EDSA – 22nd February 1986

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 The EDSA Revolution, also referred to as the People Power Revolution and the Philippine Revolution of 1986, was a mostly nonviolent mass demonstration in the Philippines. Four days of peaceful action by millions of Filipinos in Metro Manila led to the downfall of the authoritarian regime of President Ferdinand Marcos and the installation of Corazon Aquino as president of the Republic. EDSA stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, a main highway in Metro Manila and the main site of the demonstrations.

From Wikipedia

The walkout of Linda and her team was an unplanned complication for her husband, Red, who, with Juan Ponce Enrile (Minister of Defence), Fidel V. Ramos (Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and future president), Colonel Gregorio Honasan and 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. On Friday 21st of February, Red told Linda it would be a good idea for her to join their children in Davao.

The plan went ahead the very next day, the 22nd of February 1986, with the Enrile and Ramos announcing at a press conference that they were withdrawing support for Marcos and accusing him of cheating in the recent elections.

They took over Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, which faced each other across EDSA. The attack they expected from Marcos forces was thwarted when the Catholic Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Sin, called for Filipinos to gather at EDSA in support of the soldiers. As many as one million had gathered by the time the military arrived on the morning of the 23th of February. They refused to disperse, and by evening the tanks were forced to retreat.

On February 24, Marcos dispatched helicopter gun-ships to attack the camps, and the crowds watched helplessly at they approached. But the pilots defected, and landed in the camps.

On the morning of the 25th at GreenHills, about one kilometre from Camp Crame, Cory Aquino was sworn in as President. By this time there were perhaps two million people in the streets between EDSA and Greenhills.

An hour later, Marcos held his own inauguration at the Presidential Palace. Later that day, as crowds threatened to storm the Palace, Marcos and his family departed by helicopter . They were taken to a US airbase north of Manila, and then on to Hawaii where they lived in exile until Marcos’ death in 1989.

Wikipedia says of the EDSA revolution:

“…it was successful mainly because the coup leaders were able to get the support of the crowds that filled EDSA.

“The event was actually quite an unprecedented event in history. It was probably the first time millions of civilians came to the aid of the military, which had long been an instrument of repression and terror.”

Twenty years on, Sylvia L. Mayuga wrote about EDSA:

Now we realize. Too many things happened too fast in those four days of February, 1986 and the years just after that the nation never quite caught up with itself enough to harvest from people power’s “brief shining moment.” Could this be a reason history keeps repeating itself in this country?

And so books continue to be written, with yesteryear’s memories as subjects of fresh research and reinterpretation. The latest book, “Heroes”, numbering 20, will be launched on Monday, February 20, in celebration of EDSA’s 20th anniversary by the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Center for Leadership and the organization for youth formation Alay sa Bansa .”

Linda and her walkout team are one of the 20 heroes in the book.

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See Wikipedia for a comprehensive report about EDSA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The tanks are coming!” Somebody would shout from the crowd and at once everyone ran in the direction of the advancing tanks. A false alarm. Almost every approach to Crame now lay blocked with stalled cars and buses, fallen trees, debris or street lighting. But it was the human barricade, swelling by the minute, that provided the biggest barrier to any possible advance of loyalist forces.

Francisco S. Tatad

It was a revolution begun and won by the people of God. The church was the people of God liberating themselves. The means the people of God chose as the means to effect their liberation were chosen precisely because they gave expression to the Gospel values: respect and love for the human person, respect for human life. They chose a nonviolent resistance that harmed no one and drew all together.

Fr. Vic Helly S.J.

One miracle was the people. They faced danger. They became very courageous. They went where the danger was. Sending our people out was a risk, but it was the only way. When your faith is strong, even mountains can be moved. But there were moments when I was disturbed. I was praying; “God, don’t let his happen, please.” Never in my life did I pray so much.

Jaime Cardinal Sin

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