The day before EDSA

The walkout of Linda and her team was an unplanned complication for her husband, Red, who with others had been plotting a coup d’état to overthrow Marcos.

Linda and her walkout team had been in hiding since the 9th of February as a precaution against reprisals by Marcos or his supporters. On Friday 21st of February, Red told Linda it would be a good idea for her to join their children, who had been staying with their grandparents in Davao since the walkout. Linda guessed something important was about to happen, but asked no questions.

Red organised a false ID for Linda and an armed bodyguard to accompany her on the trip. Linda also carried a 9mm pistol.

In those days airport security was handled by the air force, so Red was able to arrange for Linda and the bodyguard to board the plane at the last moment, bypassing normal departure security.

It was dark when they arrived at Davao airport. Normally they would have been collected by family for the half hour trip home. However they had arrived unannounced, and took a taxi instead.

The normal route from the airport to the suburb of Matina where Linda’s parents lived is through built-up areas, but not long after leaving the airport the taxi turned onto a dark, unfamiliar road. Linda was immediately suspicious, fearing either a robbery or perhaps something worse related to either the walkout or Red’s activities. The bodyguard did not know the area and was unaware of Linda’s apprehension, and Linda was not able to warn him without alerting the driver of her suspicions. She was comforted by the gun, which she kept firmly in her hand for the remainder of the trip.

As it turned out, the driver was simply taking the diversion road, a route now commonly used to bypass traffic in downtown Davao.

When Linda arrived without notice and without Red, Linda’s mum (Nanay) immediately guessed: something big was about to happen involving Red.

The very next day it did happen. History was being written.

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