EDSA myths 2014

“Ang nag-udyok sa atin sa Edsa, ang nag-uudyok sa tuwing may sakunang tumulong sa isa’t isa, hindi dahil gusto nating lumamang o may pakinabang tayo dito…Sa nakakaraming Pilipino po, and pinakamalakas na naguudyok sa ating kumilos ay pagmamahal,” Aquino said in his nationwide televised speech.

(What led us to Edsa, what prompts us to help each other during times of disaster, is not because we want to get ahead or because it will benefit us…For many Filipinos, they were prompted to act because of love.)

The President, ditching his original speech, recalled how Filipinos united and succeeded in staging a peaceful Edsa People Power.

He also explained why it is appropriate to celebrate the restoration of democracy in Cebu.

“Kung ang huling yugto o huling kabanata sa Edsa, pwede nating masabi ang unang yugto nagsimula sa Cebu,” he said.

i beg to disagree.  what moved the people to EDSA 28 years ago was not the spirit of bayanihan or love-thy-neighbor in a season of natural disaster.  what moved the people to EDSA was the spirit of non-violent change in a season of political awareness and political change.

it was just 8 days since the batasan pambansa declared marcos the winner (despite serious and widespread allegations of cheating) in the snap election, 7 days since cory declared herself the rightful winner, mounted a giant protest, and called for the boycott of crony goods and services that by the 6th day, friday 21 feb, was seeing the economy reeling and the cronies freaking out.  cory was in cebu to spread the word, marcos’s days were numbered, next stop davao.

when ramos and enrile defected, the people were already in the throes of non-violent revolution, changing consumption habits, changing banks, changing newspapers, to bring down the crony economy and force marcos to step down.  what moved the people to go to EDSA, wearing and waving cory’s colors, was the prospect of furthering the split in the marcos military, perhaps winning the rebel military over to cory’s camp, and together pushing for an end to dictatorship and corruption and censorship.

i get it naman, the notion of taking EDSA celebrations to the visayas and mindanao.  what i don’t get is why it meant no celebrations in metromanila.  puwede namang ipagdiwang dito kahit wala ang presidente.

and yes, i get it, too, the nation is restive enough, things are in such a mess, everywhere you look there’s something terribly wrong that’s taking forever to make right, wiser to veer away from people power and revolution talk.

pero napakalungkot for nation that the president himself, whose family was, is, the biggest beneficiary of EDSA, has only added to the misinformation floating around for the last 28 years.  and, of course, certain opinion columnists have been quick to pounce, na okay lang naman if only these columnists were pushing facts and not myths.

Amando Doronila : … It was only after the bulk of the military establishment had defected to join the rebel forces in Camp Crame that Cory returned to Manila to reestablish her presence while the Marcos regime was crumbling swiftly. At this stage, Cory declared support for the Enrile-Ramos mutiny.

cory returned to manila the very next day after the enrile-ramos defection.  she was back by the time the people stopped the tanks in ortigas on EDSA sunday. [EDSA UNO…page 130]  defections started pouring into the rebel camps only on EDSA monday. [210]  cory declared support for the enrile-ramos mutiny even while she was in cebu, at a presscon in magellan hotel late sunday morning before she left for manila.

Bobit Avila : … We later learned over Radyo Bandido that it was the time when the Comelec computer programmers walked out of the PICC and Butz Aquino echoed the call of Jaime Cardinal Sin to march to EDSA to protect then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos who were holed out in Camp Crame.

the walkout of the computer programmers took place on the 9th of february [40], a whole week before cory launched her non-violent civil disobedience and crony boycott campaign.  also, it was jaime cardinal sin who echoed the call of butz aquino, not the other way around.  butz issued his first call from camp aguinaldo at around 10:20 saturday night, asking the people to join him “to try and prevent bloodshed.” [86]  the cardinal made his first call at 10:40, ten minutes into the marcos presscon where the dictator accused the rebels of an aborted coup plot; the cardinal only said that it was all right to help the rebels with food and support IF the people wished, and asked them to pray with him that not a drop of blood be shed. [88-89]  it was at midnight, when butz and the tens of thousands of coryistas who had responded to his call were already marching from isetann toward the camps, that the cardinal went on the air again and categorically asked the people to go to the camps and support the rebels: “let us help them with our presence.” [101]  also, saturday night enrile and RAM were holed up in camp aguinaldo, ramos in camp crame, until they joined forces in crame sunday afternoon.

Kit Tatad : … the military mutiny, which drew entire families to Edsa following Cardinal Jaime Sin’s call for citizen support, had nothing to do with the results of the Feb. 7, 1986 snap presidential election, which Cory lost to Marcos. She had no part in the Edsa “revolt” and had in fact gone to Cebu to stay with some religious sisters and avoid getting sucked into the event.

Tony Lopez :… Corazon Cojuangco Aquino didn’t win the snap election of February 1986. It was won by strongman Ferdinand Marcos by a margin of 800,000 votes. In the Comelec-sanctioned official count, the legal and official winner was Marcos, by a margin of 1.7 million votes.

ah so, 800,000 votes lang ang winning margin ni marcos over cory.  minus the 350,000 that enrile said was the extent of the cheating in cagayan [74] leaves 450,000.  surely cagayan was not the only place where massive cheating took place, apart from the countless reports of vote-buying, terrorism, snatching of ballot boxes, inaccuracies in counting and tabulation, and the thousands of disenfranchised metro manila voters. [39]  in an honest and clean election, cory would no doubt have won.

Tony Lopez: … Initially, Cory Aquino didn’t have any participation in the four-day People Power revolt of Feb. 22-25, 1986 or EDSA I. She hid in a Cebu convent the first night. Enrile wanted to take over as President. But the RAM wanted a more acceptable political figure, Cory.

Emil Jurado : … For the record, Mrs. Aquino was never seen on Edsa even as she later became its beneficiary. Fidel Ramos, Juan Ponce Enrile and Gregorio Honasan simply decided to hand over power to her.

Kit Tatad : … when GTV-4 asked Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile whether he and his military associates would take the power after Marcos, he hastily (and imprudently, some believe) said no, they would give it to Cory.

for the record, u.s.t. history professor evelyn a. songco, whom i met at an EDSA symposium last feb 21, said she saw cory in EDSA on the afternoon of day 3, monday, confirming news reports of business day and manila bulletin back in feb 1986.  but even if cory had not gone to EDSA, i daresay it didn’t matter to the coryistas.  cory had done her part, EDSA was all about the people doing theirs, i.e., wooing the rebel military to cory’s side.

and yes, enrile wanted to take over as president — that’s what the aborted coup plot was all about (and the post-EDSA coup attempts) – but no, he didn’t give up the ambition easily or “simply,” and neither did RAM, thinking that the people would accept enrile as replacement to marcos yet not daring to go public with the offer.  until day 3, monday, they were pushing for a civilian-military junta that enrile would head along with cory.  but cory would not hear of it, and by monday night the enrile-RAM faction was reduced to demanding that the inauguration be held in camp crame for security reasons.  it got so bad that cory was not even expecting them to attend the club filipino affair, and seats had to be added to the presidential table when they arrived.

Kit Tatad : … Did Marcos fall and Cory Aquino take over, solely because of “people power” or because of Washington? Is it conceivable for a Filipino president to fall without US participation or consent?

u.s. president ronald reagan’s troubleshooter philip habib was in manila feb 15 to noon of the 22nd, and he could tell that something was about to break but wasn’t sure what.  the ramos-enrile defection caught the americans napping, people power knocked them out.  it was already day 3, the people had stopped tanks the day before, sotelo had defected that morning, and defections were finally pouring into the rebel camp, when the americans intervened in earnest, and only in the matter of marcos’s escape.  intelligence reports from the CIA re movements in and out of malacanang palace may have helped the rebel camp during the four days, but if the americans had stayed out of it, EDSA would have happened anyway, and it could have ended more decisively.

Efren Danao : … I believe that February 22 has a stronger claim to be named EDSA Day despite Cory’s absence. It was on February 22, 1986 that JPE, FVR and a small group of reformist groups withdrew their support for Marcos and made Camp Aguinaldo their base. They were all ready to die in the face of superior forces of the dictatorship. They refused to cower in fright in a safe sanctuary. It was also the first day that Jaime Cardinal Sin called on all freedom-loving Filipinos to go to Camp Aguinaldo. Definitely, danger was greatest and greater strength of conviction was needed on the very first day, February 22.

i believe that february 23 has the strongest claim to EDSA Day despite cory’s absence.  it was on feb 23 EDSA sunday, that the people marched to EDSA in huge numbers and discovered their awesome power to effect non-violent change when united by a common goal.  if not for the people’s courage and that awesome demonstration in ortigas sunday afternoon, cory and enrile would not have been compelled to rise above their differences and bow to the people’s will, even if only for those crucial days when the dictator was still around.

Ninez Cacho Olivares : … Edsa was started, not in Cebu, but in Edsa, the day before Enrile resigned as Marcos’ defense minister. The records prove it. Malaya, the then opposition newspaper, carried the story of Enrile’s resignation on the day Enrile and his RAMboys closeted themselves in Camp Crame and began the revolt agaisnt Marcos and his dictatorship.

ano daw?  EDSA started when the news came out in malaya that enrile had resigned and he and RAM closeted themselves in camp crame???  that’s camp aguinaldo ha.  and, really, who cared, who knew, if enrile resigned friday.  the people were already in revolt, it was the 7th day of the crony boycott.  people only started caring about enrile during the evening presscon when he admitted that they cheated cory in cagayan and that the 1972 ambush was staged.

Charlie Manalo :… the people’s discontent was already at boiling point then, the Marcos dictatorship was ready to be toppled anytime, the ruling class had to maneuver everything to bring the situation to its advantage. It had to hijack the people’s movement to ensure they would still be in control of the situation. And that resulted in the failed coup by Enrile. … Hence, Enrile’s failed act is an action totally separate from the growing people’s movement. In fact, had the coup succeeded, it was not meant to benefit Cory. But as the Church and other organization started to extend support to Enrile’s beleaguered forces, a compromise has to be made and Enrile had to relinquish any plan to grab power and offer the presidency to someone who wasn’t even there.

how convoluted and obfuscatory naman.  in fact, the ruling class maneuvering to hijack the people’s movement was exactly what enrile and RAM were up to when they planned the coup, and failing that, when they defected and tried to win the support of the people.  if the RAM coup had pushed through and succeeded in deposing marcos, enrile would have been in a position to publicly challenge cory for the presidency.  but i imagine that cory would have been unfazed, gone on to davao from cebu, continued adding to the list of crony companies to boycott, and the people would have been happy to oblige.  in the end, enrile would have had to step aside anyway.

Conrado de Quiros : .. Maybe the relocation of Edsa to Fuente Osmeña reinterpreted Edsa, rewrote Edsa, revised Edsa—but what of it? Maybe it wasn’t just time that Edsa was relocated elsewhere, maybe it was time Edsa itself was retold. Because what we’ve had over the last 28 years was really pretty much a reinterpreted Edsa, a rewritten Edsa, a revised Edsa. Maybe it was time we reinterpreted the reinterpretation, rewrote what had already been rewritten, revised the revised version. To correct it, to rectify it, to stand it on its feet and not on its head.

what of it ?!?!?

if the politicos with the help of the media had not reinterpreted, rewrote, revised EDSA…  if they had not dignified false claims that it was the handiwork of the americans, of the rebel military, even of the virgin mary, effectively diminishing the role of the people …  if the people had had a better sense of what happpened behind the scenes and how it was their non-violent actions on EDSA that compelled, nay, forced, cory and enrile to join forces against the dictator…  then the people might have remained vigilant post-EDSA rather than de-activating, rather than trusting that cory and her cabinet would right all wrongs and we could live happily ever after…  then that could have been a truly revolutionary government and we would now be in a different space and time.