when enrile crossed edsa to join ramos in crame
“The military spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., said the 2,000 soldiers and two tanks will take part in reenacting the salubong or the welcome given by the crowds gathered at EDSA to military forces who turned against then dictator Ferdinand Marcos.”
how romantic the spin on enrile leaving camp aguinaldo and crossing edsa on day 2, feb 23. indeed it was quite a dramatic event because it was the first time the people saw enrile, and ramos, who met him at the crame gate, whom they’d been shielding from marcos, and of course they went crazy, chanting johnny johnny johnny, lauding the defense minister who had dared defy the dictator to support cory aquino, or so they thought.
The people linked arms, creating a protective wall for the reformist troops. Col. Honasan forged ahead to shield Minister Enrile as they crossed the street. Honasan was very scared when they started out. But when they hit the first row of people, and the people started to wipe the soldiers’ brow, give them food, and thank them, Honasan knew they had won. “All my fears disappeared. The worst scenario, for me, was not that we would have been bombed but that the people might turn against us.”
enrile had decided to join ramos in crame to consolidate forces, camp crame being smaller, easier to defend. but in fact ramos had suggested the move early that morning when he jogged over to aguinaldo, and enrile and honasan had said no.
Sonny Razon: General Ramos had been asking them to move to Crame since morning pa. But at that point, they weren’t convinced yet of the need to consolidate forces. In fact, they would have preferred it if General Ramos moved to Aguinaldo instead.
i think that enrile was loathe to move in with ramos because he suspected that ramos was a coryista. day one, when enrile asked him to join them in aguinaldo, ramos was having a dialogue with coryistas picketing his house in alabang, urging him to resign and join cory’s camp, like his sister leticia shahani had done in december 85. ramos had given every indication that he was just waiting for the right time to make such a move. and he took his time making chika with the coryistas, so that enrile’s men had to call several times, asking him to come, now na.
enrile may have been uncertain where ramos’s sympathies really lay. but when news came of tadiar’s convoy of tanks and apcs leaving fort bonifacio and making its way to edsa, for real, kinabahan na rin siguro siya and moving to crame was the wisest thing to do, never mind his dream of becoming president.
Synchronous events: the people stopping tanks in Ortigas, and Enrile crossing Edsa to join Ramos. The coincidence of the people’s peak experience with Enrile’s move indicates that there was more to the crossing than a simple consolidation of forces. Ramos had earlier urged them to move but Enrile and RAM were reluctant to give up Aguinaldo and, perhaps more so, to give in to Ramos, who was by then perceived to be for Cory.
In a sense the dramatic crossing signified Enrile’s surrender to forces other than RAM, and it was as critical and momentous as the people’s encounter with tanks.
in EDSA, the crucial conflict was not between cory and marcos anymore — marcos was a goner; it was only a matter of time before he either stepped down voluntarily or was forced out, given the boycott, and later, given the ortigas stand-off, when the people stopped the tanks and the marines defied his orders.
in EDSA, the crucial conflict was between cory and enrile. they had the same objective, to oust marcos and take over, and neither had any intention of giving way to the other, much less of joining forces.
that fateful EDSA weekend derailed both cory and enrile from their separate paths. the people, taking matters into their own hands and demonstrating their awesome power to render marcos powerless, gave cory and enrile no choice but to reconcile their differences and submit to the people’s will.
cory had no choice but to reconcile with the same military that had caused her and ninoy so much pain and suffering (enrile was ninoy’s jailer). enrile had no choice but to submit to cory, a civilian housewife without experience in state and military affairs. EDSA was just too dramatic and decisive to ignore.
when he crossed edsa, leaving his own turf for safer ground, it was like enrile was bowing to the will of the people and taking the first step towards reconciliation.
so it wasn’t just a salubong, which romantic notion depoliticizes, even trivializes, that high point of the revolution. i wonder whose idea it was. the edsa commission has been doing a reenactment year after year after year. and year after year after year it is played up by a gullible, uncritical, and unwittingly complicit mainstream media.