Hijacking the 1986 EDSA Revolution

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The country celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA “Revolution” under the deception that things have become better ever since the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship. The celebrations have become so regular, so systematic, and so ingrained that the “EDSA Spirit” has become rather dogmatic.

Leading the celebrations, as expected, is President BS Aquino along with many traditional politicians who “hijacked” EDSA. Ask the common person in the street about EDSA, and they will say that it was led by Corazon Aquino, BS Aquino’s late mother. It’s the same thinking that got BS Aquino elected in the first place.

Never mind that, in the first place, EDSA was ignited by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement led by (surprise, surprise) then-Minister of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile. If not for RAM, there would have been no EDSA in the first place. In fact, the plan was for RAM to install a revolutionary council that would govern the country, to be led by Enrile. RAM’s plans got mucked up after Marcos left (or was kidnapped) and headed to Hawaii.

Instead of placing Enrile as head of a revolutionary council, Corazon Aquino grabbed the presidency and took her oath despite losing the controversial snap election weeks earlier. Enrile just stepped aside and allowed Aquino to assume power. Ironically, Enrile was fired nine months after he helped Aquino to take the presidency.

Being the turncoat that he was, Gen. Fidel Ramos pledged loyalty to Cory Aquino immediately. The soldiers (the ones who truly initiated the uprising) were ostracized and cast aside. All the glory of EDSA went to the Aquino family and their trapo followers. It is pretty sad how history has never given these soldiers credit for what they did. As much as I did not like that EDSA happened, if I were to give anyone credit for it, I would give it to the brave soldiers who dared to stand up despite being heavily outnumbered and having a disadvantage in firepower. Likewise, President Marcos deserves credit for not ordering his tropps to fire at the crowd. Marcos’s impotence or perhaps his “good conscience” led to EDSA being “bloodless” unlike the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China which happened about three years later.

The actions of the Cory regime (especially the freeing of political prisoner and Maoist rebel leader Jose Maria Sison) led to the establishment of two more underground military factions besides RAM. The Cory regime pushed some military officers to form the Young Officers Union (YOU) and the Soldiers of the Filipino People (SFP) factions, both of which helped launch coup d’etats which heavily damaged the Aquino administration. Even Cory Aquino’s vice president, Salvador Laurel, defected to the opposition and openly supported rebel forces in the 1989 coup d’etat.

It took just three years for the military to realize that Cory Aquino’s administration was no better or maybe even worse than that of Ferdinand Marcos. Vice President Laurel left Cory Aquino’s administration within a year after seeing her incompetence. As early as then, the promises of EDSA were already being shattered one-by-one. Laurel saw it. Enrile saw it. Honasan saw it. Many military officers saw it.

Thirty years, nine coup d’etats, and five presidents later, the dreams formed after EDSA remained just that, dreams. This is probably why the Marcos name has made waves once again with the candidacy of Senator Bongbong Marcos for the vice presidency. In the end, the only way to convince people that life was worse under martial law is for real progress to happen.

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11 Comments on “Hijacking the 1986 EDSA Revolution”

  1. EDSA was a “stolen dream” of the Filipinos. The U.S./C.I.A. played a major part , especially the U.S. Dept. of State Sec. Schultz, warning Marcos, not to use force. The U.S. Air Force in the U.S. Clark Air Force Base, also helped in deposing Marcos.

    Enrile and Ramos were just minor players. The Aquinos grabbed power, on the order of the U.S./C.I.A. The rest is history…

  2. Enrile and the coup plotters (RAM) were already discovered and would have been massacred if they were not protected by the people. If only Enrile and the RAM boys made the call, people would not have flocked at EDSA. The people gave them a chance/ benefit of the doubt because of the calls of the leaders of the Opposition (Cardinal Sin, Butz Aquino and, yes, Cory Aquino, as she was the leader of the Opposition at that time). Enrile and the RAM boys as “triggers” of the revolution? Maybe. Leaders? Definitely not. They had no right or mandate to lead the country after EDSA. They should already be grateful that the people saved their asses.

  3. Agree that Cory admin’s far from perfect but the so-called messiahs were themselves ambitious! Nine coup attempts and none succeeded!Why? The answer is blowing in the wind! The throng of Filipino masses saved the plotters not the other way around!

  4. Those who still idolised the fallen gods are sadly still the lost souls of the country’s lost history. They who still cling to the fabricated lies to defeat the truth are still prisoners of the country’s darkest period in history. True enough, a conqueror can vanished all his enemies but he who conquers himself is the greatest victor of all. Some common sense and a little sanity of the mind should lead you to find the truth. Truth shall set you free!

  5. naging patay na tradition na ito. mistulang ala-ala. hindi tunay na isinapuso upang yumabong. nasayang at nalustay sa hibla na panahon. nagpalitan lang ng mga pangalan at upuan. kaya masisisi ba natin ang mga millenials kung sila man ang malinlang ng dating pamamaraan ng pamahalaan batay sa militarization, dikatorya at kamay ng kamatayan? masisisi ba natin ang millenials kung wala namang naipunla na diwa ng EDSA sa mga sumunod na panahon? masisisi ba natin ang mga millenials kung wala naman silang tinitingalang modelo ng tunay na demokrasya, katarungan at katotohanan, maging ito man ay sa simbahan, Katoliko man o hindi? masisisi ba natin sila? siguro, kasama tayong lahat sa pagsisisi.

  6. No elections, no presidents, no change in the form of government and no brilliant entities in the political spectrum could propelled the Philippines unless Filipinos themselves changed first. Character flaws dominate our culture and these are very evident from jeepney drivers , movies, public officials and down to the tiniest fabric of our society. If one needs some proof then look around you and study in earnest how people carry on with their lives.

  7. Everyone can, and does, admire the peaceful events of EDSA#1 and EDSA#2. Looking back though, am I the only person that believes that the peaceful nature of both movements is the root cause of the sad fact that nothing has fundamentally changed? Neither movement instilled a respect (read as fear) for the people among the ruling elite? Has either movement really created an incentive for the ruling class to truly reform their ways? I think not. Same corrupt processes with different faces, it appears. I in no way support violence now or in the future. Just want to point out that real revolutionary movements have historically been a little more messy. With all respect… B

  8. May I point out that in most democracies throughout the world, the voter votes for a candidate that represents the political goals of a political party. Sadly, I do not see any political party with a philosophy or goal worth voting for. In most democracies in the world, one party wants to tax the rich and redistribute to the poor, and another party thinks that increasing overall wealth comes from helping private enterprise to create jobs (lower taxes to create growth). Here in the Philippines what do parties believe in? They all say they believe in honesty, which we know that they do not. What else do they believe in???? Nothing exactly. They have no social philosophy and thus cannot have a plan to improve lives… So here we are…B

  9. Here’s What I Found:
    To start, I learned that snoring is a big problem, and an indicator of OSA, which leads to all manner of health problems, like: •Acid reflux
    •Frequent nighttime urination
    •Memory loss
    •Stroke
    •Depression
    •Diabetes
    •Heart attack
    So I continued to research and found a case study – one that changed everything. It was published by Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and concludes that wearing a simple chin-strap is not only the simplest treatment for snoring and OSA, but it’s also the most effective.

    Better than CPAP devices…

    Better than nasal strips…

    And certainly better than snoring.

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