- Posted February 22, 2013 by
Unplanned people's revolt in Phl revealed
In an interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA), former Army colonel and now Senator Gregorio Honasan revealed that the “people’s revolt” against the late president Ferdinand Marcos was not part of the original plan to topple down his 20-year-old dictatorial regime.
“The original plan was for us to attack Malacanang Palace, but it was discovered before we could mount the attack with the arrest of some rebel commandos,” the PNA quoted Honasan as saying.
The military plot to remove Marcos from Malacanang Palace was hatched in 1983. In that year, problems besetting the country were enormous added by the assassination of opposition leader former Sen. Benigno Aquino II in 21 August 1983 at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport.
So the target date, Honasan said, was moved to Dec. 31, 1985. However, something unexpected happened. Marcos declared to hold a snap presidential election on February 7, 1986. Aside from the late president Corazon Aquino, former Sen. Eva Estrada Kalaw also filed her certificate of candidacy for the same post.
Because of the scheduled February polls, he said, the plot to oust Marcos from Malacanang Palace was postponed.
Another unexpected event, however, followed. Results and tabulation of the votes conducted at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) were tampered, Honasan said, adding that the time was up.
While looking for an opportunity in February, he said, they got information that some of those they recruited from the Palace were arrested.
Among those nabbed were Lt. Col. Marcelino Jake Malajacan, Majors Paulito Aromin, Dick Brillantes and Vic Morales, security escort of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.
Earlier in December 1985, Honasan said Navy Capt. Boy Turingan, an officer of Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), and other members informed Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin about the secret plan of rebel soldiers to attack Malacanang on New Year’s Eve.
Honasan emphasized that the plan to attack Malacanang was not to kill Marcos, but to capture him alive and present him to the Filipino people for judgment.
Honasan is one of the founding members of RAM, which was born at the time Marcos was losing his credibility and the country was wallowing in poverty as the government did not keep its promises.
In the early morning of February 22, security men of Trade Minister Booby Ongpin were arrested while jogging in Fort Bonifacio.
The secret plan broke out into the open. Those nabbed were presented by Marcos on television and announced that the government had discovered a plot to attack Malacanang.
At 2 p.m., Enrile immediately called up former president Fidel Ramos, Marcos’ second cousin and Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police (PC-INP) chief at that time
One of the key players of that bloodless revolt, Honasan said Enrile then asked Ramos: “Will you join us?”
There was no turning back. On February 22, Honasan said Ramos joined Enrile. He arrived at the Defense Ministry in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City at about 6 p.m. that same day.
Enrile and Ramos hastily called a news conference to announce their breakaway from Marcos, their commander-in-chief.
The military rebellion began shortly after. With the call of Cardinal Sin over the Church-run radio stations, thousands of people from all walks of life trooped to Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) in support of the military uprising. The military and police headquarters are both located along Edsa facing each other.
On the 4th day, February 25, Corazon Aquino took her oath as the 11th President of the Republic of the Philippines in San Juan City, Metro Manila.
According to Honasan, installing Corazon Aquino as new president was not a plan. The original plan, he said, was to organize a National Unification Council with Corazon Aquino, Cardinal Sin, Enrile and Ramos to oversee the gradual transition.
But ultimately it was decided to install her as the duly elected President in the February 1986 snap election.
The People Power revolt on Feb. 22-25, 1986 staged by military rebels enabled the Philippines to be free again, Honasan stressed.