People Power Revolution

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People Power Revolution
EDSA Revolution pic1.jpg
Hundreds of thousands of people filling up Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), facing northbound towards the Boni Serrano Avenue-EDSA intersection.
(February 1986)
DateFebruary 22–25, 1986 (3 days)
Caused by
GoalsRemoval of Ferdinand Marcos and installation of Corazon Aquino as President
Resulted inRevolutionary victory
Parties to the civil conflict

People Power revolutionaries
Political groups:

Military defectors:


  • Anti-Marcos civilian protesters

Religious groups:

Militant groups:

Lead figures
2,000,000+ protestors
No figures available

The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution, the Philippine Revolution of 1986, EDSA 1986, EDSA I and EDSA People Power) was a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines, mostly in the capital city of Manila from February 22–25, 1986. There was a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and alleged electoral fraud. The nonviolent revolution led to the departure of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the end of his 21-year presidential rule, and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines. [4]

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. As of 2018 it was the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico City and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila has been damaged by and rebuilt from wars more times than the famed city of Troy and it is also the second most natural disaster afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and most wealthy cities in Southeast Asia.

Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by civil groups to challenge a particular power, force, policy or regime. Civil resistance operates through appeals to the adversary, pressure and coercion: it can involve systematic attempts to undermine the adversary's sources of power, both domestic and international. Forms of action have included demonstrations, vigils and petitions; strikes, go-slows, boycotts and emigration movements; and sit-ins, occupations, and the creation of parallel institutions of government. Civil resistance movements' motivations for avoiding violence are generally related to context, including a society's values and its experience of war and violence, rather than to any absolute ethical principle. Cases of civil resistance can be found throughout history and in many modern struggles, against both tyrannical rulers and democratically elected governments. The phenomenon of civil resistance is often associated with the advancement of democracy.


It is also referred to as the Yellow Revolution due to the presence of yellow ribbons during demonstrations following the assassination of Filipino senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. [4] in August 1983. It was widely seen as a victory of the people against two decades of presidential rule by President Marcos, and made news headlines as "the revolution that surprised the world". [5]

Assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr. 1983 murder of Filipino senator and opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr.

The assassination of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a former Philippine senator, took place on Sunday, August 21, 1983 at the Manila International Airport. A longtime political opponent of President Ferdinand Marcos, he had just landed in his home country after three years of self-imposed exile in the United States when he was shot in the head while being escorted from an aircraft to a vehicle that was waiting to transport him to prison. Also killed was Rolando Galman, who was later implicated in Aquino's murder.

The majority of the demonstrations took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, more commonly known by its acronym EDSA, in Metro Manila from February 22–25, 1986. They involved over two million Filipino civilians, as well as several political and military groups, and religious groups led by Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, along with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines President Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the Archbishop of Cebu. The protests, fueled by the resistance and opposition from years of governance by President Marcos and his cronies, culminated with the absolute ruler and his family fleeing Malacañang Palace to exile in Hawaii. Ninoy Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, was immediately installed as the eleventh President as a result of the revolution. [6]

EDSA (road) road in the Philippines

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, commonly referred to by its acronym EDSA, is a limited-access circumferential highway around Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It is the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila passing through 6 of the capital region's 17 local government units, namely, from north to south, Caloocan, Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay.

Metro Manila Metropolis and Region in Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippines

Metropolitan Manila, officially the National Capital Region (NCR), is the seat of government and one of the three defined metropolitan areas of the Philippines. It is composed of 16 cities namely: the City of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the municipality of Pateros.

Jaime Sin Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila

Jaime Lachica Cardinal Sin was the 30th Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, and was also a Cardinal.

Background and history

Ferdinand Marcos became the longest-serving Philippine president for 20 years. Ferdinand Marcos.JPEG
Ferdinand Marcos became the longest-serving Philippine president for 20 years.

President Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected president in 1965, defeating incumbent President Diosdado Macapagal by a margin of 52 to 43 percent. During this time, Marcos was very active in the initiation of public works projects and the intensification of tax collections. Marcos and his government claimed that they "built more roads than all his predecessors combined, and more schools than any previous administration". [7] Amidst charges from the opposition party of vote buying and a fraudulent election, President Marcos was reelected in the Philippine presidential election, 1969, this time defeating Sergio Osmeña, Jr. by 61 to 39 percent.

Diosdado Macapagal the 9th President of the Philippines

Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, Sr. was the ninth President of the Philippines, serving from 1961 to 1965, and the sixth Vice-President, serving from 1957 to 1961. He also served as a member of the House of Representatives, and headed the Constitutional Convention of 1970. He is the father of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who was the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010.

Sergio Osmeña Jr. Filipino politician

Sergio "Serging" Veloso Osmeña Jr., was a Senator of the Philippines, and is the son of Sergio Osmeña, Fourth President of the Philippines.

President Marcos' second term for the presidency was marred by allegations by the opposition Liberal Party of widespread graft and corruption. According to leftists who rioted during the First Quarter Storm, the increasing disparity of wealth between the very wealthy and the very poor that made up the majority of the Philippines' population led to a rise in crime and civil unrest around the country. These factors, including the formation of the New People's Army and a bloody Muslim separatist movement in the southern island of Mindanao led by the Moro National Liberation Front, contributed to the rapid rise of civil discontent and unrest in the country.[ citation needed ]

Liberal Party (Philippines) liberal party in the Philippines

The Liberal Party of the Philippines or LP is a liberal political party in the Philippines, founded by then senators Senate President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th Senatorial District Senator José Avelino, on January 19, 1946 by a breakaway Liberal wing from the old Nacionalista Party. It was the ruling party from 2010 to 2016 after the election victory of Benigno Aquino III as the President of the Philippines. Today, the Liberals are the opposition and maintain at least five seats in the Senate, and at least 41 of seats in the House of Representatives. Around 50% of governors, 50% of vice governors, and 33% of board members are also Liberals.

First Quarter Storm conflict

The First Quarter Storm was a period of civil unrest in the Philippines, composed of a series of heavy demonstrations, protests, and marches against the government from January to March 1970, or the first quarter of 1970. Student activists played a large role in these demonstrations, expressing their condemnation of the country's economic crisis and rampant imperialism. These violent protests, along with the subsequent protests they inspired, were collectively a major factor that led to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.

New Peoples Army Armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines

The New People's Army (NPA) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It was formed and founded by Jose Maria Sison, Bernabe Buscayno, and Lucio Manlapaz on 29 March 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of protracted people's war. With an estimated strength of nearly 3,200 militants in 2015, and latest attack as recent as 2015 in Agusan Del Sur, it operates in the rural areas throughout Philippines especially in the inaccessible hill areas of provinces far from the major cities.

Proclamation of Martial Law

Barred from running for a third term as president in 1973, Marcos announced Proclamation No. 1081 on September 23, 1972, declaring martial law with rising civil disobedience as a justification. Through this decree and after obtaining voters consent through the plebiscite, President Marcos seized emergency powers giving him full control of the Philippines' military and the authority to suppress and abolish the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and many other civil liberties. President Marcos also dissolved the Philippine Congress and shut down media establishments critical of the Marcos Administration. [8]

Proclamation No. 1081

Proclamation № 1081 was the document which contained formal proclamation of martial law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos, as announced to the public on 23 September 1972.

At 7:17 pm on September 23, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos announced that he had placed the entirety of the Philippines under martial law. This marked the beginning of a 14-year period of one man rule which would effectively last until Marcos was exiled from the country on February 25, 1986. Even though the formal document proclaiming martial law - Proclamation No. 1081 - was formally lifted on January 17, 1981, Marcos retained virtually all of his powers as dictator until he was ousted by the EDSA Revolution.

Freedom of speech Right to communicate ones opinions and ideas

Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

President Marcos also ordered the immediate arrest of his political opponents and critics. Among those arrested were Senate President Jovito Salonga, Senator Jose Diokno, and Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., who Marcos linked with the Communists [9] and the man who was groomed by the opposition to succeed President Marcos after the 1973 elections. [8] On November 25, 1977, the Military Commission charged Aquino along with his two co-accused, NPA leaders Bernabe Buscayno (Commander Dante) and Lt. Victor Corpuz, guilty of all charges and sentenced them to death by firing squad. [10]

A constitutional convention, which had been called for in 1970 to replace the Commonwealth era 1935 Constitution, continued the work of framing a new constitution after the declaration of martial law. The new constitution went into effect in early 1973, changing the form of government from presidential to parliamentary and allowing President Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973. The constitution was approved by 95% of the voters in the Philippine constitutional plebiscite.

In 1978, while still in prison, Aquino founded his political party, Lakas ng Bayan (abbreviated "LABAN"; English: People's Power) to run for office in the Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). All LABAN candidates lost, including Ninoy himself.

With practically all of his political opponents were arrested and in exile, President Marcos' pre-emptive declaration of martial law in 1972 and the ratification of his new constitution by more than 95% of voters enabled Marcos to effectively legitimize his government and hold on to power for another 14 years beyond his first two terms as president. In a Cold War context, Marcos retained the support of the United States through Marcos' promise to stamp out communism in the Philippines and by assuring the United States of its continued use of military and naval bases in the Philippines. [8]

Assassination of Ninoy Aquino

Despite warnings from the military and other First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, Ninoy Aquino was determined to return to the Philippines. Asked what he thought of the death threats, Ninoy Aquino responded, "The Filipino is worth dying for." [11]

At that time, Ninoy's passport had expired and the renewal had been denied. Ninoy therefore acquired a plan to acquire a fake passport with the help of Rashid Lucman, [12] [13] The passport carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison). [14]

On August 21, 1983, after a three-year exile in the United States, Aquino was assassinated as he disembarked from a Taiwanese commercial flight at the Manila International Airport (which was later renamed in Aquino's honor). [15] His assassination shocked and outraged many Filipinos, most of whom had lost confidence in the Marcos administration. The event led to more suspicions about the government, triggering non-cooperation among Filipinos that eventually led to outright civil disobedience. [16] It also shook the Marcos Administration, which was by then deteriorating due, in part, to Marcos' worsening health and ultimately fatal illness (lupus erythematosus).[ citation needed ]

The assassination of Ninoy Aquino caused the Philippines economy to deteriorate even further, and the government plunged further into debt. By the end of 1983, the Philippines was in an economic recession, with the economy contracting by 6.8%. [17]

In 1984, Marcos appointed a commission, led by Chief Justice Enrique Fernando, to launch an investigation into Aquino's assassination. Despite the commission's conclusions, Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, declined an offer to join the commission and rejected the government's views on the assassination.

Calls for election

On November 3, 1985, after pressure from the US government, [18] Marcos suddenly announced that a snap presidential election would take place the following year, one year ahead of the regular presidential election schedule, to legitimize his control over the country. [19] The snap election was legalized with the passage of Batas Pambansa Blg. 883 (National Law No. 883) by the Marcos-controlled unicameral congress called the Regular Batasang Pambansa. [20]

The growing opposition movement encouraged Ninoy Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, to run for the presidency. United Opposition (UNIDO) leader, Salvador Laurel, who earlier filed his candidacy as an official UNIDO candidate for the presidency, gave way to Cory after a political deal which was later reneged by Cory after the election. Salvador Laurel eventually ran as Cory Aquino's running mate for vice-president under the United Opposition (UNIDO) party. Marcos ran for re-election, with Arturo Tolentino as his running mate under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) party. [20]

1986 election

The elections were held on February 7, 1986. [19] The official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), declared Marcos the winner. The final tally of the COMELEC had Marcos winning with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino's 9,291,761 votes. On the other hand, based on returns of 70% of the precincts [21] of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), an accredited poll watcher, had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos' 7,053,068 votes. [22]

This electoral exercise was marred by widespread reports of violence and tampering of election results, culminating in the walkout of 30 COMELEC computer technicians to protest the deliberate manipulation of the official election results to favor Ferdinand Marcos. The walkout was considered as one of the early "sparks" of the People Power Revolution. The walkout also served as an affirmation to allegations of vote-buying, fraud, and tampering of election results by the KBL. [23] [24]

Because of reports of alleged fraud, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through Cardinal Ricardo Vidal issued a statement condemning the elections. The United States Senate also passed a resolution stating the same condemnation. [19] US president Ronald Reagan issued a statement calling the fraud reports as "disturbing" but he said that there was fraud "on both sides" of the Philippine election. [25] [26] In response to the protests, COMELEC claimed that Marcos with 53 percent won over Aquino. However, NAMFREL countered that the latter won over Marcos with 52 percent of votes. [27]

On February 15, Marcos was proclaimed by COMELEC and Batasang Pambansa as the winner amidst the controversy. All 50 opposition members of the Parliament walked out in protest. The Filipino people repudiated the results, asserting that Aquino was the real victor. Both "winners" took their oath of office in two different places, with Aquino gaining greater mass support. Aquino also called for coordinated strikes and mass boycott of the media and businesses owned by Marcos' cronies. As a result, the crony banks, corporations, and media were hit hard, and their shares in the stock market plummeted to record levels.[ citation needed ]

Vidal's declaration

Cardinal Vidal, after the result of the snap election, issued a declaration in lieu of the Philippine Church hierarchy stating that when "a government does not of itself freely correct the evil it has inflicted on the people then it is our serious moral obligation as a people to make it do so." The declaration also asked "every loyal member of the Church, every community of the faithful, to form their judgment about the February 7 polls" and told all the Filipinos, "Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to repair the wrong. The wrong was systematically organized. So must its correction be. But as in the election itself, that depends fully on the people; on what they are willing and ready to do." [28]


Aborted military coup

Appalled by the bold and apparent election irregularities, the Reform the Armed Forces Movement set into motion a coup attempt against Marcos. The initial plan was for a team to assault Malacañan Palace and arrest Ferdinand Marcos. Other military units would take over key strategic facilities, such as the airport, military bases, the GHQAFP in Camp Aguinaldo, and major highway junctions to restrict counteroffensive by Marcos-loyal troops.

However, after Marcos learned about the plot, he ordered their leaders' arrest, [29] and presented to the international and local press some of the captured plotters, Maj. Saulito Aromin and Maj. Edgardo Doromal. [30]

Threatened with their impending imprisonment, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and his fellow coup plotters decided to ask for help from then AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Fidel Ramos, who was also the chief of the Philippine Constabulary (now the Philippine National Police). Ramos agreed to resign from his position and support the plotters. Enrile also contacted the highly influential Cardinal Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin for his support.

At about 6:30 p.m. on February 22, Enrile and Ramos held a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo, where they announced that they had resigned from their positions in Marcos' cabinet and were withdrawing support from his government. Marcos himself later conducted his own news conference calling on Enrile and Ramos to surrender, urging them to "stop this stupidity". [31]

Sin's appeal

After Cardinal Vidal's condemnation of the snap election's fraudulent result, a message was aired over Radio Veritas at around 9 p.m., Cardinal Sin exhorted Filipinos in the capital to aid rebel leaders by going to the section of EDSA between Camp Crame and Aguinaldo and giving emotional support, food and other supplies. For many this seemed an unwise decision since civilians would not stand a chance against a dispersal by government troops. Many people, especially priests and nuns, still trooped to EDSA. [31]

Radio Veritas played a critical role during the mass uprising. Former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo stated that: "Without Radio Veritas, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to mobilize millions of people in a matter of hours." Similarly, a certain account in the event said that: "Radio Veritas, in fact, was our umbilical cord to whatever else was going on." [32]

Rising mass support

At dawn, Sunday, government troops arrived to knock down the main transmitter of Radio Veritas, cutting off broadcasts to people in the provinces. The station switched to a standby transmitter with a limited range of broadcast. [32] The station was targeted because it had proven to be a valuable communications tool for the people supporting the rebels, keeping them informed of government troop movements and relaying requests for food, medicine, and supplies. [31]

Still, people came to EDSA until it swelled to hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians. The mood in the street was actually very festive, with many bringing whole families. Performers entertained the crowds, nuns and priests led prayer vigils, and people set up barricades and makeshift sandbags, trees, and vehicles in several places along EDSA and intersecting streets such as Santolan and Ortigas Avenue. Everywhere, people listened to Radio Veritas on their radios. Several groups sang Bayan Ko (My Homeland), [33] which, since 1980, had become a patriotic anthem of the opposition. People frequently flashed the 'LABAN' sign, [34] which is an "L" formed with their thumb and index finger. 'Laban' is the Tagalog word for 'fight', but also the abbreviation of Lakas ng Bayan, Ninoy Aquino's party.

After lunch on February 23, Enrile and Ramos decided to consolidate their positions. Enrile crossed EDSA from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame amidst cheers from the crowd. [31]

In the mid-afternoon, Radio Veritas relayed reports of Marines massing near the camps in the east and LVT-5 tanks approaching from the north and south. A contingent of Marines with tanks and armored vans, led by Brigadier General Artemio Tadiar, was stopped along Ortigas Avenue, about two kilometers from the camps, by tens of thousands of people. [35] Nuns holding rosaries knelt in front of the tanks and men and women linked arms together to block the troops. [36] Tadiar asked the crowds to make a clearing for them, but they did not budge. In the end, the troops retreated with no shots fired. [31]

By evening, the standby transmitter of Radio Veritas failed. Shortly after midnight, the staff were able to go to another station to begin broadcasting from a secret location under the moniker "Radyo Bandido" (Outlaw Radio, which is now known as DZRJ-AM). June Keithley, with her husband Angelo Castro, Jr., was the radio broadcaster who continued Radio Veritas' program throughout the night and in the remaining days. [31]

More military defections

At dawn on Monday, February 24, the first serious encounter with government troops occurred. Marines marching from Libis, in the east, lobbed tear gas at the demonstrators, who quickly dispersed. Some 3,000 Marines then entered and held the east side of Camp Aguinaldo. [31]

Later, helicopters manned by the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force, led by Colonel Antonio Sotelo, were ordered from Sangley Point in Cavite (South of Manila) to head to Camp Crame. [37] Secretly, the squadron had already defected and instead of attacking Camp Crame, landed in it, with the crowds cheering and hugging the pilots and crew members. [31]

A Bell 214 helicopter piloted by Major Deo Cruz of the 205th Helicopter Wing and Sikorsky S-76 gunships piloted by Colonel Charles Hotchkiss of the 20th Air Commando Squadron joined the rebel squadron earlier in the air. The presence of the helicopters boosted the morale of Enrile and Ramos who had been continually encouraging their fellow soldiers to join the opposition movement. [31] In the afternoon, Aquino arrived at the base where Enrile, Ramos, RAM officers and a throng were waiting. [37]

The capture of Channel 4

At around that time, June Keithley received reports that Marcos had left Malacañang Palace and broadcast this to the people at EDSA. The crowd celebrated and even Ramos and Enrile came out from Crame to appear to the crowds. The jubilation was however short-lived as Marcos later appeared on television on the government-controlled Channel 4, [38] (using the foreclosed ABS-CBN facilities, transmitter and compound) declaring that he would not step down. It was thereafter speculated that the false report was a calculated move against Marcos to encourage more defections. [31]

During this broadcast, Channel 4 suddenly went off the air. A contingent of rebels, under Colonel Mariano Santiago, had captured the station. Channel 4 was put back on line shortly after noon, with Orly Punzalan announcing on live television, "Channel 4 is on the air again to serve the people." By this time, the crowds at EDSA had swollen to over a million. (Some estimates placed them at two million.) [31]

This broadcast was considered the "return" of ABS-CBN on air because this was the time when former employees of the network were inside the complex after 14 years of closure since Marcos took it over during the Martial Law of 1972. "Radyo Bandido" ended broadcasting that afternoon, while Radio Veritas resumed transmissions, this time from the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center's radio studios.

In the late afternoon, rebel helicopters attacked Villamor Airbase, destroying presidential air assets. Another helicopter went to Malacañang, fired a rocket, and caused minor damage. Later, most of the officers who had graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) defected. The majority of the Armed Forces had already changed sides. [31]

Marcos orders not to shoot

Prior dialogues to stop the revolution have not succeeded with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which was led by General Fabian Ver. AFP was ready to mount an air strike on the day but was halted under orders of Marcos.

The actual dialogue on TV between Marcos and then AFP Chief of Staff General Fabian Ver went as follows: [39]

Fabian Ver: The Ambush there is aiming to mount there in the top. Very quickly, you must immediately leave to conquer them, immediately, Mr. President.

Ferdinand Marcos: Just wait, come here.
Ver: Please, Your Honor, so we can immediately strike them. We have to immobilize the helicopters that they've got. We have two fighter planes flying now to strike at any time, sir.
Marcos: My order is not to attack. No, no, no! Hold on. My order is not to attack.
Ver: They are massing civilians near our troops and we cannot keep on withdrawing. You asked me to withdraw yesterday-
Marcos (interrupting): Uh yes, but ah... My order is to disperse without shooting them.
Ver: We cannot withdraw all the time...
Marcos: No! No! No! Hold on! You disperse the crowd without shooting them.

Two inaugurations

Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as the 11th president of the Philippines on February 25, 1986 at Sampaguita Hall (Now Kalayaan Hall). Corazon Aquino inauguration.jpg
Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as the 11th president of the Philippines on February 25, 1986 at Sampaguita Hall (Now Kalayaan Hall).

On the morning of Tuesday, February 25, at around 7 a.m., a minor clash occurred between loyal government troops and the reformists. Snipers stationed atop the government-owned Channel 9 tower, near Channel 4, began shooting at the reformists. Many rebel soldiers surged to the station, [31] and a rebel S-76 helicopter later shot the snipers at the broadcast tower. The troops later left after a V-150 was blocked by the crowd assembled.

Later in the morning, Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as President of the Philippines in a simple ceremony at Club Filipino [40] in Greenhills, about a kilometer from Camp Crame. She was sworn in as President by Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee, and Laurel as Vice-President by Justice Vicente Abad Santos. The Bible on which Aquino swore her oath was held by her mother-in-law Aurora Aquino, the mother of Ninoy Aquino. Attending the ceremonies were Ramos, who was then promoted to General, Enrile, and many politicians. [31]

Outside Club Filipino, all the way to EDSA, hundreds of people cheered and celebrated. Bayan Ko (My Country, a popular folk song and the unofficial National Anthem of protest) was sung after Aquino's oath-taking. Many people wore yellow, the color of Aquino's campaign for presidency.

An hour later, Marcos held the inauguration at Malacañang Palace. Loyalist civilians attended the ceremony, shouting "Marcos, Marcos, Marcos pa rin! (Marcos, Marcos, still Marcos!)". On the Palace balcony, Marcos took the Oath of Office, broadcast by IBC-13 and RPN-9. [31] None of the invited foreign dignitaries attended the ceremony, for security reasons. The couple finally emerged on the balcony of the Palace before 3,000 KBL loyalists who were shouting, "Capture the snakes!" [41] Rather tearfully, [41] First Lady Imelda Marcos gave a farewell rendition of the couple's theme song – the 1938 kundiman "Dahil Sa Iyo" (Because of You) – chanting the song's entreaties in Tagalog:

Because of you, I became happy
Loving I shall offer you
If it is true I shall be enslaved by you
All of this because of you. [41]

The broadcast of the event was interrupted as rebel troops successfully captured the other stations. [31]

By this time, hundreds of people had amassed at the barricades along Mendiola, only a hundred meters away from Malacañang. They were prevented from storming the Palace by loyal government troops securing the area. The angry demonstrators were pacified by priests who warned them not to be violent. [31]

Marcos' departure

At 3:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, President Marcos phoned United States Senator Paul Laxalt, [41] asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him to "cut and cut clean", [42] to which Marcos expressed his disappointment after a short pause. In the afternoon, Marcos talked to Minister Enrile, asking for safe passage for him, his family, and close allies such as General Ver.

At midnight PHT, the Marcos family boarded a United States Air Force HH-3E Rescue helicopters [43] and flew to Clark Air Base in Angeles City 83 kilometres north of Manila.

At Clark Air Base, Marcos asked to spend a couple of days with his family in Ilocos Norte, his native province. Aquino vetoed the request. President Reagan privately derided Cory Aquino for denying Marcos a last look at his home province. [44]

The deposed First Family and their servants then rode US Air Force DC-9 Medivac and C-141B planes to Andersen Air Force Base in the north of the United States territory of Guam, then flying to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where Marcos finally arrived on February 26. The United States Government documented that they entered the United States with millions of dollars in jewelries, gold, stocks, and cash. [5] [31]

When news of the Marcos family's departure reached civilians, many rejoiced and danced in the streets. Over at Mendiola, the demonstrators stormed the Palace, which was closed to ordinary people for around a decade. Despite looting by some angry protesters, the majority wandered about inside through rooms where national history was shaped, looking at objects extravagant and mundane that the Marcos clan and its court had abandoned in their flight.[ citation needed ]

In other countries, people also rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. CBS anchorman Bob Simon reported: "We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy. Well, tonight they are teaching the world." [31]

Some authors say that Marcos prevented civil war similar to the Syrian Civil War by refusing to use guns notwithstanding the insistence of his top general, and by agreeing to step down during the EDSA revolution. [45] [46] The White House said "By leaving the Philippines at a critical juncture in his nation's history, Mr. Marcos permitted the peaceful transition to popular, democratic rule." [47]


Immediately after her accession, Aquino issued Proclamation № 3, a provisional constitution which established a revolutionary government. The edict promulgated the 1986 Freedom Constitution, which retained or superseded various provisions of the 1973 Constitution that was in force up to that point. This allowed Aquino to wield both executive and legislative powers; among her first acts was to unilaterally abolish the Batasang Pambansa (the unicameral legislature duly elected in 1984), pending a plebiscite for a more permanent Constitution and the establishment of a new Congress by 1987. [48]

The revolution had an effect on democratization movements in such countries as Taiwan and South Korea; other effects include the restoration of the freedom of the press, abolition of repressive laws enforced by the previous regime, the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, and the subordination of the military to civilian rule, despite several coup attempts during Aquino's rule. [49]

The revolution provided for the restoration of democratic institutions after thirteen years of totalitarian rule and these institutions have been used by various groups to challenge the entrenched political families and to strengthen Philippine democracy. [50]


A visitor to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Museum browses through a timeline of the EDSA Revolution, one of the last sequences in the Museum's coverage of protest movements against the Marcos dictatorship. VisitorViewingBantayogEDSATimeline.jpg
A visitor to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Museum browses through a timeline of the EDSA Revolution, one of the last sequences in the Museum's coverage of protest movements against the Marcos dictatorship.

The People Power Revolution has inspired a call for change of government through peaceful protests rather than bloodshed. Many similar revolutions have followed since then, taking the Philippine example of nonviolent regime change, such as that in East Germany and many other former Soviet Bloc countries. [51] It also helped inspire the Arab Spring in 2011. [52]

The EDSA Revolution Anniversary is a special public holiday in the Philippines. Since 2002, the holiday has been a special non-working holiday. [53] [54]

10-peso coin commemorating the People Power Revolution People Power Revolution commemorative 10-peso coin obverse and reverse.png
10-peso coin commemorating the People Power Revolution

Rampant corruption during the term of President Joseph Estrada led to the similar 2001 EDSA Revolution leading to his resignation from the presidency.

In 2003, the Radio Broadcast of the Philippine People Power Revolution was inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, the official documentary heritage list of the United Nations' educational and scientific body. [55]


See also


Similar events:

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