSA, CRAME GATE - When
Enrile had crossed, Butz Aquino whispered to him, "Minister, talk
to the people. Thank them for staying so they will stay longer."
Sonny Razon: General Ramos had been asking them to move to Crame since morning pa. But at that point, they weren't convinced yet of the need to consolidate forces. In fact, they would have preferred if if Gen. Ramos moved to Aguinaldo instead.
Fidel Ramos: Minister Enrile and I went up to the highest point in the camp, which is the 4th floor office of our Operations Center. From there we could see about three kilometers of a sea of humanity filling the highway from Ortigas along EDSA almost all the way to Cubao.
EDSA, ORTIGAS - Gen. Angel Kanapi and Col. Lisandro Abadia, the Army Operations Officer, came by helicopter and conferred with Tadiar. Tadiar recommended an aerial reconnaisance, so the three of them boarded the helicopter to view the Aguinaldo-Crame area and its environs. Kanapi pointed to several possible routes of approach, but Tadiar asked him to consider how the human barricades were thickening by the minute. It had not been an hour since the last Crame radio appeal for more of "people power." BREAKAWAY p. 60
Sonny Razon: We were at the gate, shouting and cheering along with the people. Then we went out walking, heading for Ortigas. But the people stopped us. They told us there were tanks there, and they pushed us back towards Camp Crame. We were touched by the concern of the people. They used to be angry at us, but now they were feeding us and protecting us.
FORT BONIFACIO - In the middle of Ver's speech, Brawner left to rush to his Scout Ranger Regiment where there was also a morale problem involving about 20 PMA alumni among the officers whose hearts were with the Reformists. Brawner promised them reforms and asked them for time to implement these. Just the same, Lt. Noel Buan turned over his firearm and said he was leaving to join Enrile and Ramos. He was prevailed upon to wait another day. Op. cit., p. 58
EDSA, ORTIGAS - Kanapi and Abadia flew back to Ramas. Op. cit., p. 60
RADIO VERITAS - Regional Trial Court Judge Alfredo Tadiar appealed to his nephew Gen. Artemio Tadiar, Commander of the Philippine Marines, to support the stand taken by Ramos and Enrile. "Make the right decision on the basis of evidence and intellect. Bear in mind, the future of this generation is at stake." Inquirer 25 Feb
LOUIE AGNIR - The now
famous "Uncle Fred" made his historic appeal to Gen. Tadiar
over Radio Veritas. "Artemio, this is your Uncle Fred. Your Aunt
Florence and I and all your cousins are here in Crame. Now, Boy, please
listen to me" Many cheered Uncle Fred and Aunt Florence and the
nameless cousins that day. So did I, with much joy and thanksgiving. Philippine
Star 25 Feb 88
Butz Aquino got on top of a tank and spoke. He told the people about Gen. Lim, hoping that Gen. Tadiar would also "stay put." In closing, he said to Gen. Tadiar, "General, you say higher authorities gave you the order to disperse us. Well, the higher authority-the Chief of Staff we recognize-is Gen. Ramos, and the Commander-in-Chief we recognize is Cory Aquino, and we know they didn't order you to disperse us. Besides, we are fighting for our freedoms, and if it's necessary to die, we're prepared to die."
Tadiar was angry. He wanted Butz to pacify, not agitate, the crowd. Sun Inq Mag 1 Jun
The tanks roared their engines. Butz almost fell to the ground. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
Butz was helped down
and was made to sit in front of the tank. There were two nuns slightly
in front, one to his left, one to his right.
Only as death became
an immediate possibility did the general mood become grimmer and graver,
more serious, though still outwardly lighthearted. The smiling crowds
dancing forth to meet cannon and tank with crocus and cross, with roses
and rosaries, were performing the ultimate sacrament of grace under
LARRY HENARES: I heard this little old lady say with a starry-eyed smile to another little old lady, as she pushed hard against the advancing tank: "Seguro naman, hindi tayo pababayaan ni Santo Nino, ha?" (I am sure Baby Jesus won't let us down, will he?) Mr & Ms. 7 Mar
The tanks stopped. The people clapped, cheered, found time to wipe their tears. The crowd got bigger, swelled to thousands. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
Out of this confrontation, ordinary street Filipinos, Tondo people and faceless, joined with the middle class, and both discovered a kind of spontaneous collective will that they had never exerted before, and a common bond they had never nurtured. It electrified them. Tears streamed down faces. Some began to sing. "People Power" was born. DYNASTY p. 415
EDSA, ORTIGAS, 4:20 PM - Abadia came back to convey Ramas's instructions to Tadiar. Two Marine battalions were to be "injected" into Camp Aguinaldo while the armored units and other elements of the division were to be sent back to Fort Bonifacio. Balbas's battalions were picked for the Aguinaldo mission. The rest of the division went home. BREAKAWAY pp. 60-61
Joe Alejandro: But it isn't that the people weren't willing or ready to fight. Many of the civilians had firearms. Many told me, in case of anything, it's in the trunk of the car. If the soldiers had fired, the people would have fired back.
EDSA - By Sunday afternoon, Manila was delirious. The boulevard between the army camps was a human sea, the crowd surging and receding like a tide as government forces arrived and retreated and returned. Demonstrators carried banners demanding Marcos's resignation. Rebel soldiers, their flag patches inverted, mingled with the throng. IN OUR IMAGE p. 418
The predominance of yellow in the crowd was clear evidence that the people perceived the reformist forces as supporting Cory. IMPOSSIBLE DREAM p. 391
Sonny Razon: People power came as a surprise to me because the people used to look down on the military, specially since Ninoy's assassination and then Gen. Ver's trial. Plus, our plans were all wrecked! Who would side with losers? When suddenly, wow! People power!
Cory Aquino: It was surprising, yes, because during the seven years and seven months of my husband's incarceration, the Filipino people were not all that courageous. it was very difficult to get people to join us in our protest movement. During my husband's hunger strike, for instance, we had mass everyday for forty days at Greenhills and I was so grateful then if we would have two hundred attending; even at that, they were mostly relatives and my closest friends, and the nuns-the sisters were really very courageous. But then it all changed after Ninoy was assassinated. So I guess it was a building-up. I guess people don't really change overnight, you have to keep on working on yourself to build up that courage and that strength and that confidence. And while it is true, I was surprised, it was a very welcome change, and I felt that whatever happened, at least we had very brave Filipinos standing up for the cause.
Eggie Apostol: We were hoping for justice. That whoever killed Ninoy and could do it to anybody else in the country could be brought to face the music. But I did not expect people power. I thought something would happen - that maybe individual acts would bring about certain things - but not the way it happened during the four days, of whole groups, millions of people coming. That was something completely new and unexpected.
- Enrile learned that a column of seven tanks plus a contingent
of two Marine battalions, moving towards their direction from
Fort Bonifacio had been stopped by the people at the intersection
of Ortigas and EDSA. He also learned that there was another contingent
of tanks prepositioned on the Cubao side whose guns were trained
at Camp Crame.
Fidel Ramos: I could foresee four, maybe five, scenarios. One was an artillery bombardment. Artillery were reported to have been moved from Fort Bonifacio to the ULTRA stadium in Pasig, and that's not really very far away, as far as an artillery shell flies, and the crews were starting to position themselves.
I wanted to go to Veritas, baka may maitulong ako, pero dumaan
muna ako sa bahay, sa Quezon City. Ang misis ko, wala, nagpa-panic-buying.
Ang nanay ko, umiiyak dahil nga wala ako e nagkakagulo na. Sabi
ko, susubo lang ako ng konti tapos pupunta 'ko sa Veritas. Bakit
ka pupunta doon, sabi niya, e pasasabugin 'yon?. Sabi ko naman,
e anong gusto n'yo, magtago ako, e ito 'yung matagal ko nang
pinapangarap na mangyari para matapos na ang paghihirap ng Pilipino.
Sabi naman ng kapatid ko, hayaan n'yo siya, 'Nay, inumpisahan
niya, hayaan n'yong tapusin.
CAMP CRAME - A common friend of the President's and Enrile's reached Enrile and requested him to call the President at the Palace. Enrile was reluctant, but MP Alfonso Reyno of Cagayan insisted. Ibid.
During the conversation, Marcos offered absolute amnesty to the rebel troops should they surrender right away. Inquirer 24 Feb
Enrile asked Marcos to stop the tanks but Marcos said he couldn't do that because they were already taking up their positions. He told Enrile, however, that he would ask the tank commanders not to shoot "temporarily." Enrile said his group would not fire the first shot. Business Day 24 Feb
Pagdating ko sa Fairview, awa ng Diyos, ang dami nang tao sa
Veritas. May mga 50 reformists in the vicinity. I was talking
to them and sabi nila, mabuti na rin 'yung nangyari, nang magkaalaman
na kung ano talaga.
RADIO VERTAS, Afternoon: "We received a letter asking Radio Veritas to stop broadcasting," recounted Orly Punzalan. "I cannot establish now who sent it but the threat was that, if we didn't shut up, somebody was going to bomb this place at eight o'clock in the evening. Manila Chronicle 25 Feb 87
6:30 PM - Radio Veritas signed off the air. After its transmitter was sabotaged by armed men early Sunday morning, they had operated on an emergency transmitter which finally gave out. BAYAN KO! p. 130
CAMP CRAME, 6:30 PM:
At a press conference, Enrile told newsmen of Marcos's offer of absolute
amnesty to the rebel troops should they surrender right away. However,
Enrile said, the officers' corps of the rebel troops belonging to the
RAM rejected the offer. They had decided that their demand for President
Marcos's resignation was "not negotiable ... the matter has reached
a point where the bottomline is for the President to step down."
Inquirer 24 Feb
Cory Aquino: In the evening I was briefed by opposition leaders who had been to Crame. While we waited for Doy who had gone to Crame first, we were discussing what the next move would be.
Evening - Salvador Laurel arrived, just in from Cebu, to "congratulate
Minister Enrile and General Ramos for their great act of courage."
The three then retired to Ramos's curtained office.
MALACAÑANG PALACE, 7:00 PM - Ver was called to the Maharlika Lounge where the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Bruno Torpigliani, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, and Monsignor Severino Pelayo were waiting for him. The Nuncio had a letter for Marcos from Pope John Paul II appealing for a peaceful settlement of the issue. Jaime Cardinal Sin was not with the party because hit men were reportedly out to get him. BREAKAWAY p. 58
D.C. Evening (Manila Time) - The White House issued a statement
questioning the "credibility and legitimacy" of Philippine
President Ferdinand Marcos's government, and saying it shared
the concerns of the rebellious military leaders demanding his
The US offered to help Marcos leave the island nation in a US aircraft, said a congressional source. Times Journal 25 Feb
Fidel Ramos: Another avenue of approach was from the backside through Horseshoe Village in San Juan, by Infantry and Special Scout Rangers. A third was through the backdoor of Camp Aguinaldo, and then maneuvering so that they could fire broadside at Camp Crame.
LIBIS, QUEZON CITY, 8:00 PM - Col. Balbas reported to Tadiar that his unit was stopped by human barricades and that all possible approaches to Camp Aguinaldo were full of people. Tadiar ordered him to return to Fort Bonifacio. BREAKAWAY p. 61
CAMP CRAME, 8:30 PM - More soldiers were pinning to their uniforms the Reform Movement's symbol: a small national flag with the red uppermost. The two thousand printed were not enough for "an endless stream" of supporters from everywhere. Asiaweek 9 Mar
Cory Aquino: When Doy came back from Camp Crame, he told us that there was a proposal to set up a military-civilian junta. Among the civilians would be, of course, me and Doy. I think Celing Palma was also being mentioned, and possibly Senator Tanada. Of course, I could not agree to something like that.
May show ako that night sa Hobbit House. So kain ako, bihis.
Sabi ko sa misis ko babalik muna ako sa Veritas, kasama ang bayaw
ko. Pero sa Crame ako tumuloy, parang hinila ang kamay ko. Nakapasok
pa kami ng Santolan kahit may barricade na dahil nakilala ako
ng mga tao. Pero hanggang kalagitnaan lang ng sementeryo ng San
Juan kasi may barricade na ng ATOM doon. So, ginawa ko, ibinarricade
ko na rin ang kotse. Sabi ko sa bayaw ko, doon muna siya, 'wag
iiwan ang kotse. Kako, pag dumating yung tangke, alisin mo yung
gitara. Hindi na baleng masira yung kotse, 'wag lang yung gitara.
VILLAMOR AIR BASE - Pilots and crew of the 15th Strike Wing were instructed to be at the flight line by 5:00 AM the following day. The duty officer in Sangley was instructed to gather the staff at the Wing Operation Center to listen to Sotelo's briefing on radio. Sotelo asked his supply officer to send 10 M-16's and two boxes of ammunition by land "to equip the guards" - a ruse, as Sotelo intended them for the Wing. Business Day 12 Mar
Fidel Ramos: A very dangerous approach was through Santolan Road coming from the Libis side. Fortunately people were gathered around there and it would have taken a very massive crowd dispersal effort to clear the street. And a final approach was by air, a helicopter assault, which could easily have been successful because we had no air power, or not enough, to counter any air attack.
FORT BONIFACIO - Ramas and his associates were busy up to midnight devising another way to capture the Aguinaldo-Crame area. Gen. Victor Natividad, who had replaced the ailing Olivas as head of the Metropolitan Command, was a big help. He showed how the stubborn human barricades could be breached. BREAKAWAY p. 61
Inikot ako ng tao all the way to the EDSA gate, tapos sinamahan
ako ng sundalo all the way to the office of Ramos and Enrile.
Nandoon sina Armida at Chito Ponce Enrile, at maraming reporters
and foreign correspondents. Mayamaya pinapasok ang press, sumama
ako, kinamayan ko si Ramos at si Enrile, tapos lumabas na 'ko.
I stayed there for a while until lumapit sa akin 'yung isang
babae, she said she worked with Minister Enrile. Kung maaari
daw, tulungan ko ang Gate 2, wala daw tao, lahat na sa EDSA,
e ang balita daw, doon papasukin ng Marines kasi wala ngang tao.
Ang ginawa ko, tumawag ako sa Hobbit House para humiram ng sound
system. Ang problema, mga 12:30 pa magiging available, may show
nga kasi ako.
D.C., Around 10 PM (Manila Time) - The National Security Planning
Group gathered in Shultz's house in Maryland. Those present included
Caspar Weinberger, Michael Armacost, John Poindexter, Robert
Gates, and Philip Habib.
DZRH - Mrs. Aquino called on other government officials to emulate Alampay and on Metro Manila residents to continue supporting the two rebellious government officials. Malaya 24 Feb
That evening, Mrs. Aquino also met with Ramos and Enrile who came to see her in Wack Wack.
CORY AQUINO: "I just asked them what the circumstances were surrounding their going to Crame and Aguinaldo." Inquirer Feb 90
Cory Aquino: I called for them but they never came together; they couldn't both be away from the camp at the same time. I remember feeling more comfortable with Eddie Ramos than with Johnny Ponce Enrile. Maybe given the background that I never had to deal with Eddie during the incarceration of Ninoy. It was always with Johnny Ponce Enrile.
Evening - GMA CHANNEL 7 announced on video, using its character generator, that the rebel group was already in control and that Mr. Marcos had fled the country. Sunday Times 23 Mar
Pagbaba ko sa Gate Two, there were only 4 nuns yata and 4 seminarians
and one priest na nagma-man ng gate; meron ding ilang soldiers
and about 25 people sa labas na inaantok yata, siguro pagod na.
A girl with a mike announced my name. 'Yung mga natutulog-tulog
na, nagising, hinahanap ako. So I waved. Lapit naman sila, padami
nang padami, naging 50, naging 60, hanggang sa, the next thing
you know, hundreds na 'yung nandoon. Sabi ko sa kanila, "Aalis
muna ako, kukuha ako ng sound system." Sabi ng mga tao,
in unison, "Walang aalis! Walang aalis!" Sabi ko, "E
kukunin ko 'yung sound system para magkaroon tayo ng kantahan
dito." Sumigaw sila, in unison pa rin, "Gitara! Gitara!"
May dumating na gitara. Galing sa isang seminarista sa kabilang
barricade. Sabi ko, sige, pero isang kanta lang, kasi kako naghahabol
ako ng oras. "Anong gusto niyong kanta?" "Katarungan!"
Di kinanta ko. Palakpakan. "Pangako niyo, walang aalis,"
sabi ko, "at pangako ko, dito sa gate na ito ako babalik.
At hindi lang sound system ang dadalhin ko, magdadala ako ng
banda para hindi kayo antukin."
USA, 11:30 P.M. - At the Bethesda home of Secretary of State
George Shultz, the President's special envoy Philip Habib presented
a report on his Manila trip. In attendance were Caspar Weinberger,
Secretary of Defense; Admiral William Crowe Jr., chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Robert Gates, deputy director for
Intelligence of the CIA; and John Poindexter, the National Security
Reagan dictated a personal message to his friend appealing to him not to use force. The message was flashed to Ambassador Bosworth in Manila who telephoned Marcos. Veritas Special Oct 86
Freddie Aguilar: Sa Hobbit House, after mga 5 songs, I told the tourists, "I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot finish the show tonight. But if you want to join us in Crame, you're welcome. We need more people in Crame." Sama naman sila, about ten cars, mostly mga suki kong foreign correspondents.
- Radio Veritas broadcaster June Keithley was asked by Jesuit
James Reuter to proceed to DZRH.
Col. Ciron called to say that he was moving the frequency of dzRJ, slowly, from 810 to the 840 kilohertz of Radio Veritas, and invited June Keithley to take over. Inquirer Feb 88
Fidel Ramos: Radyo Bandido was arranged through the efforts of Col. Ruben Ciron of Minister Enrile's staff who's in radio broadcasting. The station would continue to use the Radio Veritas code sign but it was really the old DZRJ. It was a great relief. We were afraid that we had lost our major propaganda arm when Veritas's signal died down.
Keithley quietly got
in touch with a bunch of friends and revealed that she could gain access
to a new media facility. Quickly film director Peque Gallaga took command
of organizing a ragtag group capable of manning and operating a rebel
radio station. Malaya
Eggie Apostol: That evening I was back again in Alabang, keeping vigil with Mrs. Enrile. You know, not talking to each other, we were just praying the rosary and just being very nervous. We didn't know how it was going to end. It was like a movie.
Ming Ramos: Maybe we were afraid inside but we were quite calm. I told the children to pack small bags, just a few things, in case we had to leave. We were all listening for helicopters that might land and take us, knowing that if Ver got desperate, he'd do anything. I don't think we slept. We didn't put on our nightgowns. We had our jeans on, and jackets, because the night was cool. I remember lying down with my sneakers on.
EDSA - The crowd had thinned
since the retreat of the tanks but not for a moment throughout the night
were the barricades left unmanned. The vigilantes sat on the grassy
lots just off the highway and kept themselves awake by telling stories
of the uprising so that from one group to another passed accounts of
this period of civil disobedience. How four daughters of Presidents
- Nini Quezon, Vicky Quirino, Rosie Osmena, and Linda Garcia - made
the rounds of the embassies urging foreign diplomats not to recognize
Marcos as President-elect. How some people were saying that Cardinal
Sin had to be "coaxed" to make a statement on the Enrile-Ramos
rebellion and that his call to the faithful was originally intended
to ask them merely to bring food to the rebels. How other people were
vexed by the pussyfooting of the Papal Nuncio and were sarcastically
suggesting that he deliver the invocation at the Marcos inaugural. How
Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes were proving to be the true machos of
showbiz; unscared champions of the opposition throughout the campaign
and now militant heroes of the resistance. How Nora Aunor, booed on
her first visit to the rebel camp, had shown spunk by returning for
a second visit to reaffirm her solidarity with the revolution. How Gen.
Ramos had become "The Nora Aunor of the Revolution," cheered
and mobbed everywhere he went by people wanting to touch and kiss him.
And how his wife Ming was complaining about his telling everyone who
asked that she and the children were at home. "Why are you announcing
where we are? What if they take us as hostages?" Cooly replied
Eddie Ramos: "If any of you are kidnapped, I am not going to compromise!" QUARTET
Before Edsa 1965-1986: Marcos Times
NEXT: Day Three