edsa Q & A

@ manuel buencamino

I was away from the country from ’82 to ’95. A few things I’m not too clear about:

actually we were all in the same boat, those who were away and those who were around.   my folks and i weren’t any clearer about what was going on all the way up to EDSA, even if we were part of the xerox journalism circuit.   and long after EDSA we were told only as much as enrile and gringo and ramos and cory and cardinal sin thought we should know.   the liberated media were happy with what crumbs wereoffered.

1. The plot to kill the Marcoses turned out to be true. Who ordered the killing, Gringo?

the plot was hatched by the core group of RAM which was led by gringo.   the brains were red kapunan (like gringo, an enrile boy) and vic batac (a ramos boy, his intelligence chief).

2. What was Enrile to RAM, did he have a role in the plot to kill Marcos?

the founders, the leaders of RAM, were enrile’s security forceas minister of national defense.   naging close, as in bff, sila through the years. i suppose the soldiers developed a loyalty to enrile who treated them very well.   he was the godfather, probably paying for the uzis and galils and the training of RAM with british mercenaries in 83, by which time they were set to battle it out with ver so that enrile (and not imelda) could replace the ailing marcos in malacanang when the time came.

The RAM plot was busted and is that what forced Enrile to act?

aha, good question.   let me go back some.   the aborted feb 23 coup plot was the 2nd for RAM.   the first was planned in august 85 and set for december 26, 85, but was put on hold because marcos called snap elections dec nov 3.   RAM was convinced that there was no way cory could win over marcos, and during the campaign, when they provided security services for cory, they tried to persuade her to be part of their coup plans and and of a ruling junta; cory of course declined.   fast forward to the crony boycott, feb 16, which turned out to be a huge success.   my theory is, nataranta na ang cronies including enrile because cory’s campaign was certainly picking up steam, baka maunahan sila sa malacanang?   which would explain why on feb 20, day 5 of the boycott, they plotted and set a coup for feb 23.   talo-talo na.

but the coup plot was busted.   and even if the RAM may have wanted to crawl back into the woodwork until better times,  my theory is, the cronies wouldn’t let them.   the cronies (who were losing millions of bucks everyday) must have known about the sunday coup and when it was called off dahil ver was ready for them, these cronies (kasali kaya si danding?) must have asked, urged enrile and RAM to move anyway, negotiate with cory somehow, stop the boycott somehow.   and so they made up that story about the arrest orders — there were no arrest orders issued that day; ver was expecting to wipe them out the next morning — and stop the boycott they did; i suppose cory agreed in exchange for their allegiance.

3. What was the connection of FVR to Enrile and RAM and the plot to kill Marcos that he decided to bolt when he did?

fvr was in on the RAM plots from the beginning.  sonny razon, his chief of security in the INP, was a RAM member, his intelligence chief was core group.

4. What was FVR’s beef with Marcos, was it the same as JPE’s and Ram’s?

in mid-81 fvr was next in line for the afp chief of staff post but marcos bypassed him and appointed ver instead.   in mid-85 marcos removed the integrated national police, of which ramos was chief, from enrile’s ministry of national defense and put it directly under presidential control.   and of course ramos also had issues about professionalism, or lack of it,  in the afp, etc.

5. I gather that the mutiny and Cory’s movement were independent of each other and did not share the same goals since Cory wanted a return to democracy and civilian supremacy while the RAM/JPE/FVR group wanted a military junta and never had any philosohical problems with martial rule. Was this the cause of tensions during Cory’s administration?

yes, cory and RAM/jpe/fvr were on parallel tracks, quite independent of each other.   cory wanted democracy and civilian supremacy and RAM/jpe/fvr wanted a military-civilian junta/ruling council that could include cory and cardinal sin atbp.   cory got her way but people power forced her to work with enrile (ninoy’s jailer), if only a while (9 months to be exact).

and yes, it would seem that the RAM/jpe/fvr group had no philosophical problems with martial rule, specially the policy towards the left.   they were very unhappy about the release of political detainees (a campaign promise of cory) and the leftists/human rights lawyers advising her in the palace (joker, saguisag, bobbit sanchez atbp), thus the many coup attempts.


  1. Die Hard NoyPi

    @manuelbuencamino: on Item #5=my own theory on the cause of the tension during Cory’s admin was that the RAM boys led by Gringo were goaded by then Vice-President Doy Laurel to launch coup attempts against Cory because Doy wanted Pres. Cory to resign and turn-over the power to him (remember Gringo was reported hiding in boat somewhere in Batangas suppoedly under the security blanket of then VP-Laurel). Unfortunately, FVR sided with Cory and protected her from a successful coup attempts to the disappointment of enrile.

  2. UP n grad

    Last 9July2009, Arnold Padilla of bulatlat – com wrote
    US ‘Wish List’ Vs Philippine Constitution Behind American Lobby for Cha-Cha. Arnold Padilla points to Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and its publication — the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers or the NTE. This document aims to provide an “inventory of the most important foreign barriers affecting US exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment by US persons, and protection of intellectual property rights.” Arnold Padilla lists a few charter-changes that USA would want, to include land ownership as well as :
    The Philippine Constitution limits investment in certain sectors deemed to be utilities (including water and sewage treatment, electricity transmission and distribution, telecommunications, and transport) to firms with at least 60 percent ownership by Philippine citizens. All executive and managing officers of such enterprises must be Philippine citizens.