EDSA - Tuesday began
with midnight fireworks. Persisting rumors of Marcos's fall and
flight prompted many to celebrate by exploding rockets and firecrackers.
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.
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
VILLAMOR AIR BASE
CAMP CRAME - Ramos ordered
Brawner to hold and consolidate the Army base at Fort Bonifacio.
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
LINES, STA. CRUZ, MANILA
TIMES ST., QUEZON
|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|
TIMES ST., QC
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.
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.
CAMP CRAME, Past 8:00
AM - Mr. Marcos phoned Enrile. The President asked Enrile, "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."
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
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.
Cory plodded through a throng of supporters crowded six feet deep and flashing the Laban sign. Op. cit.
SAMPAGUITA ROOM - Laurel
escorted the new President to the Presidential table where she
was presented with a bouquet of yellow flowers.
10:40 AM - Laurel took
his oath of office as Vice President of the Philippines before
Supreme Court Justice Vicente Abad Santos.
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.
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
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...
- 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.
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.
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
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!
Times 26 Feb
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.
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
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
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
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.
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."
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
fourteen 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."
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.
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.
NAGTAHAN BRIDGE, STA.
MESA, Early Afternoon - Some 300 to 400 Marcos loyalists who
came from the proclamation rally of President Marcos at Malacanang
Palace clashed with thousands of pro-Cory supportersand bystanders
at the foot of Nagtahan Bridge.
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
MALACANANG 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
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
- 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.
STA. MESA, 6:00 PM
- 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?"
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
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
- 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
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.
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.
Ver and his son Irwin left Marcos and crossed to their headquarters
on the other side of the Pasig River.
7:00 PM - The US Embassy
notified the Palace of arrangements and gave the Marcoses two
hours to leave the Palace.
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.
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.
- 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.
7:30 PM - Two American helicopters from Clark touched down on
the Pangarap golf course. Half an hour later, two other helicopters
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.
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! Sunday Times Mag 16 Mar
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!"
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 Malacanang. Ang dami namin.
Fidel Ramos: I had left Crame to go to Malacanang 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
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."
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."
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.
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.
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 Malacanang was the shortest and the most shocking." QUARTET p. 95
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 Malacanang. Tapos noon, umalis ako para mai-report ito
sa Channel 4.
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 Malacanang, 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.
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 Malacanang 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 Malacanang,"
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.
MALACANANG - 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.
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.
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
Before Edsa 1965-1986: Marcos Times
NEXT: The Flight