There are two events in Philippine history that have been distorted by people who took part in them because of prejudice or a simple wish to misinform people.
These events have for many years, to a certain extent, formed part of Philippine history, which I believe must be rectified for the sake of truth.
The first event was why the so-called RAM or Reform the Armed Forces Movement was formed, headed by then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and then Army Colonel Gringo Honasan.
The reason why the RAM was formed, and I am quoting Enrile himself, was because he and some members of the AFP knew that in case of the demise of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was suffering from some kind of cancer, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Fabian Ver, was forming a military junta.
My gulay, Ver even had then First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos as a member of the junta.
Enrile told me that Ver intended to assign his two sons, who were also both colonels and with the Presidential Security Command (the name before it morphed into Presidential Security Group), to strategic positions like the armored division of the AFP and head of the PSC, once Marcos Sr. died.
According to Enrile, Honasan had a company trained in urban warfare in Cagayan, JPE’s home province, Zambales and Ilocos Sur in case of a breakaway.
Somehow, Ver, head of the PSC, learned about Enrile and Honasan’s plans and this forced Enrile and Honasan to announce their breakaway on Feb. 22, 1986.
Enrile then had a press conference called at Aguinaldo, then informed foreign correspondents to make public the breakaway.
To make the breakaway more complete, Enrile then called Fidel V. Ramos, who was then head of the Philippine Constabulary – which eventually became the Integrated National Police and then the Philippine National Police no longer under the Department of National Defense but under the Department of Interior and Local Government – to join them.
Ramos decided to join them. Later that day, the breakaway group transferred to Camp Crame for strategic reasons.
When President Marcos called by telephone, Enrile told him the reason.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., at the time a junior reserve officer of the Philippine Marine Corps, was then at Malacanang holding the telephone for his father and therefore was well ware of what was happening.
(Editor’s Note: Marcos Jr., as a second lieutenant, also had Special Forces Operations Courses in the Philippine Army and took his flying training in the Philippine Air Force.)
Enrile told Marcos Sr. the reason why the RAM had to break away from the Ver-led AFP; why the RAM had to break away from the AFP.
And the reason was that Enrile (from Cagayan), Ramos (from Pangasinan) – second cousin of Marcos Sr. – and Honasan (from Sorsogon) decided to fight the Sarrat, Ilocos Norte-born Ver’s planned military junta, not against the presidency of Marcos Sr.
That was the real reason why from February 22 to February 25, JPE, Ramos and Honasan led that Breakaway group.
Thus, to rectify and avoid distortion or misinformation about this crucial point in history, the breakaway group of Enrile, Ramos and Hionasan was not a betrayal against Marcos Sr. because of the proclamation of Martial Law on September 21, 1972, but because of Ver’s plan to proclaim a military junta.
In fact, and this was relayed to me by no less than Enrile, he had already constituted a civilian-military junta composed of himself and selected members sympathetic to their cause, doing away with the Ver military junta.
“But, I was not sure whether or not the people would accept it,” he confided to me later on.
“This was also the reason why the breakaway group had no alternative but to wtach and secure the swearing in of Cory Aquino at Club Filipino by Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee Sr. because Cory Aquino represented the “face of the opposition.”
(Editor’s Note: Marcos was sworn in for his fourth term hours earlier that day by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ramon Aquino – beamed live on nationwide television before it went off the air – in front of several thousand cheering supporters, who had walked to the ceremony in front of Maharlika Hall inside the palace through barbed wire barricades that surrounded Malacanang.)
Another facet of history that has been distorted mostly by the “yellows” or those inclined to romanticize the late President Cory Aquino as an “icon” of democracy is the so-called “People Power Revolution” which had President Marcos Sr. exiled.
The truth of the matter was that after Enrile, Ramos and Honasan secured Cory Aquino as the new President, some people, a little over half a million members of civil society, led by priests, nuns and students in Metro Manila, gathered around EDSA to celebrate the exile of Marcos and family, led by calls of Cardinal Sin to gather at EDSA.
Media then started the hype and the Western Press then called it the “1986 People Power Revolution” led by the “icon of democracy” Cory Aquino.
In the first place, it was not a “People Power Revolution” but a gathering of a motley group of a little over half a million people.
Santa Banana, how can that be a “People Power Revolution” when the population of the country at that time was a little more than 55 million?
Neither was it a “revolution” because revolution connotes a change of the form of government like the Philippine revolution against Spain, or the Bolshevik revolution or the American revolution against monarchy.
It was a simple change of regime.
That gathering at EDSA soon led people to assault Malacanang, which was ransacked.
Earlier on when the US government saw what was happening, the whole Marcos family was taken by US military, following instructions from their civilian government, by helicopter to Clark Air Base to be ferried by an army passenger plane to Hickam Base in Honolulu, Hawaii.
People didn’t know that President Marcos Sr. had wanted to be taken instead to Paoay, Ilocos Norte, to make his last stand among his beloved Ilocanos.
But, it seemed that the Americans were afraid of a possible civil war.
Thus, the US government proceeded with its earlier plan to take the Marcos family to Honolulu to guarantee the exit of Marcos.
After that event, Philippine media started calling the EDSA gathering a “bloodless People Power Revolution,” taking off from what the Western media had called a “People Power Revolution” to romanticize, sanctify and glamorize the image of EDSA.
That was in line with what the Western Press was calling Cory Aquino as an “icon of democracy” to further the American dream of their claim of triumph of democracy over despotism.
In other words, that EDSA event on Feb. 25, 1986, commemorated every year by the “Yellows,” wasn’t anything more than a fluke.
To tell the truth about the whole event of Feb. 22-Feb 25, 1986, Cory Aquino as the icon of democracy was a myth and a fiction because Cory Aquino was never at EDSA. In fact, when the breakaway started, she was in Cebu City in the company of nuns.
The next day, she returned to Metro Manila, hiding at the Pink Sisters Convent.
Later she wanted to join the “millions” of people amassing at EDSA to protect the breakaway groups and mutineers that walked and crossed EDSA from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame.
The nearest that Cory Aquino got to EDSA was the corner of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA, where the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) building is.
She then returned to the Pink Sisters Convent where she continued to hide. That’s a fact – and I dare the “Yellows” to contradict it.
The anti-Marcos elements and their media friends wanted to perpetuate that EDSA event which they say led to the exile of the Marcoses, which actually was nothing but a simple American fear that something bad would happen to Marcos.
Historians Salvador Escalante and I. Augustus De la Paz of the Truth and Justice Foundation were very clear that the 1986 EDSA event was never a revolution, but a pocket mutiny that blew into a localized revolt, of less than a half a million people gathered at EDSA.
These are the facts and the truth which independent historians can attest to.
It is for these reasons why there is a need to rectify and correct events which have been distorted by people to pursue their own agenda.