EDSA Revolution? of 1986
The 1986 non-violent mass demonstrations that culminated in the intersection of ortigas and epifanio delos santos avenues spreading left and right to shaw blvd. and santolan road (bonnie serrano) where camps are located, were wrongly heralded as a Revolution in EDSA.
The toppling of the Marcos dictatorship installed Corazon Aquino as president in 1986. These mass gatherings from February 22 to February 25 were considered as the forerunner of nonviolent demonstrations around the world such as those in eastern europe.
Lately, the aquino/cojuanco administration coined the name yellow revolution as a matter of media hype and color for campaigning purposes, and still being used until now until the final bleak realization of the people of the true meaning of “yellow propaganda”.
The seeds of unrest were planted in the mid to late 1960s. Then president Ferdinand Marcos was elected president in the elections of 1965, winning against incumbent Diosdado Macapagal by a slim margin.
Marcos’ first term was marked by one of the largest infrastructure programs the country has ever seen. He was reelected in 1969, the first president to be elected for two consecutive terms.
Those were the glory days of the philippines that popularized so intensely the so-called pork barrel system in the whole achipelago.
However by the late 1960s to the early 1970s, discontent among the people started to grow, starting with the involvement of the Philippines in the Vietnam War and the general dissatisfaction of the public over their quality of life.
Soon, movements were established such as the New People’s Army in 1969, the precursor of which was the hukbalahap movement against hacienda luisita of the Aquino-Cojuangco family.
When news broke out that Marcos planned to amend the constitution, allowing him to run for a third term in the presidential elections of 1973, student-led protests erupted in the streets, in what has since become known as the Quarter Storm of 1970.
Later, student movements also led the Diliman Commune of February 1971. Despite the violent protests, the Constitutional Convention still convened in June 1971.
Only a very few can remember the two hand grenades that exploded at the miting de avance of the Liberal Party just before the senatorial elections of 1971, injuring some of their candidates Jovito Salonga and Gerardo Roxas.
In response, Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus; however another spate of bombings in the metropolis happened in 1972. Then opposition Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr exposed Oplan Sagittarius, a plan of Marcos to put some parts of the country under martial law.
In the same manner that Kalibapi of Aquino that supported the Japanese puppet-government, the Jabida massacre was also unveiled,
On September 22, 1972, then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile under Marcos was the focus of a staged assassination attempt; a day later, Marcos declared martial law.
During that period, Marcos was able to pass the 1973 Constitution changing the form of government to a parliamentary system.
Persons critical of the regime, including Jose W. Diokno, Joaquin Roces and other detainees were killed or never to be seen again.
Some, including Aquino at the time of his release, also sought exile overseas through the intercession of wife, Meldy. Marcos also installed his cronies as heads of numerous corporations by seizing privately-owned businesses.
Marcos lifted martial law in 1981, but still retained a lot of his martial law-era powers. With Marcos still exercising extra constitutional powers, the lifting of martial law did not quell the unrest among the people.
Opposition parties boycotted the first presidential elections after martial law in 1981, which Marcos won by a landslide.
The headline that shocked the nation “Aquino Shot Dead” was the headline that shocked the nation.
Seeing the unrest triggered by the Aquino-Galman assassination, Marcos formed the Agrava Commission to investigate.
Because of added pressure from the United States, in November 1985 Marcos called for snap elections.
The snap elections were finally held on 7 February 1986, with Cory Aquino and Salvador Laurel running against Marcos and Arturo Tolentino for the presidency and the vice-presidency.
These elections were marred by vote-buying, oppression, and fraudulent results; with Commission on Elections results in favor of Marcos while the National Movement for Free Elections results were in favor of Aquino. In protest, thirty computer operators walk out of the comelec center during the tabulation two days after the election.
One of the most brutal incidents that happened in connection with the snap elections was the killing of lawyer Evelio Javier, opposition ex-governor of Antique, on 11 February 1986.
Javier was chased and shot to death in broad daylight at the provincial capitol. The assassination was considered as one of the tipping points that led to the revolution, and the bishops of the catholic church took advange to join the congregations supporting the condemnation of Marcos.
With all the dramas unfolding, Marcos also held his own press conference and tv appearance appealing to the rebel faction to surrender.
During the height of the revolution, an estimated one to three million people filled EDSA from Ortigas Avenue all the way to Cubao. Photos can show the area at the intersection of EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue, just between Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo beaming the so-called EDSA_Revolution.
The people at EDSA, meanwhile, had been stopping tanks and armored personnel carriers just by using themselves as shields. Cory Aquino, who went into hiding cuddled by the nuns in the visayas, came back to Manila from Cebu at 3 PM.
At midnight Marcos appeared on television again, pledging not to resign and promising to crush the rebellion. He accused Enrile and Ramos of trying to establish a junta.
To cut the story short, Cory was finally sworn in as president by Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee at Club Filipino where she finally appeared for the first time. Laurel was also sworn in as vice-president, while Enrile was appointed as Defense Minister and Ramos as Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff.
With the words of US Senator Paul Laxalt “to cut and cut cleanly”, Marcos finally gave in and called Enrile to ask for safe passage out of the coutnry.
Enrile and Cory agreed, and as the Marcoses fled the country to seek refuge in Hawaii, people storm the palace to reclaim control over the government. They gave the dominance from Marcos to Aquino/Cojuanco.
In the middle of all this moro-moro of a so-called revolutions in edsa, parasapinga took the time out with his two unconcerned and fearless young sons, noel and joel, to flex their muscles like in tour of luzon, by biking their way amidst the milling crowd and expectators all waiting to hear gunshots and bomb explosions that never happened between the protagonists from both sides.
All they heard were the shrilling voice of vendors shouting “mane! mane!, sigarilyo, popcorn or tubeg” for people who care to buy.
The pinga siblings, innocent yet so daring, were equally agitated but not afraid to serve as witnesses to the factual truthfulness of the radio report-revolution while riding the bicycles.
The three courageous uzis raced and braved with glee the cemented road of dr. sixto antonio to the very end turning left to ortigas until they reached the uphill climb up to the edsa intersection after passing through the rosario bridge.
There they saw the gallivanting crowds, a tank, a few soldiers, nuns and priests, and after the momentous event, the trio turned back home taking the very same route, panting their breathe and perspiration to drink the cool juice prepared by their fearful mother at home.
The EDSA Revolution has been criticized as being a mere regime change, unable to bring genuine reform in the country.
Critics point to the return of the Marcoses to power as duly-elected government officials and the failure of the government to prosecute them, to EDSA being a Manila-centered event, and the lack of true reforms to resolve the issues that brought about EDSA in the first place.
Later on, the aquino-cojuangco family was implicated in the massacre at cojuanco-owned Hacienda Luisita in 2004. The Aquinos were held accountable for the violent dispersal of the farmers’ strike, leading to the deaths of seven farmers.
Then senator, Noynoy Aquino, son of cory cojuanco and benigno aquino, was also severely criticized for defending the violent dispersal, saying that the soldiers had every right to violently disperse the farmers because they fired first.
The Aquinos were also implicated in the killings of several people also involved in the case – among them were union leader Ric Ramos and Tarlac city councilor Abel Ladera.