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EDSA People Power Revolution 1

The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and
the Philippine Revolution of 1986) was a series of popular demonstrations in
the Philippines that began in 1983 and culminated on February 2225, 1986. There
was a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and electoral
fraud. The nonviolent revolution led to the departure of President Ferdinand
Marcos and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.
It is also referred to as the Yellow Revolution due to the presence of yellow ribbons
during the demonstrations following the assassination of Filipino senator Benigno
"Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. It was widely seen as a victory of the people against the 20-year
running authoritarian, repressive regime of then president Ferdinand Marcos, and
made news headlines as "the revolution that surprised the world". ]
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 2225, 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 and the CBCP President Cardinal Ricardo Vidal,
the Archbishop of Cebu. The protests, fueled by the resistance and opposition from
years of corrupt governance by Marcos, culminated with the departure of
the dictator from Malacaang Palace to Hawaii. Corazon Aquino was proclaimed as
the President of the Philippines after the revolution.
Some authors praised Marcos' decision not to
attack the protesters and to voluntarily leave the
country for preventing a bloody civil war

Background and history

Main article: Ferdinand Marcos

President Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected president in

1965, defeating incumbent 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."[11] Amidst charges from the opposition party of vote buying
and a fraudulent election, Marcos was decisively reelected in the Philippine
presidential election, 1969, this time defeating Sergio Osmea, Jr. by 61 to 39

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 in 1968 on Mao Zedongs
birthday, a Communist insurgency supported financially and militarily by China, and
a bloody Muslim separatist movement in the southern island of Mindanao led by
the Moro National Liberation Front backed by Malaysia and allegedly by Liberal
Party senator Ninoy Aquino, contributed to the rapid rise of civil discontent and
unrest in the country.

On September 23, 1972, citing more than 15 bombing incidents and an intensifying
armed communist insurgency, Marcos declared martial law by virtue of presidential
proclamation (Proclamation No. 1081). The Washington Post revealed in 1989 that
the Communists plotted the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing to provoke Marcos into
cracking down on his opponents and thus allow them to increase recruits which
were needed to make use of weapons and financial aid coming from China.
Martial law was ratified by 90.77% of the voters during the Philippine Martial Law
referendum in 1973 though the referendum was marred by controversy. Primitivo
Mijares, author of the book The Conjugal Dictatorship, alleged that there could not
have been any valid referendum held from January 10 to 15, 1973 as the 35,000
citizen's assemblies never met and that voting in municipalities was by show of
hands. The referendum had the following results:

As Marcos was barred from running for a third term as president in 1973, it was
alleged that he issued Martial Law to extend his term in office. Rigoberto Tiglao,
former press secretary and a former communist incarcerated during the martial
law, argued that the liberal and communist parties provoked martial law imposition.
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 Marcos to stay in power beyond 1973. The
constitution was approved by 95% of the voters in the Philippine constitutional

Through this decree and after obtaining voters consent through the plebiscite,
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. Marcos also dissolved the Philippine
Congress and shut down media establishments critical of the Marcos government.

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 and the
man who was groomed by the opposition to succeed Marcos after the 1973
elections. 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. While interviews with former Communist leaders revealed that Aquino
provided the Communists with firearms, training area, and lodging to oust Marcos,
he denied being a communist leader or a communist himself. In his undelivered
speech upon his return from the US on August 21, 1983, Aquino said, "I was
sentenced to die for allegedly being the leading communist leader. I am not a
communist, never was and never will be."
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 and LABAN Candidate Alex Boncayao, who later was associated with
Filipino communist death squad Alex Boncayao Brigade that killed U.S. army
captain James N. Rowe.

With practically all of his political opponents arrested and in exile, 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.

Assassination of Ninoy Aquino

Main article: Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.

Despite warnings from the military and other pro-Marcos groups, 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.

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, founder of the Bangsamoro Liberation Front, who trained about 30,000
Bangsamoro guerrillas as MNLF fighters and sent the top 90 moro guerrillas to
Malaysia to train guerrilla warfare under the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces and the
Gurkha Regiment. The passport carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for
martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison). [ Aquino became
allies with Rashid Lucman as he supported the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao against
the government.

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). 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 disobedienceIt also shook the Marcos government, which was by then
deteriorating due, in part, to Marcos' worsening health and ultimately fatal illness
(lupus erythematosus).

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%.

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.

Pablo Martinez, one of the convicted suspects in the assassination of Ninoy Aquino
Jr. confessed that it was Ninoy Aquino Jr.'s relative, Danding Cojuangco, cousin of
his wife Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, who ordered the assassination of Ninoy Aquino
Jr. while Marcos was recuperating from his kidney transplant.

Calls for election

Main article: Philippine presidential election, 1986

On November 3, 1985, after pressure from the US government, 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.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.

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. According to Salvador Laurel's diary, Cory offered Laurel that he
would be her Prime Minister, that she would step down in two years, that Laurel
would name 30 percent of the Cabinet, that she would appoint the remaining 70
percent after close consultations with Laurel. 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.
1986 election[
Main article: Philippine presidential election, 1986

The elections were held on February 7, 1986. 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 [ 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 points.

This electoral exercise was marred by widespread reports of violence and tampering
of election results, culminating in the walkout of 35 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.

However, not known to many, the walkout of computer technicians was led by Linda
Kapunan, wife of Lt Col Eduardo Kapunan, a leader of Reform the Armed Forces
Movement, which plotted to attack the Malacaang Palace and kill Marcos and his
family, leading some to believe that the walkout could have been planned with
ulterior motives.

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. 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. 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.

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 refused to accept 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.
Despite common knowledge that Marcos cheated the elections, some claim that
Marcos is the one that had been cheated by Namfrel because his Solid North votes
were transmitted very late to the tabulation center at the PICC. Two Namfrel
volunteers were hanged in Ilocos. The Ilocano votes were enough to overwhelm
Corys lead in Metro Manila and other places. Former Asiaweek Correspondent Tony
Lopez said that after Cory took over the presidency, Namfrel made recount of the
votes cast in the February snap election. The tally still showed Marcos was the real
winner but only by 800,000 votes.

Vidal's declaration

Cardinal Vidal, after the result of the snap election, issued a declaration in lieu of the
Philippine Church hierarchy stating that "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.

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 Malacaan 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.

Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan was to lead the team that was going to assault
Malacaan Palace.

However, after Marcos learned about the plot, he ordered their leaders' arrest, ] and
presented to the international and local press some of the captured plotters, Maj.
Saulito Aromin and Maj. Edgardo Doromal.
Threatened with their impending imprisonment, Defense Minister 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 22 February, 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."

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.

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.
Rising mass suppor]

During the height of the revolution, an estimated three hundred to five hundred thousand people
filled EDSA from Ortigas Avenue all the way to Cubao. The photo above shows the area at the
intersection of EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue, just between Camp Crame and Camp

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. 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.

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),[ which, since 1980, had become a patriotic anthem
of the opposition. People frequently flashed the 'LABAN' sign, 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
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. Nuns holding rosaries knelt in front of the
tanks and men and women linked arms together to block the troops. 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.

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 Angelo Castro, Jr., was the radio broadcaster who
continued Radio Veritas' program throughout the night and in the remaining days.

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.

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.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.

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. In the afternoon,
Aquino arrived at the base where Enrile, Ramos, RAM officers and a throng were

The capture of Channel 4

At around that time, June Keithley received reports that Marcos had left Malacaang
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, (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

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.)

This broadcast was considered the "return" of ABS-CBN on air because this was the
time when former employees of ABS-CBN were inside the complex after 14 years of
closure since Marcos took it over during the Martial Law of 1972. Radio 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 Malacaang, 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.

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:

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

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, 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 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 Aurora
Aquino, the mother of Ninoy Aquino. Attending the ceremonies were Ramos, who
was then promoted to General, Enrile, and many politicians. [52]
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 Malacaang 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 GMA-7. 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!" Rather tearfully 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.

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

By this time, hundreds of people had amassed at the barricades along Mendiola,
only a hundred meters away from Malacaang. 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.

Marcos' departure

At 3:00 p.m. (EST) on Monday, President Marcos phoned United States

Senator Paul Laxalt, asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him
to "cut and cut clean",] 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] 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

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. US Government
documented that they entered the USA with millions of dollars in jewelries, gold,
stocks, and cash

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.

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.

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. 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."

Main article: Presidency of Corazon Aquino

Immediately after assuming the presidency, President Corazon Aquino issued

Proclamation No. 3, which established a revolutionary government. Aquino
unilaterally abolished the parliament Batasang Pambansa which was duly
elected in the Philippine parliamentary election, 1984. She abolished the 1973
Constitution that was in force during martial law, and instead promulgated the
provisional 1986 Freedom Constitution, pending the ratification of a new
Constitution by the people. This allowed Aquino to exercise both executive and
legislative powers until the ratification of the new Philippine Constitution and the
establishment of a new Congress in 1987 Aquino also removed several
government officials perceived as loyalists to the Marcos administration and
appointed cabinet members and officers who will be loyal to current

The establishment of the new government was met with criticism among the
contemporaries of Cory Aquino. Supreme Court Justice Cecilia Muoz-
Palma vehemently opposed the move citing, "to call the government
revolutionary and abolish the Batasan Pambansa was to behave no better than
Dictator Marcos". Homobono Adaza, who brokered for United Democratic
Opposition (UNIDO) which supported Aquino, criticized Cory for betraying the
agreement of the UNIDO political coalition that the type of government of Marcos
would be continued and that Cory shall only be a ceremonial President. He also
addressed Cory's lack of experience on the position, saying "everyone knew that
Cory had no knowledge of how to run the country, and she admitted this." A
letter by resigned former secretary of foreign affairs and former vice-president
Salvador Laurel, as well as critics thereafter, reported controversies by involving
closest relatives and giving unfair privileges within the new administration.

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 under a dictator's regime, adoption of a
new constitution, and the subordination of the military to civilian rule, despite
several coup attempts during the Aquino administration.

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


The EDSA Revolution Anniversary is a special public holiday in the Philippines.

Since 2010, the holiday has been a special non-working holiday.
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.

Second EDSA PEOPLE POWER Revolution
The Second EDSA Revolution (EDSA II) was a four-day political protest from 1720
January 2001 that peacefully overthrew the government of Joseph Estrada,
the thirteenth President of the Philippines. Estrada was succeeded by his Vice-
President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was sworn into office by then-Chief
Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. at around noon on January 20, 2001, several hours before
Estrada fled Malacaang Palace. EDSA is an acronym derived from Epifanio de los
Santos Avenue, the major thoroughfare connecting five cities in Metro Manila,
namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan, with the revolution's
epicentre at the EDSA Shrine church at the northern tip of Ortigas Center, a business
Advocates described EDSA II as "popular" but critics view the uprising as a conspiracy
among political and business elites, military top brass and Catholic Cardinal Jaime Sin.
International reaction to the revolt was mixed, with some foreign nations including the
United States immediately recognising the legitimacy of Arroyo's presidency, and foreign
commentators describing it as "a defeat for due process of law", "mob rule", and a "de
facto coup".
The only means of legitimizing the event was the last-minute Supreme Court ruling that
"the welfare of the people is the supreme law." But by then, the Armed Forces of the
Philippines had already withdrawn support for the
president, which some analysts called
unconstitutional, and most foreign political analysts
agreeing with this assessment. William Overholt,
a Hong Kong-based political economist said that "It is
either being called mob rule or mob rule as a cover
for a well-planned coup, ... but either way, it's not
democracy." It should also be noted that opinion was
divided during EDSA II about whether Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as the incumbent Vice President
should be President if Joseph Estrada was ousted;
many groups who participated in EDSA II expressly
stated that they did not want Arroyo for president
either, and some of them would later participate
in EDSA III. The prevailing Constitution of the
Philippines calls for the Vice President of the
Philippines, Arroyo at the time, to act as interim
president only when the sitting President dies,
resigns, or becomes incapacitated, none of which
occurred during EDSA II.

Deposed president: Joseph Estrada

Incoming president: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

On October 4, 2000, Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson, a longtime friend of
President Joseph Estrada, went public with accusations that Estrada, his family and
friends received millions of pesos from operations of the illegal numbers game, jueteng.
The expos immediately ignited reactions of rage. The next
day, Senate Minority Leader Teofisto Guingona, Jr. delivered
a fiery privilege speech accusing Estrada of receiving P220
million in jueteng money from Governor Singson from
November 1998 to August 2000, as well as taking P70
million on excise tax on cigarettes intended for Ilocos Sur.
The privilege speech was referred by Senate
President Franklin Drilon, to the Blue Ribbon Committee and
the Committee on Justice for joint investigation. Another
committee in the House of Representatives decided to
investigate the expos, while other house members
spearheaded a move to impeach the president. [5]
More calls for resignation came
from Manila Cardinal Archbishop Jaime Sin, the Catholic
Bishops Conference of the Philippines, former
Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos, and Vice President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo (who had resigned her cabinet position of Secretary of the Department of Social
Welfare and Development). Cardinal Sin stated in a statement "In the light of the
scandals that besmirched the image of presidency, in the last two years, we stand by
our conviction that he has lost the moral authority to govern."[6] More resignations came
from Estrada's cabinet and economic advisers, and other members of congress
defected from his ruling party.
On November 13, 2000, the House of Representatives led by Speaker Manuel
Villar transmitted the Articles of Impeachment, signed by 115 representatives, to the
Senate. This caused shakeups in the leadership of both houses of congress. The
impeachment trial was formally opened on November 20, with twenty-one senators
taking their oaths as judges, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide,
Jr. presiding. The trial began on December 7.
The day-to-day trial was covered on live Philippine television and received the highest
viewing rating at the time.[5] Among the highlights of the trial was the testimony of
Clarissa Ocampo, senior vice president of Equitable PCI Bank, who testified that she
was one foot away from Estrada when he signed the name "Jose Velarde" documents
involving a P500 million investment agreement with their bank in February 2000.