EDSA ► Tuesday began with midnight fireworks. Persisting rumors of Marcos's fall and flight prompted many to celebrate by exploding rockets and firecrackers. QUARTET p. 77
NAGTAHAN BRIDGE, Past Midnight ► Several were wounded when Army soldiers fired through the barbed wire barricades at a crowd of rebel supporters who had turned back a column of armored vehicles heading towards Channel 4. Sunday Times Mag 2 Mar
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Marcos's two sons-in-law were supervising the packing of dozens of crates of family possessions, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold bullion and bonds, more than a million dollars worth of freshly printed pesos, as well as artifacts and jewels. These were delivered by boat to a bayfront lawn adjacent to the US Embassy. Weeks earlier, a number of bulkier items, mainly large oil paintings and other works of art, had been packed and shipped out of the country at the direction of the First Lady.
There was little sleep in the palace that night as aides scurried from room to room, sifting through cabinets and boxes filled with documents, receipts, letters, many of them incriminating. Imelda Marcos was able to provide little advice to her husband. She seemed dazed, drifting in and out of her private chapel where she knelt and prayed. Marcos's son Bongbong and General Ver were arguing desperately with him to stay and fight. WORTH DYING FOR pp. 297-298
BEHN CERVANTES ► A couple of foreign correspondent friends keep vigil with you in Channel 4. They have noticed the obvious game of the little generals dreaming of executive media positions and their solicitous concern for the instructions given them by Ramos and Enrile. The entertainers are still being cute or trying to be profound. It is getting less and less pleasant being in such company, but there is constant threat of an assault, so you stay. It will be good for a story. Besides, when something like this is about to occur, you are nailed to your position. Is it because you wish to help, or just be a part of it? You already are, so why not be where the action is? Business Day 17 Mar
WASHINGTON, D.C., 2:45 AM (Manila Time) ► Shultz, Habib, and Armacost were in the Capitol building, secretly briefing thirty key members of Congress, including Marcos friend Senator Paul Laxalt of Nevada. A telephone call from Marcos to Laxalt interrupted the session. Marcos wanted the word straight from Reagan. Was the statement about a "transition" real or another State Department plot? With Shultz, Habib, and Armacost hovering over him, Laxalt confirmed the statement. The conversation lasted twenty minutes, Marcos's raspy voice betraying his exhaustion. He essayed alternatives, like a "power sharing deal with Cory." After all, he said, he was a veteran at fighting Communists and negotiating with foreign creditors. Floating another idea, he might serve as Cory's "senior adviser" while remaining president until the end of his original term in 1987. Laxalt promised to consult Reagan and call him back. IN OUR IMAGE p. 421
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Imelda called US First Lady Nancy Reagan also to ask what the Reagan message was all about. Nancy promised to go and ask her husband. QUARTET p. 78
WASHINGTON, D.C., 3:00 AM (Manila Time) ► Alejandro Melchor, attempting to negotiate Marcos's exit, was asked by members of the National Security Council to telephone Cardinal Sin in Manila to secure the Archbishop's intervention with Aquino over the deal. Veritas Special Oct 86
FORT BONIFACIO, 3:30 AM ► The Marines were jubilant over the news that Marcos had just cancelled his order for them to attack Camp Crame using mortars. BREAKAWAY p. 108
VILLAMOR AIR BASE, 3:45 AM ► Two RF-27 and two C-130 planes used as troop transports took off on a mission of ferrying reinforcements ordered by Ver. The pilots changed flight plans and landed at Clark where they were frozen for the duration of the revolution. Pilots at Basa Air Base did the same thing with five T-33s, ten F5's, and seven F8s. The C-130 from Legaspi City carrying troops to augment the security at the MIA also flew to Clark. The 5th Fighter Wing and the 220th Heavy Airlift Wing thus completed their transfer, lock, stock, and barrel, to the rebel side. Ibid.
WASHINTON, D.C. ► The US had not yet secured Ver's agreement to leave the Palace with Marcos. The US officials contacted two CIA officers-both former station chiefs in Manila-to work out a compromise that would get Ver out of Malacañang. "In return for not ordering an attack, the US would guarantee the safety of Ver and his family." Veritas Special Oct 86
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Despite a warning sent to him from Washington hinting that he would not be allowed to leave with Marcos if he did not freeze his troops, Ver was not giving up on his efforts to retake the television and radio stations.
Brawner was called by Kanapi to report to Army headquarters at Fort Bonifacio. Brawner did not respond. Instead he prepared to report to Camp Crame. BREAKAWAY p. 109
CAMP CRAME ► Ramos ordered Brawner to hold and consolidate the Army base at Fort Bonifacio.
Martel's defection put under Gen. Ramos's control the modern executive jets, helicopters, and other aircraft used by the Marcos family and his top officials. Inquirer 26 Feb
MALACAÑANG PALACE, 5:00 AM ► Marcos and Imelda got their respective replies from Washington.
Immediately Marcos asked if Reagan was telling him to step down. "President Reagan," replied Laxalt, "is not in a position to make that kind of demand."
After a pause Marcos asked, "Senator, what do you think? Should I step down?"
Laxalt's answer was forthright: "Mr. President, I'm not bound by diplomatic restraint. I'm only talking for myself. I think you should cut, and cut cleanly. The time has come."
At that, the phone seemed to go dead. Laxalt was alarmed by the long silence. "Mr. President, are you still there?" he finally exclaimed.
"Yes, I'm still here," said Marcos in a faint low voice. "I am so very very disappointed."
Nancy's words were no more comforting than Laxalt's. If Marcos avoids violence and cooperates in a peaceful transition of governance, he would be invited to live in the United States. QUARTET p. 78
► Still unable to accept the finality of it, Ferdinand called his labor minister, Blas Ople, an old ally, who was in Washington. Ople confirmed the overwhelmingly negative attitude there. As gently as he could, Ople asked why they did not simply leave. Ferdinand said it was Imelda's idea - she was reluctant to go. "She is here beside me. She does not want to leave." There it was. DYNASTY p. 418
PHILIPPINE RABBIT LINES, STA. CRUZ, MANILA, 5:00 AM ► Many fearful residents started leaving Metro Manila, grabbing every available means of transport out of the embattled metropolis. According to dispatcher Sen Magat, "Passenger volume was similar to that seen during Christmas and Holy Week." Malaya 26 Feb
MALACAÑANG PALACE, 5:30 AM ► Marcos cancelled the still-standing orders to loyalists to fire on Camp Crame, then he joined his family. His family had been urging him to leave, to no avail. Imelda had resisted the idea for a time but now she too was resigned to the prospect. He had continued to insist that he would stay and fight, but had urged the family to go. Now however something in his demeanor told them to proceed with arrangements for all of them to leave. Son-in-law Tommy Manotoc called a friend at the US Embassy and gave the "go" signal they had been waiting for since Sunday night. IMPOSSIBLE DREAM p. 404
TIMES ST., QUEZON CITY ► The sun had barely risen. Negotiations between Cory's camp and the military revolutionaries had been going on since early evening of the 24th. The Reformist generals were professionaly appalled at Cory's announcement that she intended to hold the ceremony at Club Filipino, a suburban country club just a kilometer away from enemy lines.
"It's within mortar range and we can't seal it off. It's almost indefensible-a tactical nightmare. From a security standpoint we'd be far better off if we held it in Camp Crame. We could fly her there in an unmarked civilian chopper," said the Reformists.
"You must realize that in the end, it's all up to her," replied a sleepy and haggard Peping Cojuangco, Cory's brother and secretary-general of her party.
Cory explained, "Camp Crame was the first place where Ninoy, where every political detainee was brought during the martial law years. Filipinos once lived in dread of being taken there. Today it may be a place of heroism, but unfortunately a lot of tortures, executions, and summary detentions took place there in the past. The second thing is, I have already told the people that I will be at Club Filipino, and I fully intend to keep my promise. I chose it because it is a neutral and public place. And I absolutely refuse to take a helicopter."
The generals and advisers left to make whatever security arrangements they could. PEOPLE POWER (II) pp. 233-234
Cory Aquino: That morning of Tuesday, Fr. Joaquin Bernas and Jimmy Ongpin came to see me accompanied by two generals. Fr. Bernas took me aside and said, "You know, they really want you to go to Crame and take your oath of office there, and some of the generals can't understand why you don't seem to trust them." I said it was not a question of trust, it was just that I had already announced that I would hold it at the Club Filipino,arrangements had been made. Also, I wanted to go to a civilian place, plus Club Filipino had always been identified with the opposition then against Marcos.
CLUB FILIPINO, SAN JUAN, 6:00 AM ► The vicinity was ablaze with yellow as people started to pour in. Most of the early birds came from an all-night vigil in nearby Camp Crame. Malaya 26 Feb
BEHN CERVANTES ► The sun has risen. Channel 4 is now considered safe from an assault. You walk home to have breakfast with the two correspondents. On the streets you see the thousands who kept vigil out in the cold with nothing to keep them warm but the few fires they kept for visibility and protection from an attack. Of course they really had each other's fervor to keep them warm. Food is being distributed. Young children give the foreigners the L sign and the usual, "Hello, Joe!" greetings. Business Day 17 Mar
TIMES ST., QC ► Cory chatted amiably with Father Joaquin Bernas, SJ, president of the Ateneo de Manila University, Father Jose Blanco, another Jesuit, and Jaime Ongpin. All three belonged to her inner circle of advisers.
Her daughters wandered about the house, getting their dresses pressed for the ceremony. Eldon Cruz, her son-in-law, answered the constantly ringing telephones.
Suddenly there was a loud slamming of machine gun fire, very close by. It was answered by the popping rattle of M-16 rifles. Everyone in the parlor ducked into an adjoining stone corridor as Noynoy, Cory's son, dashed out of the house with his Colt .45 automatic, a flak jacket thrown over his pajamas. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 234
MOTHER IGNACIA ST., QC ► Fighting erupted at Channel 9's transmission tower as 60 rebel soldiers tried to storm the tower held by about 30 pro-Marcos troops who poured rifle-fire down on the attackers. Phil Daily Inq 26 Feb
BEHN CERVANTES ► Halfway through the sunny side ups, there are crackling sounds that are unmistakably gunfire. You jump from your seat. So do the two others. We bolt for the door and run towards Bohol Avenue and Channel 4. It can't be more than half a kilometer. A car speeds by. You scream, "Angkas! ("Hitch!)" The car stops and lets us in. A couple of collegiate types are in the car and, I suspect, they are happy to have the company of what looked like professionals. We cross Timog, turn left, entering Mother Ignacia. There we see soldiers with long arms. "Turn back!" someone screams. We do. Get off the car and run towards the area of Magnatech. More gunfire. We run back. Someone falls. His companion screams for help. That fellow has been hit. After a pause, a group runs over to where the fellow is and picks him up. He is put inside the same car we came on. These collegiates are mighty glad an official mission is getting them out of that little war zone. Business Day 17 Mar
TIMES ST.,QC ► When Noynoy returned, he indicated the tall antenna tower, clearly visible through the huge picture window. There was a sniper perched on one of the beams. He was perilously close-surely within rifle range. He was looking the other way.
Cory told her children to pack and calmly announced to her disbelieving advisers that she was going to take a shower and get dressed. PEOPLE POWER (ll)p. 234
GREENHILLS, SAN JUAN ► Originally scheduled for around 8:00 AM, the inaugural was set back two hours as a call went out to the people to surround Club Filipino just in case Mr. Marcos should try to disrupt it. QUARTET p. 86
► By 8:00 AM the grounds were teeming with people, the overspill extending up to the Greenhills Commercial Center. The Sampaguita Hall, where the oath-taking was to happen, was also full.
For lack of space, only about 500 people were allowed entry into the function hall which has a normal capacity of 300 persons. The few who were privileged to witness the historic event consisted of opposition leaders, journalists, and well-known opposition supporters and, of course, the members of the Aquino and Laurel families.
The Presidential table was reserved for 15 persons, among them former Vice Presidents Fernando Lopez and Emmanuel Pelaez, and Supreme Court Justices Claudio Teehankee and Vicente Abad Santos.
Mr. Laurel waited for Mrs. Aquino at the gate of the function room. Malaya 26 Feb
CAMP CRAME, Past 8:00 AM ► Mr. Marcos phoned Enrile. The President asked, "How can we settle the problem?" Enrile said he didn't know. Marcos said, "Why don't we organize a provisional government. I shall remain as honorary President until 1987, because I would like to leave politics in a clean and orderly manner."
Enrile said he was not interested in power. "Besides, it's too late because we have already committed our support to Mrs. Aquino."
Marcos asked if it would be safe for him to leave the Philippines. Enrile said, "Why not? There's no reason for anyone of us, at least on our side, to harm you. If you want, we would be willing to protect you-you and your family."
"If I go abroad, do you think I can come back here and feel safe?"
"Why not? This is your homeland."
"How about General Ver?"
"Mr. President, that is something I cannot answer." Sun Inq Mag16 Mar
MALACAÑANG PALACE, Over Breakfast ► Chief Justice Aquino noted that Imee looked very tired and had dark rings under her eyes. Imee admitted that none of the Marcos children had any sleep because the President called them all to his bedroom and talked to them all night. Imee did not sound like she wanted to talk about it. Inquirer 5 Mar
Fidel Ramos: The situation was still very fluid. There were still threats from the remaining forces of Gen. Ver that could easily have attacked Club Filipino while the inauguration was going on. So we moved a composite battalion under Col. Ricaredo Sarmiento towards Club Filipino to provide area security. Also we had helicopters that would spot early enough any movements of hostile forces.
CELY BACANI-ABAD ► When one is sick to death of lies, manipulation, repression, oppression, corruption, cronies, injustice, so finally lays his life on the line thereby earning a part of that moral victory long denied; and while relishing the noble thought with a cup of morning coffee, it is quite a bit of a shock to be suddenly confronted on your freedom-loving Channel 4 by the specter of-horrors!-no less than Johnny Litton! What is this stained apparition doing on my friendly and liberated TV screen "at this point in time"? Excuse me, but at exactly this point in time-I am going to throw up. Mr & Ms 7 Mar
CLUB FILIPINO ► Enrile and Ramos, dressed in combat uniform arrived aboard a helicopter from nearby Camp Crame. They were preceded by eight soldiers who immediately secured the place. Inquirer 26 Feb
SAMPAGUITA HALL ► Seats were added with the unexpected arrival of "rebels" Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, accompanied by their personal aides from the New Armed Forces. Malaya 26 Feb
► Enrile and Ramos signed the Citizens' Resolution revoking the proclamation of Marcos and Tolentino and installing Aquino and Laurel. Inquirer 26 Feb
TIMES ST., QC ► Glum and nervous, Cory's advisers paced the narrow stone corridor, starting at the occasional bursts of fire. They sounded very close-too close. Father Blanco prayed the rosary, the beads shifting deliberately in his pale fingers. Father Bernas, while outwardly calm, seemed as if he were trying studiously not to tremble. Jaime Ongpin, nervously adjusting his glasses, answered a steady stream of telephone calls. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 234
UNIVERSITY BELT, MANILA, 9:00 AM ► Sampaloc had become a veritable war zone. Burning tires were smoking everywhere. Rocks and hollow blocks and large tree trunks had been placed across streets as obstacles to any tanks or trucks that might be sent from the Palace against the people's strongholds. Traffic was sparse but people were everywhere and everyone looked alert and determined. QUARTET p. 79
MALACAÑANG PALACE, Morning ► Aides were packing for their trip to the North. They packed important papers together with personal necessities of the First Family. A secretary set aside confidential papers which were later burned to ashes. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
TIMES ST., QC ► Cory finally emerged, and the party climbed into cars to meet the rest of the opposition and continue to the proclamation. To the terror of the rest of the motorcade, Cory's Chevrolet Suburban cruised through the crowd-littered streets at Sunday promenade speed, pausing respectfully at every red light despite the scarcity of other traffic. Fortunately no one recognized her through the heavily tinted, bulletproof windows. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 234
Cory Aquino: Jimmy Ongpin was saying, we'll be your shields. So he and Apa were standing in front of me,covering me, as I got into the car. But first we went to my sister's house in Wack Wack, just to make sure that everything was already in place at Club Filipino. I called Doy Laurel and told him about the generals. He assured me that everything was in place. "Ayos nang lahat," he said. In a light mood, I was thinking, well, it's the first time that Doy and I have agreed on something really important.
ROLANDO A. DOMINGO ► By about 9:00 AM people had rimmed the entire area around the Club Filipino compound. Friends chatted, cameras clicked away, people cheered the eminent walking up the driveway. Then a bras band came joyously marching up the road. Everybody cheered as itbelted out such favorites as "Bayan Ko" and "Tie A Yellow Ribbon". It even played "Dixie," to catch the attention of an American video news team. The reformist soldiers arrived in cars and helicopters. People mobbed them, marveling at their weapons. One very young soldier held up his Uzi to show off where a yellow ribbon was tied to its muzzle. QUARTET p. 86
MOTHER IGNACIA ST., QC ► BEHN CERVANTES: Little war zone? Yes and no. There is shooting going on but there is also incessant chatting and commentaries being given by the people around the place. A housemaid comes out of a house and stands for all to see, including the snipers on top of that tower, that she isn't afraid. An older man clucks his tongue and says, "Talaga naman, o?" An urchin picks up the cue and screams at the girl, "Hoy, gusto mo ba mabaril, ha? ((Hey, do you want to be shot?)" She gives him and the rest a look of disdain and walks back behind the walls of their house. More wisecracks follow and you remember a statement made many times over that Filipinos are not serious revolutionaries. They chat and joke during marches. They make little picnics out of rallies. They are even fashionably dressed for the occasion. Not like European activists. Likewise American activists. They are so grim and determined. Business Day 17 Mar
CLUB FILIPINO ► A distant rhythmic roar was heard slowly approaching. The crowd knew what it was instantly, and they took up the chant. "Co-ry! Co-ry! Co-ry!" Her Chevy could now be seen in the distance, as if borne on a sea of people with their arms upraised, toiling slowly onward, a swarm of dark and shiny Mercedeses in its wake. The roar was deafening by the time the van and its entourage reached the driveway. In addition, a knot of foreigners had brought an air horn, whose blasts competed with the psychotic wail of an air raid siren some other enthusiast dug out of his closet. Ibid.
10:15 AM ► Cory arrived late for the biggest day of her life, the reason for the delay not sufficiently explained. She was wearing a bright yellow linen outfit with cut-work sleeves, more than her usual light make-up, and small diamond earrings and a black-strap watch as her only jewelry. Inquirer 26 Feb
► Cory plodded through a throng of supporters crowded six feet deep and flashing the Laban sign. Op. cit.
Fidel Ramos: What was electric was when Cory Aquino herself came in. The whole room burst into spontaneous applause. Cory supporters were waving yellow banners and all sorts of yellow things. It was a very inspiring moment. I thank the Lord that I was part of that very historic moment.
SAMPAGUITA ROOM ► Laurel escorted the new President to the Presidential table where she was presented with a bouquet of yellow flowers.
The program commenced with the singing of the National Anthem, led by Stella and Cocoy Laurel; an invocation by Bishop Federico Escaler followed. Malaya 26 Feb
► Neptali Gonzales read the resolution proclaiming Mrs. Aquino and her running mate as the duly-elected President and Vice President respectively, and nullifying the proclamation by the Batasang Pambansa of President Ferdinand Marcos and MP Arturo Tolentino. Inquirer 26 Feb
► The historic document was typewritten on simple bond paper. It appeared terribly crumpled for it had been passed around for over a hundred signatures, beginning with all the opposition assemblymen's.
As Neptali Gonzales read the names of the signatories, more names were added, passed on by former Senator Ernesto Maceda on pieces of paper and even bits of newspapers. Among the most applauded were Minister Enrile, General Ramos, NAMFREL boss Joe Concepcion, the widow of Evelio Javier, and Chino Roces. Op. cit.
10:40 AM ► Laurel took his oath of office as Vice President of the Philippines before Supreme Court Justice Vicente Abad Santos.
10:46 AM ► Aquino was sworn into office by Senior Supreme Court Justice Claudio Teehankee. Malaya 26 Feb
► Not one person in the huge crowd spoke, starting from the pause as Justice Teehankee stepped up to the rostrum, and as he read the words of the oath with quiet but forceful and solemn dignity, Cory answered in a similar tone.
As Justice Teehankee uttered the final words of the oath, a tremendous cheer broke loose from every throat. Flags waved, hats and bandannas were thrown into the air. Outside there was dancing in the streets.
Eventually the crowd quieted down enough to sing the Lord's Prayer in Pilipino and then “Bayan Ko,” the melancholy yet defiant early-twentieth-century protest song that in this decade has become the "second national anthem" of the Philippines. Tears were in many eyes.
Above, the protecting gunships howled in lazy sweeps around the china-blue sky. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 235
► People were curious as to whether Ramos and Enrile knew how to sing the opposition theme song, "Bayan Ko." It turned out that the two not only knew the song, but also raised their hands in a Laban sign, like all the rest in the hall. Inquirer 26 Feb
CORY AQUINO ► "It is fitting and proper that if the rights and liberties of our people were taken away at midnight 14 years ago, the people should recover their lost rights and liberties in the full light of day." Time 3 Mar
► Mrs. Aquino issued her first order-Executive Order No. 1. The order filled up three key positions in her government: Salvador Laurel as Prime Minister, Juan Ponce Enrile as Defense Minister, and Fidel Ramos as Chief of Staff of the New Armed Forces. Ramos was promoted from Lt. Gen. to the full rank of General. Malaya 26 Feb
Cory Aquino: At the time, Johnny Ponce Enrile was the best choice for defense secretary. In fairness to Johnny, there was nobody else I could think of, there was no one in the opposition who would have been as accepted and respected by the military. Also I wanted to show my gratitude. It would have been so ungrateful of me if I had put in somebody else.
MAX SOLIVEN ► The presence of Defense Minister Johnny Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos at the head table of Cory's proclamation attests to the fact that this nation is still on a "war footing." Inquirer 26 Feb
AMANDO DORONILA ► One is disappointed that none of the people of the lower orders of Philippine society is represented at the head table. Most of the people inside are still members of old political families whose social and economic backgrounds put them in key positions to influence policy decisions. New forces in society crying out for recognition are invisible within the Club Filipino power elite. Manila Times 26 Feb
Cory Aquino: It's not as if everything was in place and all I had to worry about was what I would wear, you know. in fact everything was so uncertain, we could have been liquidated right there and then. The only thing that was planned was that it would be in Club Filipino. In fact I didn't even have a formal address. Teddy Boy (Teodoro Locsin Jr.) had got there ahead of me and someone asked him, is President Aquino's speech prepared? So there he was, rushing it. We didn't even have any paper, he wrote it on the back of a telegram. In the end I had to improvise also, add my own words. Because the way we had planned it the day before, it was just important that I took my oath of office. But it wasn't in the real sense a formal takeover because there were in fact two presidents. So there I was in Club Filipino not knowing what to do next or what was going to happen next.
MOTHER IGNACIA ST., QC ► BEHN CERVANTES: A car speeds by. It looks like Nonoy Zuniga at the wheel. You wave and scream after him but the gunshots cover your call. In a minute he's back. There was no way he could go through where he headed. I tell him we want to go back to the studio so we pile into his car, drive through people running and gunshots ringing. Just like in the movies. Only this isn't a movie...this is for real. Mothers pulling at their young children. Seminarians pushing that statue of Mary on the cast toward the little war zone...
At the entrance of Channel 4, the guards are understandably more security conscious. Inside the studio the intramurals are still going on. Some have already walked out. The survivors are more confident now. It is time to go home. Never mind the shooting. That is better than this. Business Day 17 Mar
MALACAÑANG PERIMETERS ► JP Laurel was teeming with Marcos's own version of people power. The narrow street was teeming with Marcos followers from Nagtahan Bridge to Ayala Bridge with placards and banners bearing the campaign slogan, Marcos Pa Rin! There were about 2,000 in the streets and more than a thousand in the Palace grounds where coffee and sandwiches were available.
Mendiola, connecting JP Laurel and Legarda streets, was also filled with Marcos followers up to the point where barbed-wire accordions several meters deep cut it off from Legarda. A pro-Aquino crowd of over a thousand at this portion of Legarda were eyeing the soldiers guarding that point, and each side was beginning to taunt the other. BREAKAWAY pp. 113-114
MALACAÑANG PALACE, 11:15 AM ► A reporter entered Malacañang, saw only five other members of the Press Corps and a few foreign newsmen. He saw about 5,000 people in the front of the stage outside Maharlika Hall. Less than a thousand were allowed to enter the Palace, and only half of them were permitted to be in the Ceremonial Hall where Marcos was to take his oath of office. Ibid.
MALACAÑANG, GATE FOUR ► As noontime approached, about a thousand more joined the pro-Marcos barricades. A man with a bullhorn welcomes all vehicles and persons coming for the inauguration ceremonies. There were reports that some of them were stoned by pro-Aquino groups on the way to Malacañang. Presidential security men were edgy. Somebody in the crowd exploded a firecracker and a soldier was so quick at the draw, he fired and it hurt an Army lieutenant and eight civilians, among them Melinda Liu of Newsweek. Ibid.
Cory Aquino: Everything was just so uncertain. So where was I supposed to go in the meantime? I decided to go to the Manila Memorial and pray at Ninoy's tomb. When Jojo Binay heard this, he and others removed the barricades at EDSA so that we could go through. When I got to Ninoy's tomb, I said, well, Ninoy, here I am.
Fidel Ramos: After the inauguration of Cory Aquino as President of the new government, we focused on the capture of the remaining TV stations that were still under the control of Mr. Marcos. We dispatched RAM troops to handle this.
CEREMONIAL HALL, MALACAÑANG ► Several Cabinet ministers, officials of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, and members of the various youth and community groups identified with the Marcos party filled about three-quarters of the spacious hall. Most of the 500 people were in casual attire-the Marcoses usually required strictly formal wear for Palace functions. Manila Times 26 Feb
► Among the high officials who came were Minister of Tourism Jose D. Aspiras, Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado Estrella, Agriculture Minister Salvador Escudero III, Food Administrator Jesus Tanchanco, Information Minister Gregorio Cendaña, Public Works Minister Jesus Hipolito, Deputy Minister Aber Canlas, Education Minister Jaime C. Laya, Minister Juan Tuvera, MP Antonio Raquisa, MP Arturo Pacificador, MP Salvador Britanico, MP Rodolfo del Rosario, MP Manuel Collantes, former Senator Rodolfo Ganzon, and Justice Buenaventura Guerrero. Many wondered why Vice President-elect Arturo Tolentino, Prime Minister Cesar Virata, and Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin were absent.
The only generals present were Ver, Edon Yap, Barangan, Zumel, and Ochoco. Col. Dioscoro E. Yoro Jr., a former aide and close friend of Marcos (but an enemy of Ver) held a sterling submachinegun. BREAKAWAY p. 114
11:45 AM ► The Marcoses entered the half-filled Ceremonial Hall. They were greeted with cheers of "Marcos, Marcos, Marcos pa rin!" Ibid.
► People stood, waved paper Philippine flags passed out earlier, and chanted "Marcos! Marcos!" Manila Times 26 Feb
► The President wore an elegant barong, his wife and daughter Imee a white terno each, son Bongbong a military fatigue uniform. Asiaweek 9 Mar
► Irene was also in immaculate white. The First Lady was perceived by journalists covering the event as "very agitated," sometimes walking to and fro. Unlike in other occasions, she did not mingle with them freely. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
► Lito Gorospe was master of ceremonies. The National Anthem was sung. Fr. Domingo Nebres and three other ministers recited the invocation.
11:55 AM, Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino swore Marcos into office. BREAKAWAY p. 116
► As the erstwhile strongman raised his right hand in solemn oath, a perfect shot at a transmitter, ordered by Colonel Isleta, immobilized Channels 2, 9, and 13 simultaneously. The live television coverage was abruptly cut off. QUARTET p. 89
► Marcos read a brief speech. The ritual was over in twenty minutes. Then Chief Justice Aquino was called back to re-enact the oathtaking for movie cameras and video cassette tapes.
Everybody appeared in a hurry to go home, the high officials especially. Cendaña appeared no longer interested in treating newsmen to lunch; he simply dropped out of sight.
Marcos, followed by his wife and son, headed towards the balcony, shaking hands with guests along the way. At the balcony they waved to the crowd gathered down below. BREAKAWAY p. 116
PALACE GROUNDS ► About 2,500 people, mostly from the same citizens' groups that were inside, wandered across spacious lawns that, until a few days ago, were dotted with carrots, lettuce, and other vegetables planted by Mrs. Marcos as an example for her Sariling Sikap project.
The crowds mingled with armed Marines who guarded the inner gardens as well as the main gates and approach roads to the Spanish colonial palace on the banks of the Pasig River.
On the lawns sat nine armored personnel carriers and tanks, the engines of some running, and hundreds of soldiers carrying automatic M-16 rifles. Manila Times 26 Feb
► Cameramen took pictures of the Marcoses from the improvised stage on which the oathtaking had been intended to take place. From the balcony Marcos delivered a strongly worded speech in Pilipino. He was cheered everytime his fighting mood took a peak. The crowd shouted, "Martial law! Martial law!" BREAKAWAY p. 116
► Imelda, grim-faced, led the crowd in singing her theme song, “Dahil Sa Iyo.” Later the President and the First Lady withdrew into their rooms, not to be seen again. Asiaweek 9 Mar
► Imelda's son and daughters were in repeated contact with the US Embassy arranging for their evacuation from Malacañang. The First Family kept their plans for abdication secret from all but their closest aides.
Washington was still working to ensure Ver would board the helicopter out of the Palace with the Marcoses. Veritas Special Oct 86
► Newsmen stopped Ver briefly as he walked across the hall. He was asked about his plans. He replied, smiling, "We have not fired a single shot." He appeared less worried than Mrs. Marcos. BREAKAWAY p. 116
Joe Almonte: Ver's failure was fundamental. His army didn't have a cause; they didn't have the people with them. Look at the Iraqi war. Obviously Saddam Hussein's forces will be defeated-it's really a disparity in relative combat power. But to lose nearly a hundred thousand soldiers to POW camps indicates to you that the soldiers do not really believe in what they're fighting for. If only half that figure decided to die where they were-assuming na lang na mahina sila masyado, and every five Iraqis kill only one of the coalition force-50,000 divided by 5 is 10,000. That's 10,000 allied soldiers they could have killed if only they had faith in the cause they were fighting for. But there was more cause to give up rather than fight.
PALACE GROUNDS ► Marcos's followers were grouped into platoons to form a more organized people power. With nearly a thousand people involved, the platoons had about 35 people in each, arranged in columns of three. A witness attested to the sight of platoons marching to military drills. He expected they would later be given arms to defend their President, but they were never given armaments. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
MALACAÑANG OPERATIONS CENTER, 1:30 PM ► The telephone rang. The caller was the Manila CIA Station Chief Norbett Garrett and he insisted on talking to Gen. Ver.
"Tell him I'm busy."
Garrett insisted. Finally Ver took the call. Veritas Special Oct 86
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Aruiza saw Fe Roa Gimenez, Mrs. Marcos's private secretary, emptying her desk of papers. At first, she fed them to the shredder but it was slow work. Aruiza suggested that she pile them all in one place and he would order the boys to burn them. If Gimenez knew of their departure, she was not telling, but Aruiza overheard her calling up close associates for help to get rid of confidential papers. MALACAÑANG p. 147
CAMP CRAME - Defections continued. A reception area was established at the Crame grandstand to usher soldiers of all ranks into the NAFP. Ramos received Brawner and his entire Ranger regiment. Officers and men of Piccio streamed in. Army and naval officers and men. Many of them were practically pushed in by relatives at the barricades. BREAKAWAY p. 118
THE NEW CHANNEL 4 ► Jaime Cardinal Sin issued a statement in a telephone interview: "I pledge support to the new government headed by Mrs. Corazon Aquino, Doy Laurel, and Fidel Ramos, and I congratulate them on their victory." Malaya 26 Feb
MALACAÑANG OPERATIONS CENTER ► Ver called Marcos, and then Garrett again. At 3:30 PM Ver went into his office and changed into civilian clothes. Veritas Special Oct 86
CRAME WAR ROOM ► About 14 generals and colonels were standing around Enrile as he put on his bullet-proof vest and buckled on his pistol. Enrile was talking to the men as he finished dressing. He said, "I just spoke to the President." Cory had already been inaugurated...but to Enrile "the President" meant Marcos. He said, "Marcos is willing to negotiate for a graceful exit. I promised that we would not harm him and his family. He also asked about Ver. I said I would have to discuss this with the men."
He had finished dressing and was now standing still. Suddenly it was a real message. He said, "Gentlemen, we can no longer offer allegiance to our old commander-in-chief. If you watched the inauguration this morning, you saw that the people really want Cory. Our allegiance is to the people. And the people are represented by Cory."
Everyone stood stock still. there was a hushed silence. It was like a funeral. "The King is dead. Long live the King!"
Then Enrile said, "This morning, on my way to the inauguration, I heard the people shouting, `We love our soldiers!' I never heard that before in my life. In all my years with the military, I never heard that. We have to be worthy of that. Our allegiance is to the people." PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 236
Cory Aquino: The fact of the matter was, Marcos was still president. He was in the seat of authority, he had all the military under him except for those rebels, and in fact all of government was still under him. Here I was, going through the motions, but everything was just in limbo.
► With the Marcos regime crumbling by the hour, Enrile introduced Gringo Honasan to a jubilant crowd outside their headquarters as the man who precipitated the President's fall.
Honasan denied plotting to kill Marcos and told the crowd: "We did not plan any coup d'etat or assasination. Our action was purely for the purpose of survival."
Honasan won fame for his 1970's exploits against Muslim separatist rebels in the southern Philippines. Many soldiers remembered him as the paratrooper who once jumped out of a plane with a python draped around his neck. Manila Times 1 Mar
TOMAS MORATO / TIMOG JUNCTION, 3:45 PM ► A truck and a jeep of loyalist soldiers, firing indiscriminately at crowds of people, forced their way through the barricades. The loyalists caught most of the people by surprise and hit at least two women and a man in their thighs. A car parked along Morato was also riddled with bullets.
But "people power" prevailed. Those manning the barricades held their ground. The loyalists, identified with their white armbands, were forced to find their way out through the side streets of Morato. Business Day 26 Feb
NAGTAHAN BRIDGE, STA. MESA, Early Afternoon ► Some 300 to 400 Marcos loyalists who came from the proclamation rally of President Marcos at Malacañang Palace clashed with thousands of pro-Cory supportersand bystanders at the foot of Nagtahan Bridge.
Tension ran high when the loyalists, waving small Philippine flags, tried to cross the intersection on their way home while being escorted by two battalions of Navy and Army Jungle Fighters headed by Lt. Col. Valerio Santiago and Col. C.F. Fortuno. Two armored personnel carriers and a "Commando" Chemite tank rolled to the intersection in a show of force as thousands of Cory supporters heckled the loyalists. Ibid.
MALACAÑANG PARK, 4:00 PM ► Ver, in civilian attire, joined the group of the Community Hall, among them Ochoco, Pattugalan, Zumel, Varona, Col. Ochoco, and Col. Ver. (It is probable he told them he was leaving with the First Family.) BREAKAWAY p.119
MALACAÑANG PALACE, Also around 4:00 PM ► Imelda Marcos called Metro Manila Vice Governor Mel Mathay and asked how things were for them, whether they could still turn the tide. Mathay told Imelda frankly that at least in Metro Manila all was lost and that they should give up. Inquirer 28 Feb
► Malacañang was under siege. Three rows of barbed wire separated the Marcos troops from thousands of people looking grimly determined. Earlier, there had been a skirmish at Nagtahan, with the crowd pelting the Marines with stones and bottles. QUARTET p. 93
EDSA, 4:30 PM ► Newly installed Defense Minister Enrile and Chief of Staff Ramos marched out of Camp Crame to retake Camp Aguinaldo. Enrile was back at his familiar desk for the first time in three days. Ramos entered General Ver's office and tried out the office chair. He spoke twice to crowds of civilian supporters who had foolowed him into Camp Aguinaldo and assured them that it would henceforth remain a camp of the people. Mr & Ms. 28 Feb
INSIDE MALACAÑANG ► Tommy Manotoc told Mrs. Marcos of Brig. Gen. Ted Allen's offer of American helicopters or navy boats to transport the ailing Marcos and his entourage out of the beleaguered Palace. Aruiza told her that the situation outside Malacañang looked very bad. Mrs. Marcos instructed Aruiza to inform the president, and Manotoc to relay Allen's call.
Marcos was lying in a hospital bed that was pushed to the right side of his spacious room. His eyes were closed. Surrounding him, perched on chairs or tiptoeing around, were his doctors, nurses, and attendants. A handful of security agents and valets stood guard on one side. Mattresses littered the floor. The grandchildren had slept on them, also on the modest presidential bed, which was unmade. Hundreds of books were piled everywhere in the room, and on his table were stacked papers and documents.
Dr. Juanita Zagala told Aruiza that Marcos was feverish, 39 degrees.
The president must have heard them murmuring because he opened his eyes. Aruiza explained the situation outside. If the mob got in, if the rebel soldiers got in, there would be carnage. Painfully, Marcos struggled up, helped by his nurses. On his feet at last, he ordered his security, Alex Ganut Jr., Jovencio Luga, and Ben Sarmiento, to pack his clothes, his books and papers, and then told Aruiza to call up Enrile from his bedroom.
Tommy Manotoc brought up Allen's offer. MALACAÑANG pp.149-150
Fidel Ramos: Personally I was not aware of some of the backroom maneuverings that were taking place although I was constantly in touch with the US Defense and Air Force attache, Col. Halley, who was assigned as my counterpart by the US Ambassador. However, I never asked for any troop reinforcement from them. Never. I maintained that this was a Filipino operation.
NAGTAHAN BRIDGE, STA. MESA, 6:00 PM ► Two pillboxes exploded just inside the ranks of shield-carrying riot police sent to reinforce the troopers. The armored personnel carriers were rolled to the fringe of the intersection, causing the large crowd of Marcos loyalists and pro-Cory supporters to back off while the soldiers began to cock their rifles.
Tension increased when a new, larger and more organized group of demonstrators arrived, waving giant yellow and red baners bearing labor and student organizations' seals. The tension was diffused when Cols. Santiago and Fortuno met with crowd leaders, among them priests and lawyers. An agreement was reached for both sides to police their ranks and loyalists to put away their small Philippine flags, these being the cause of tension.
"We caution you, however, not to insist on moving forward as we have been ordered to hold position at all costs," said Santiago. "If you insist on this, we will be forced to fire. Business Day 26 Feb
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Between 5:00 and 6:00 PM the President called Enrile again. "Will you kindly tell your security to come to the vicinity of the Palace to stop these people who are firing at the Palace?"
Enrile said he would ask Gen. Ramos to send a contingent to look at the situation. Marcos asked, "Will you please contact Ambassador Bosworth and ask him if he could make available Gen. Teddy Allen and his group to be my security escort, because I want to leave the Palace."
"Surely, Mr. President."
Enrile called Ambassador Bosworth and relayed the message. After a while Amb. Bosworth called him back and said, "Please ask Gen. Ramos to get in touch with me so that we can explain to him the details of the evacuation of the President from the Palace." Sun Inq Mag 16 Mar
CAMP AGUINALDO ► Emerging from a lengthy high-level conference with other commanders of the New Armed Forces of the Philippines, including newly installed Chief of Staff Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Defense Minister Enrile held a news conference and disclosed that beleaguered Ferdinand E. Marcos was seeking safe conduct for himself and his family. "There may be a possibility that a dialogue can be undertaken in a neutral area regarding the exit of the Marcos family." Inquirer 26 Feb
Cory Aquino: Early in the evening, I was back in Wack Wack, talking with opposition leaders, when Ambassador Bosworth called me up to say that the Marcoses had finally been persuaded to leave. Their sons-in-law had been able to convince them that it would be the best thing to do.
Fidel Ramos: I spent some time coordinating with Ambassador Bosworth who was arranging the helicopter flight to Clark of the President's family and friends. I was to make sure that there would be no interference or disturbance of movements by those from the US Embassy or from the US Armed Forces in the vicinity of the Army-Navy Club up to the embassy grounds. There were really two plans: one by helicopter, the other by navy boat.
Jose Almonte: We had nothing to do with that decision of Marcos to leave; that was between him and the Americans. What we wanted was to keep him here and submit him to the people for trial. I daresay that if he had stayed and the people tried him and he was convicted, then maybe the character of the present political situation would be different. If he had been convicted, so, too, his cronies; then we would have no PCGG problems now.
USA ► Presidential Spokesman Larry Speakes was quoted as saying, "There are things we know that we're not talking about at this moment and for obvious reasons. We know what's going on in the Philippines, but we're not talking. Malaya 26 Feb
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► After talking to Enrile, the President told Tommy Manotoc to call up his friend at the US Embassy and accept the offer of transportation out of the Palace. Everyone began to pack, not only the president's clothes, books, and papers, but also the boxes of money that had been stored since the campaign in the bedroom.
The First Lady's attendants started to put her things together too. The three agents manning the telephone booth had unhooked their phones to help Fe Roa Gimenez. The traffic between the bedrooms upstairs and Heroes Hall below grew more frenzied as all kinds of luggage made their way down. There were carton boxes, garment bags, duffel bags, traveling bags, leather bags, attache cases, Louis Vuitton bags, suitcases, and just plain boxes packed but their flaps left unsealed.
Aruiza ran into a serious problem when he could not open Marcos's steel safe in the bedroom. Fatigue, medication, and lack of sleep had blotted out the combination from the president's memory and there was no way of getting at its contents.
Marcos decided not to waste time over the safe's combination. Instead he picked up a brown Samsonite attache case, gave it to a valet and told him, under pain of his displeasure, not to open it or part with it. (In Honolulu, when he lay dying in the hospital, Mrs. Marcos and Ferdinand Jr. decided to open the attache case, expecting to find some valuable documents. To their surprise it contained a Philippine flag, neatly folded. That flag now covers him where he lies in the toolshed in Honolulu.) MALACAÑANG pp. 152- 153
► The escort officers of the Marcoses went into a huddle and discussed their own contingency plans. They saw household employees packing bags, boxes, suitcases belonging to the Marcoses.
Greggy Araneta asked the escort officers to sound out their men for volunteers to accompany the Marcoses should they decide to leave the Palace. Capt. Nestor Sadiarin and 7 men volunteered. Op. cit., p. 119
WACK WACK, MANDALUYONG ► Prime Minister Cesar Virata contacted President Cory Aquino by phone. Mr. Virata informed Mrs. Aquino that he had just gotten a phone message from the Americans requesting him to be the "honest broker" in negotiating the departure of Mr. Marcos "in safety" from the Palace. Malacañang was already besieged with angry and chanting crowds. Virata asked President Aquino if she wanted to impose any "conditions" on the departure of Marcos. Mrs. Aquino replied, "Tell him it's okay to go-my only condition is that he leave the country." Virata said he would see "the President (meaning Marcos) immediately" to convey the message. Inquirer 28 Feb
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► The President told his remaining Cabinet Ministers and friends that he was decided on dying in the Palace. His family pleaded with him, in tears, to take the helicopter to Clark. Inquirer 27 Feb
6:30 PM ► Military officers ordered remaining Malacañang personnel, even those on the night shift, to evacuate.
The President's daughters were in tears pleading with their father to make the departure for the US. They reasoned that they could not possibly come out of the situation alive, and their children, the President's grandchildren, were with them. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
► After sunset, Ver and his son Irwin left Marcos and crossed to their headquarters on the other side of the Pasig River.
"It's all over," Irwin Ver told his stunned aides. He stripped off his flak jacket and bulletproof vest and wandered over to his quarters.
After shaking hands with those present, Gen. Ver went back to the Palace. The general had thanked his commanders but he did none the courtesy of saying he was leaving. Veritas Special Oct 86
7:00 PM ► The US Embassy notified the Palace of arrangements and gave the Marcoses two hours to leave the Palace.
Marcos called Ver again to his study. Ver went alone, after giving instructions to his sons Irwin, Wyrlo, and Rexor to meet him there.
When Ver saw Marcos, he was told of a report that the Marines were about to storm the Palace. Instead of verifying the information, Ver held his arms up, then struck his right fist into his left palm as if in desperation. Mrs. Marcos cried on her husband's shoulder. Marcos comforted her. BREAKAWAY p. 120
ARUIZA ► Things were in an uproar, all of us running around, grabbing at possessions, shouting last-minute instructions, trying to remember admonitions. MALACAÑANG p. 154
WACK WACK, MANDALUYONG ► Cory received a phone call from US Ambassador Bosworth telling her that Marcos was ready to leave the Palace but was asking to stay for at least two days in Paoay, his home in the north.
Cory's initial reaction was: "Poor man, let us give him two days."
But MP Palma and others did not agree. They believed that given the chance, Marcos might regroup his forces or extend his stay indefinitely.
Cory called Ambassador Bosworth to say that she could not grant the request. Marcos should leave the country. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 240
Fidel Ramos: Both Minister Enrile and I wanted whatever was for the greater good of the greater number of Filipinos, which was to have the thing settled as fast as possible and in a bloodless peaceful way. There are still many emotional Ilocanos who think I should have stepped in and provided Mr. Marcos the chance to go to Ilocos Norte at least to say goodbye. But at the time any deviation from the plan would have given the remaining loyalist forces the opportunity to create a rallying point, mobilize military units, and come storming back to Manila. We couldn't let that happen while the Aquino government was still consolidating its forces.
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Back on the Palace side of the river, the scene was chaotic. Baggage was being carried down to small watercraft on the river; there were big fires around the place. They were burning something-documents.
The boats loaded with baggage headed across the river, up to the golf course where the US helicopters were due to land.
Marcos called General Pattugalan to inquire how the Palace barricades were being manned. He was lucid and "seemed very controlled."
"See that the barricades stay intact...prevent the people from coming in at all costs," Marcos ordered. Veritas Special Oct 86
MALACAÑANG PARK, 7:30 PM ► Two American helicopters from Clark touched down on the Pangarap golf course. Half an hour later, two other helicopters landed. BREAKAWAY p. 120
►All the names of those departing were cleared with Aquino, including the name of her cousin, the notorious crony Eduardo Cojuangco. Veritas Special Oct 86
► The family of Ver and his sons, Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco and his family, motored to Clark to join the Marcos party. BREAKAWAY p. 120
8:40 PM ► A convoy of cars filled with security men made their escape to Clark Air Base in Pampanga. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
MENDIOLA, 8:45 PM ► The night was cool, a little windy. The atmosphere was charged, yet the mammoth crowd of students and workers appeared relaxed and tired. Red banners dominated the air as they wafted in the breezy and bright night. These were the people who were supposed to be the "hotheads" and "agitators." Most belonged to the BAYAN and KMU and militant student's groups. I did not notice nor hear any agitation from their ranks.
The heckling and agitation emanated from the crowds that were either on the rooftops or outside the BAYAN forces.
The marshalls cordoned their ranks with linked arms. Sectors were grouped together. Most were young men and women-the martial law babies-now besieging the last rampart of the dictatorship.
Up front, seminarians and priests and nuns formed a buffer between the barbed wires and the first phalanx of militants.
In the middle of the sea of militants, a jeepney served as stage, headquarters, food depot and clinic all at the same time. (I remembered all the flashy cars encircling Crame and TV 4.) Malaya Sunday Mag 21 Mar
LINO BROCKA ► Minsan pa, maniwala ka, nakatayong ganyan ang mga sundalo, nariyan naman ang puwersa ng BAYAN. Hintayan. Tense talaga. Biglang may tumawid sa bridge mula sa BAYAN side papuntang mga sundalo. May dalang pagkain. Alam mo ba ang ginawa ng mga sundalo? Ibinaba ang mga baril nila-at pumalakpak! Pagkatapos, kumain nang kumain. Dios ko, sabi namin, tao rin pala sila. Gutom na gutom sila! E ayun, matapos nilang kumain, tinanganan uli ang baril nila!
[Once again, the military and BAYAN forces were standing face to face, waiting for someone to make the next move. It was really tense. Suddenly someone from the BAYAN side crossed the bridge towards the soldiers, carrying food. You know what the soldiers did? They put down their guns-and clapped. Then they ate and ate. God! I said, they're human too! They're so hungry! Well, but after eating, they took up their guns again.] Sunday Times Mag 16 Mar
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► It was time to go. Marcos lingered at his bedroom door, saying nothing, his face undecipherable. He shuffled forward, slowly and interminably towards the elevator. Seconds before he stepped in, he threw another look around him.
Once below, he had 50 yards to traverse from the elevator door to the Heroes Hall landing. The hall was cramped with luggage waiting to be moved across the river and then put in helicopters that were coming from the US Embassy grounds.
Each soldier that Marcos passed looked at him gravely and executed a slow, sad salute, no longer the snappy gesture of better days. Reaching the landing and visibly exhausted, Marcos stopped, looked around for a seat, and chose a valise to sit on. Aruiza asked one of the boys to pull up a chair from somewhere. Marcos moved weakly to the chair, still saying nothing, crumpling a soft golf hat in his hands. Agents were burning documents nearby. Imee asked them to stop because the fire was growing and the smoke bothered her. She feared an asthma attack.
The Marcos grandchildren gathered around him, clinging to him, saying "Wowo" for "Lolo," and all he could offer them was this weak and distracted smile. The members of the household staff, the last ones to leave the Palace, were serving us hot dinner. Two of them, Susan Reyes and Danny Almazan, steadfast to the end, approached Marcos to ask if he wanted to eat. They were weeping. Marcos shook his head, then touched them gently, blessing them, the nearest to a farewell the household staff received that night. MALACAÑANG pp. 156-7
RECEPTION HALL ► Just minutes before they were to leave, the First Lady called in the last of the few personnel sticking it out with them at the Palace, mostly the remaining close-in security. She began handing out P10,000 to each in payroll envelopes. She later handed over the task to Babes Romualdez, her PR man.
The First Family made their get-away from the Reception Hall where all of them gathered during those final hours, down a flight of stairs to Heroes Hall, boarding the Presidential barge to cross the Pasig River till they reached the lawn of Malacañang Park where the two helicopters awaited them. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
► Enrile was waiting (for Marcos) in the shadows, covered by his own RAM guard. The two men had worked together closely for nearly thirty years, enriching each other beyond most men's fantasies. They knew things about each other that nobody else knew. According to witnesses, the meeting ended with words of conciliation and a long embrace between the two men. DYNASTY p.419
ARUIZA ► I caught sight of the young Ferdinand. Still in his crumpled fatigues, he stuck to his father, his rifle ready at his hip. His eyes swept the scene. He was guarding his father the way the close-in security agents did. Only the night before, he had planned to gather a few select men to try and retake the government TV station, to put to test the training he had received with the Rangers and the Marines. I was set to join him but the president got wind of it and put his foot down. MALACAÑANG p. 158
► Some late sixth sense stirred formless fears about the future, for at the door of the helicopter, Marcos suddenly struggled. He railed at Ganut and at another agent, Restituto Alipio, struggling to free himself, beating weakly at the men, angry for the first time since Feb 22. He did not want to board the helicopter. He did not want to leave. Op. cit., pp. 159-160
MALACAÑANG PARK ► Five US helicopters (each with a crew of four) were utilized. The Marcos entourage was picked up across the Pasig River from the Palace, and the entire party crossed the river by powerboat. Jolly Benitez missed the "last boat" and frantically hired a banca to ferry him across.
A solid gold statue of a Santo Nino (with a golden cloak), approximately three to four feet in height, adorned with a gold necklace featuring a huge diamond pendant, was loaded on one helicopter by four men. Gold bars and crates of "other stuff" were loaded, too.
The fugitive First Lady was decked out in a terno and was, as always, impeccably well-groomed. She fit her earplugs upside down, probably to avoid messing her coiffured hair, and constantly checked her make-up.
Armed Forces Chief Gen. Fabian Ver clambered aboard his chopper with an Uzi slung around his neck. When asked by a crewman to unload the automatic pistol's ammunition for "safety reasons," Ver testily retorted: "Don't fuck with me!"
One pilot was already revving up for a take-off when a man dressed in combat uniform furiously motioned him to have the door opened. The flight engineer stuck his head out and explained that they already had the maximum number of passengers on board. He menacingly pointed the high-powered gun he was carrying at the pilot, pushing his way in, growling, "I'm his goddamn son!" (They took his word for it, since the goddamn father was in another chopper.) Mr & Ms 14 Mar
ARUIZA ► There were 55 of us, divided into two shuttles of two helicopters each. Mrs. Marcos, Ferdinand Jr., Col. Ratcliffe, Captains Villa, Sadiarin, and Espadero, and Jose Conrado (Joly) Benitez boarded the first helicopter. It could not take additional passengers since it was full of Mrs. Marcos's luggage. MALACAÑANG pp. 159-160
9:05 PM ► A helicopter groaned away from the Palace grounds. A second helicopter lifted off at about the same time. Malaya 26 Feb
► Marcos and his family took the first helicopter, Ver and his sons the second. Some belongings were ferried to the US Embassy on a small boat to be taken from there to Clark. BREAKAWAY p. 120
► The second chopper that lifted immediately after the first one was airborne carried the president, Tommy and Imee, Greggy and Irene, their children, the doctors and nurses, the security agents and valets.
Fifteen minutes later, two more helicopters landed. Major Monino Veridiano and the rest of the party took off right away because the American pilots feared the Palace was surrounded by rebel soldiers who were shooting indiscriminately at our people. MALACAÑANG pp. 159-10
9:25 PM ► At least two (more) choppers left Malacañang, sources said. Malaya 26 Feb
MENDIOLA ► A fresh contingent of mixed "red" and "yellow" marchers arrived from Legarda to the cheers of the crowd. The mob outside the militants' ranks was swelling. Word spread that Marcos had left. There were, however, reports that some 300 ex-convict loyalists were standing their ground in the Palace and willing to shoot it out to the end.
Gays, transvestites, crisscrossed the rallyists exclaiming, "Wala na si Marcos! Makikita ko na rin ang Malacañang! Appear!" At the barbed wires sealing the bridge, a streamer was planted beside the BAYAN flag that read: "Koalisyon Mamamayan Laban sa Diktadura." Another: "Reject the US-sponsored Fascist Coalition."
It was symbolic that the workers, the youth, and the urban poor-the so-called basic masses, the most exploited and oppressed during Marcos's 20 years-were here in Mendiola delivering the final blow to the gasping dictatorship, providing a buffer between an unorganized and enraged mob and Malacañang with its 300 or so hold-out loyalists. Malaya Sun Mag 23 Mar
► The first indications that Mr. Marcos had left the presidential palace came when about 1,000 Marines fortifying his residence suddenly withdrew and returned to their barracks, believed to be either in Fort Bonifacio or Camp Crame. Malaya 26 Feb
NAGTAHAN BRIDGE ► The jubilant crowd surged at the soldiers, shook hands with them, carried Lt. Col. Norberto Santiago, and put a yellow ribbon around his head. Some of the people sang a Christmas carol, "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit (Chritmas Is Here)." Business Day 26 Feb
VILLA SAN MIGUEL, MANDALUYONG ► When the news came that the Marcoses were gone, Cardinal Sin sent word to the Pink Nuns and the Carmelites and the Poor Clares that they could now stop their fast. He gifted them with ice cream and cake to break their fast on. QUARTET p. 108
HILARION M. HENARES, JR. ► At 9:30 Cardinal Sin sent three lechons to the starving nuns, and my daughter Rosanna burst into our bedroom crying, "It's over! Marcos has fled!"
My wife Cecilia fell to her knees, sobbing softly, and praying. Rosanna lifted her to her feet, "No, mamma, no tears, no prayers, not yet."
"Why not?" I screamed.
"Heaven is empty. God, Our Lady, the saints, and all the angels are here, dancing in the streets. Come, let's join them!" Inquirer Feb 88
CLARK AIR BASE, PAMPANGA, 9:45 PM ► Marcos was met by US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth. He also got a "welcome" from hundreds who massed at the main gate of the base to chant "Co-ree!" while a convoy of some fifty vehicles held a noise barrage for twenty minutes along the base's perimeter fence. PEOPLE POWER (I) p. 171
9:52 PM ► DZRH was the first to announce the news: "The Marcoses have fled the country!" Malaya 8 Feb
Shortly after 10:00 PM ► US Air Force TV station FEN confirmed Marcos's departure. Manila Times 26 Feb
WACK WACK, MANDALUYONG ► Ambassador Bosworth called Cory to say that Marcos had left. Cool as always, Cory turned to Palma and the others after she put the phone down. She said simply, "Marcos has left." She said it as if it were the most ordinary thing. Everyone shouted jubilantly. Cory did not. PEOPLE POWER (II) p. 240
Cory Aquino: According to Steve Bosworth, once they got to Clark the Marcoses were asking if they could go to Paoay after resting for the night in Clark. I said, is Marcos dying? No, but he's feeling very tired. Well, in that case, I said, he can stay for the night in Clark but the following morning they just have to go. I never even considered Paoay. If he were dying, my goodness, let him die in Clark or wherever. But I was assured by Steve Bosworth that he was in no danger of dying.
Freddie Aguilar: May show na naman ako sa Hobbit that night. I was on my way nang mabalita na wala na si Marcos. This I gotta see, sabi ko. Shinort-cut ko na naman ang show. Sabi ko sa foreigners sumama na lang sila sa Malacañang. Ang dami namin.
[I was on my way to Hobbit when I heard that Marcos was gone. Again, I cut short my show and invited the foreigners to come with me to Malacañang.]
Fidel Ramos: I had left Crame to go to Malacañang after giving Gen. Cabrera, superintendent of the Western District, instructions to keep order in the vicinity. I promised to be there in 45 minutes. But the crowds were very very thick in Sta. Mesa, everyone was celebrating, it was like Christmas and New Year and birthdays all rolled into one. We were heading back for Crame when I got a radio message asking me to report to President Aquino in Wack Wack.
LINO BROCKA ► Sugod paabante, sugod paatras. Umuulan ang bato mula sa Marcos loyalists na nakulong sa loob ng Malacañang. Walang malay na tinakbuhan na sila ng presidente nila. Pero, Manay, nakakahiya bang sabihin, di mo yata maaalis sa Pinoy, sa gitna ng batuhan at stampede, tuwing may camera lights, tigil kami, kuntodo luhod 'yung mga nasa harap para 'wag matakpan ang mga nasa likod, sabay ngisi at L sign! Pa-picture! Kuha yung mga nakatingala. Kuha yong nasa tabi ng tangke. Cut to cut na ganyan. Tapos, ayan, umuulan na naman ang mga bato, putok ang ulo ng iba, duguan, ang gulo! Tapos, dating ang mga madre, may dalang tatlong karosa, kumakanta, Ama Namin. Sabi ko, wala na si Makoy! Panalo na! Sunday Times Mag 16 Mar
[At Malacañang it was now advance and now retreat. Stones were raining from the Marcos loyalists trapped inside the Palace grounds; they didn't know their president had run out on them. What's embarrassing to mention is the vanity you just can't take away from the Pinoy. In the midst of all that stoning and stampede, the moment camera lights flashed, we all froze, those in front kneeling down so as not to cover those behind, and everybody grinning and flashing the L sighn. Pa-picture! Afterwards, on with the rain of stones, on with the broken heads, on with the blood, on with the riot! How brave really is the Pinoy, with a gun or without.] QUARTET pp. 93-94
10:15 PM ► As the mob dismantled the barbed wire structures, the militants stood up, tightened their ranks, and dispersed. Why did they disperse? Why did they not lead or join the mob that "conquered" Malacañang? Malaya Sunday Mag 23 Mar
EDSA AND ELSEWHERE ► Dancing in the streets, of course, fireworks, horn-honking and drum-beating, laughing, crying and embracing. Monumental traffic jams. Thousands staged a victory march from Crame to Malacañang, and everywhere people occupied the streets in cathartic celebration. Sunday Times Mag 2 Mar
Fidel Ramos: I assured President Aquino that the country was under the control of her new government. The President gave instructions about maintaining order and she also wanted to know the line-up of commanders that I was contemplating.
Cory Aquino: We were already deciding who would be in the cabinet and, even then, we were already having problems. As you know I was brought to the presidency by people power and people power was composed of people from the left, others from the right, and then there are the moderates. That first night should have warned me that things would not be all that rosy and friendly in my first cabinet.
MENDIOLA, 10:50 PM ► The crowd that stood vigil outside the bridge swelled to more than a million. Those in front of the barbed wires started cutting strands for "souvenirs." Manila Times 27 Feb
INSIDE THE PALACE ► Servants left behind prayed in a chapel. Some had tears streaming down their faces as they chanted over and over again: "God have mercy on us."
Before the crowd arrived, reporters wandered freely through the ornate rooms of the Spanish-colonial palace where only hours before Marcos was sworn in for a fourth term and vowed he would never resign.
Downstairs, tables were overturned and paper littered the floor. In a huge ornate reception room with mirrors on every wall and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, a half-eaten meal - it looked like a curry in aluminum foil containers - lay on a banqueting table.
Maps with voting figures showing how Marcos had fared in the disputed Feb. 7 presidential election that led to his downfall were on display in an ante-room. Rifles, a machine gun, and bandoliers of bullets lay nearby. Ibid.
Cory Aquino: I hope it will never happen again, this business of no transition. Most presidents have the advantage of a transition period - before it was from the second Tuesday of November until January first - they have the luxury of time to think things out, especially in the selection of the cabinet. I never had that. On the other hand, if Marcos had not cheated me, if he had just accepted the will of the people, he would have stayed in the Philippines and still have been able to control parliament. And I would have had to deal with that parliament. I guess it was the trade-off. If I had been given a transition period, we would not have been able to restore democracy as fast. Certainly it wasn't only to my advantage but to the advantage of the Filipino people. So given that, I think it was providential that Marcos did what he did, because it gave rise to my non-violent protest movement and then to people power at EDSA.
► The Marcoses fled so hastily that they abandoned scores of precious family mementos as well as a lavish half-eaten meal in their silver service, a half-dozen wide-screen television sets, costly stereo units, a double freezer stuffed with imported American steaks, and even a 10-foot-high closet packed with the former first lady's nightgowns.
Beside Mrs. Marcos's 12-foot-wide bed, there was even a half-eaten banana.
The one thing Mrs. Marcos did take along, though, was her famed jewelry collection. Two large jewelry display cases were empty, and the floors of Mrs. Marcos's bedroom were strewn with empty jewelry boxes.
Her husband's gymnasium-sized bedroom was a living statement of a chronic condition of ill-health that Marcos had always denied. Beside her husband's kingsize bed was a specially fitted hospital bed connected to an oxygen machine and an intravenous bottle containing an unlabeled clear liquid. In the ceremonial bedroom stood a sophisticated piece of medical equipment called the "Centurion Magnotherapy," designed to treat chronic and degenerative illnesses of the heart, lungs and kidneys.
On a second-floor balcony was a large blackboard depicting a detailed map of Camp Crame. Beside the map were notes listing the rebels' possible strength in men and arms.
In a pile of documents stamped "top secret and confidential" near the former president's bed, there was a letter from Ramos to Marcos dated Feb. 19, three days before Ramos joined Enrile in defying the Marcos regime. The letter warned the President that a recent flurry of "midnight appointments or assignments" within top military ranks by Ver "is not good for the Armed Forces of the Philippines."
Beside the two pillows on Marcos's unmade bed was another souvenir that the President had left behind: his World War II Army helmet. Business Day 27 Feb
PALACE GATES, 11:30 PM ► The people coming from Mendiola Bridge surged towards the gate, prompting the more than 100 civilian Marcos loyalists to flee in every direction. Palace gates were forcibly opened. Hundreds of looters, who were among the first to enter Malacañang, climbed up the Administration building. Thousands of documents were thrown out of the windows while some valuables were carted away. An unidentified student from Philippine Marine Institute was reported killed inside the building. Veritas 2 Mar
► Equipment was carted off (not even phone directories were spared), mimeograph stencils ripped off their machines and the contents of desks dumped on the floor. Pictures of Marcos and his wife were smashed. One boy paraded wearing a ceremonial spiked helmet.
Young men sat behind desks, pretending to be bureaucrats picking up phones and receiving calls (the phones were still functioning). The records office was vandalized, the people leaving most of the typewriters alone, but dumping papers, files and books on the floor. A lady's shoe posed incongruously on a typewriter.
Outside, about 10,000 people had gotten in or were trying to get in. Couples sat under trees or strolled down lanes posing for photographs. Young men clambered up abandoned tanks and cheered. In the lurid light of incandescent lamps, the scene was surrealistic.
Fireworks were bursting the bells of nearby San Beda were ringing. At Maharlika Hall, a young man waved a large Philippine flag from the balcony, a la Malolos. Searching for souvenirs, or loot, people spared nothing, taking radios, TV sets, pieces of papers, even plants. Cushions, clothes and other objects were hurled out, stopping only when angry people started chanting: "Wag sirain. (Don’t destroy)." Manila Times 27 Feb
ROLANDO A. DOMINGO ► "My first impression was of a Mardi Gras. Two girls were dancing on top of a car. Inside the Palace my impression was that it was all decorated with capiz shell. Every room was a mess. People pushed and shoved and looted. Finally I simply refused to go any farther; I just stood there and let my eyes absorb what there was to be seen. Two people were hurrying away with a valuable-looking frame, the portrait in it torn out. A man in sandals held a box of vegetables high over his head. A group was hastily bundling up what looked like dresses or curtains. A man was hiding a handful of M-16 magazine clups under his jacket. There were soldiers around by they made no move to stop the looters. They just milled around in a daze. I left early. Of my vigils, this at Malacañang was the shortest and the most shocking." QUARTET p. 95
Freddie Aguilar: May nasalubong ako, may dalang paso. Okey lang, 'kako, souvenir. Maya-maya, may isa, sako ng bigas ang dala. Magnanakaw na 'yon ah. Kinausap ko ang mga tao. Walang p.a. kaya sumisigaw ako. Sana ho, 'kako, 'wag tayong magnakaw, 'wag tayong mag-vandalize. Okey lang kung mag-usyoso tayo pero 'wag nating sisirain. 'Wag nating ibunton sa palasyo ang galit natin sa dating presidente. Nakakahiya sa bagong presidente natin kung dadatnan niyang wasak-wasak itong Malacañang. Tapos noon, umalis ako para mai-report ito sa Channel 4.
[I saw someone carrying out a flowerpot; that seemed okay, just a souvenir. Then I saw one carrying out a sack of rice; now that was stealing. I had to shout to be heard. I asked the people to please not steal or vandalize. I said it was okay to look around, but not to destroy. Let's not vent our anger at the former president on the palace, I said. It would be a shame if, when the new president comes, she finds Malacañang a wreck.]
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Some of the angry crowd caught a number of security men and members of the Palace household loading ten pieces of luggage and other valuables belonging to the First Family into a rubber boat behind the Palace that would take them to the US Embassy compound via the Pasig River where another American chopper was to pick them up. BREAKAWAY P. 121
Freddie Aguilar: Pagdating ko sa Channel 4, ang dami nang balimbing! 'Yung mga hindi ko nakita sa struggle, biglang pumapapel. Sila ang nagbibigay ng rules. Kesyo pumirma daw muna ako. Palibhasa, ako naman e Kristiyano, hangga't maaari ayaw kong bumasag ng mukha ng may mukha, pumirma ako. Saan ba 'ko puwede mag-report? Pinapasok ako. Nakita ko sa loob sina Peque Gallaga, sina Danny Javier. Tapos 'yung mga unggoy na cameramen, nung sabihin kong magre-report sana ako tungkol sa mga magnanakaw sa Malacañang, sabi 'wag ko sabihin 'yung pagnanakaw. Mga sipsip! Mga lintik! Nagtaas ako ng boses. Sino ba kayo? Bakit biglang nandito kayong lahat? At bakit ninyo sasabihin sa akin na hindi ako puwedeng mag-report ng totoo? Kaya nga nagkaleche-leche ang bayan natin, dahil sa kasinungalingang ganyan, ngayon babalik na naman kayo. Nagngingitngit ako talaga. Kung puwede lang, suntukan na lang e.
[In Channel 4, the balimbings were out in full force, people who were never part of the struggle but who now acted like they were. They had rules, like I was told I had to sign-in first. Being a good non-violent Christian, I controlled myself and signed. Inside I saw Peque Gallaga and Danny Javier's group. Then there were these cameramen who, when they learned that I was going to report on the looting of Malacañang, told me not to mention the looting. (Expletives) I was so angry I raised my voice. Who are you guys anyway? What are you all doing here? And how dare you tell me that I am not allowed to report the truth! It's precisely the reason why our country has become a basket case, because of all the lying. Now you want to go back to that? I was so mad, I would have settled it with a fistfight.]
BEHIND THE PALACE ► The security men and household members jumped into the murky Pasig River to avoid the mob. Luckily not one of them drowned. The luggage containing money, jewelry, documents, and other valuables were looted right on the spot. Not one of the looters, however, was able to enter the Palace as security men had locked the main entrance leading to the rooms and offices of the President and the First Lady and their children. Ibid.
Freddie Aguilar: Nagsalita ako sa TV at nanawagan ako sa mga nasa Malacañang na itigil na ang pagnanakaw at pagbabasag. Sana 'kako, bantayan na lang nila ang palasyo para sa bagong presidente. Alam mo ang kasabisabi nung isang unggoy sa Channel 4? "Mga kaibigan diyan sa Malacañang," sabi niya, "binibigyan namin kayo ng 30 minutes para umalis diyan!" May time limit pa! Off the air, sabi ko sa kanila, sa mga nakaharap sa camera, "I bet you my eggs, you cannot make those people leave, kahit ipadala mo pa ang mga reformists diyan, hindi nila mapapaalis." Hindi sila nakakibo. Mga burgis ba. Mga porma.
[I went on TV and pleaded with the people in Malacañang to stop the looting and vandalizing. I suggested that they guard the palace instead for the new president. You know what one of the monkeys in Channel 4 said? He said on cam, "Friends, we are giving you 30 minutes to leave the premises!" He actually gave them a time limit! Off the air, I said to them, "I bet you my eggs, even if you send in the reformists, you cannot make those people leave."]
MALACAÑANG ► Not all the media folk who toured the Palace that midnight saw the most pathetic evidence of Mr. Marcos's funk during his "hora de verdad". In his bathroom were found his black combat boots, his trousers, and a mess of disposable diapers. Boots, trousers and diapers were all soiled with excrement. In a moment of shock or a fit of panic, Mr. Marcos had shitted in his pants. That he could no longer control his bladder was evident during the campaign, when he traveled with a urinal. It now appears that he had also lost, or was losing, control of his bowels too and this would explain why the Marcoses had boxes and boxes of disposable diapers.
At any rate, it seems all too proper that one of the last things Mr. Marcos did in the Palace was to defile it. QUARTET pp. 99-10
Fidel Ramos: We really did not expect to achieve our objectives in such a short period and almost without bloodshed. I believe the credit should go to, one, a credible leader supported by the people in the person of Cory Aquino; two, a core of reform-minded military professionals led by Enrile and myself; three, people power; and four, a divine commander-in-chief who saw to it that people and events fell into place in the nick of time.
CORINTA BARRANCO ► "The gates were open but people were clambering over the fence, impatient to get inside. Branches had been broken off from the trees along the fence and carried away as souvenirs. Everyone wanted a souvenir of this visit to Malacañang. Fortunately, by then, the Palace had been secured by General Ramos's men and the looting had stopped. Through a window I caught a glimpse of the famous chandeliers, all ablaze, as if the former tenants were still there. On the balcony where Marcos had addressed his paid audience at noon now stood a poster of Cory and Doy. People were milling around, wreaking havoc on the manicured lawns. I thought: if Imelda could see this she'd faint!" Op. cit. pp. 95-96
Cory Aquino: I would change nothing about EDSA. I think it was perfect the way it was. Everything was so spontaneous. There was no director. It was really the people wanting to make changes happen and they did make them happen. It was the people themselves coming together and becoming one and finally identifying with each other. I had always hoped and dreamed that we Filipinos could be more intensely nationalistic, and EDSA was it. Finally, Filipino people were identifying with all that's good about the Filipino - the sharing of the food, the praying together, the kindness and support shown for everybody, the total giving of oneself I don't want that changed. In fact I want many EDSAs to happen (although I don't think that's possible, it was one of a kind), or at least for us to learn the lessons of EDSA. We will never get the entire picture, of course, with so many things happening to so many different people, but the important thing is, for once the Filipinos shone and the Philippines was finally known throughout the world for something very good. In the past we were known throughout the world, but for something very bad. EDSA changed all that.
► When Cory Aquino went home that night after a hectic day, and placed her head on her pillow to claim the rest she had earned at the end of a long long trail, between the closing of her eyes and the coming of sleep, in that twilight zone of wakefulness where thoughts and plans and prayers dwell, perhaps her mind wandered back to some warm private moment of her life with Ninoy, and she must have whispered into the night, "You're right, Ninoy. The Filipino is worth dying for." Mr & Ms. 7 Mar