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The People Power Revolution (also known as the EDSA Revolution and

the Philippine Revolution of 1986 or simply EDSA 1986) 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 President Ferdinand Marcos, the end of his 21-year totalitarian rule,
and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.[4][5]
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][5] in August 1983. It was widely seen as a victory of the people against two
decades of totalitarian, repressive [6] rule by Marcos, and made news headlines as "the
revolution that surprised the world".[7]
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 corrupt governance by Marcos and his cronies, culminated
with the dictator 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.

PRIMARY SOURCES:
Entries from the diaries of Ferdinand Marcos are to be found online in
philippinediaryproject.wordpress.com, and if you have time you can browse through other
first-hand accounts of Philippine history from the hands of: Antonio de las Alas, Apolinario
Mabini, Edgardo J. Angara, Francis Burton Harrison, Salvador H. Laurel, Teodoro M.
Locsin, and many more. There are also the sleek websites of the Malacañang Museum
and the Official Gazette, managed by young people in the Presidential Communications
Office that bring history closer to a wired generation. It is fascinating to see martial law
unfold through Marcos’ eyes. After Ninoy Aquino exposed “Oplan Sagittarius” on the floor
of the Senate in 1972, people went to Malacañang to confirm the rumors and Marcos
denied any plan for martial law. But in his diary entry written in the wee hours of Sept, 22,
1972, he described the previous day, Sept. 21, as follows:
“Delayed by the hurried visit of Joe Aspiras and Nating Barbers who came from the
Northern bloc of congressmen and senators who want to know if there is going to be
martial law in 48 hours as predicted by Ninoy Aquino. Of course Imelda and I denied it.
But Johnny Ponce Enrile, Gen. Paz, Gen. Nanadiego, Kit Tatad and I with Piciong
Tagmani doing the typing finished all the papers (the proclamation and the orders) today
at 8:00 pm.
“[US] Amb. Byroade came to see me at 11:15 pm and was apparently interested to know
whether there would be martial law. He seemed to favor it when I explained it is intended
to primarily reform our society and eliminate the communist threat. But he suggested that
a proclamation before the American elections may be used by MacGovern, the
Democratic presidential candidate, as proof of the failure of the foreign policy of the
present president.”
At 9:55 p.m. on Sept. 22, 1972, Marcos wrote: “Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed
near Wack-Wack at about 8:00 pm tonight. It was a good thing he was riding in his security
car as a protective measure. This makes the martial law proclamation a necessity.” In the
heady days of Edsa 1986, Enrile was quoted as saying that this “ambush” was actually
staged to give Marcos a compelling reason to declare martial law. That night, as the nation
slept, martial law crept over the land.
The next day, Sept. 23, Marcos wrote in his diary:
“Things moved according to plan although out of the total 200 target personalities in the
plan only 52 have been arrested, including the three senators, Aquino, Diokno and Mitra
and Chino Roces and Teddy Locsin. At 7:15 pm I finally appeared on a nationwide TV
and Radio broadcast to announce the proclamation of martial law, the general orders and
instruction. I was supposed to broadcast at 12:00 p.m. but technical difficulties prevented
it. We had closed all TV stations. We have to clear KBS which broadcast it live. VOP and
PBS broadcast it by radio nationwide.”
By Sept. 25, almost everything was in place. Among many things, Marcos records his
instructions to the military and a consultation with two justices of the Supreme Court on
the legality of martial law:
“Met Justices Fred Ruiz Castro and Salvador Esguerra on a consulta. I told them frankly
that I needed their help and counsel because we must keep all the actuations within
constitutional limits. Justice Castro asked permission to ask a blunt question, ‘Is this a
coup d’etat?’ and I told him that it is not but it is the exercise of an extraordinary power by
the president for a situation anticipated by the constitution. Justice Esguerra said
immediately that he feels that it is a legitimate exercise of martial law. And apparently
reading my mind, he said, in the Merriman case, Justice Tanney had issued a writ of
habeas corpus for a man who was detained on orders of President Lincoln. And President
Lincoln just disregarded the judicial order. And Justice Tanney said, ‘What can we do, we
are confronted by a superior authority?’ I then concluded that there must be no conflict
between the two separate departments of Justice and Executive for it would be
embarrassing to both. I believe that they are both of this persuasion.
“The public reaction throughout the Philippines is a welcome to martial law because of
the smooth, peaceful reestablishment of peace and order and the hope of a reformed
society. In fact most everyone now says this should have been done earlier. I attach the
report of Boni Isip about the same result of a survey conducted by Liberal Party Leader
Gerry Roxas. It is indeed gratifying that everyone now finds or discovers I am some kind
of a hero! There is nothing as successful as success!” Last week I was going through my
files to look for materials from the martial law era to lend to my college at the University
of the Philippines Diliman for an exhibit. I came across an issue of The Manila Chronicle
dated Sept. 22, 1972, and was startled, thinking that the newspaper was shut down on
Sept. 21.
Then I remembered that although Proclamation 1081 was indeed dated Sept. 21, it was
not until Sept. 23 that Ferdinand Marcos announced on radio and TV that martial law had
been declared. That last issue of the Chronicle gives us glimpses into life on the eve of
the imposition of martial law. Costing all of 25 centavos, the newspaper was already
printing in color. On top of the front page were two photographs captioned “Demonstrators
led by the Movement of Concerned Liberties pack Plaza Miranda in a rally against the
threat of martial law.” Red flags provided a dramatic backdrop to the demonstrators. The
men had long hair and the women were in miniskirts, and I wondered what happened to
them after martial law authorities enforced a ban on both fashions.
The front page’s main story had the headline “Senate junks Aquino probe,” referring to
the Senate turning down a proposal to inquire into alleged links between Sen. Benigno
“Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and the Communist Party of the Philippines. Smaller headlines read:
“Tolentino proposes national ‘summit,’” referring to Senate Majority Leader Arturo
Tolentino proposing a meeting between the administration and opposition to resolve the
growing political conflict, and “Marcos, military aides in huddle,” about Marcos meeting
with Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Romeo
Espino.
Ominously, the second article read in part: “The possible imposition of martial law was
not discounted.” The other front-page articles were “Hernandez, unionist, dies,” “7
generals confirmed,” “Cancer kills one Filipino per hour” and “House OKs warning on
tobacco” (the warnings said to be stricter than those required in the United States).
Inside that issue of the Chronicle, on the editorial page, were columns by Ernesto
Granada and Alejandro Roces belittling Marcos’ allegations of Ninoy Aquino’s communist
links. Granada criticized the press for giving so much space to Marcos’ “irresponsible
revelations” when there were more important news stories, including the oil companies’
petitions for a 2-centavo increase in oil products. (If I remember right, gasoline was around
30 centavos a liter at that time.)
Also in the inside pages was an article on Marcos signing a new anti-car theft act with
stiffer penalties. It was next to another photograph of the Plaza Miranda rally, this time
focusing on “young Maryknoll coeds” heading to Plaza Miranda, all in uniform. Next to
that photograph was an article on the education department being instructed by the
military to report student activists, and proposals to include subjects in “civics and
democracy” in the elementary curriculum. That proposal was opposed by Waldo Perfecto
of the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines, who said that the education
department might become “party to a witch-hunt” and that the subjects “are almost
tantamount to brainwashing.”
The back page of the main section had a photograph of Ninoy Aquino addressing long-
haired students from Ateneo de Manila and UP to “resist and fight the campaign of fear”
of Marcos, which he said was paving the way for the imposition of martial law. Next to his
photograph was an article describing a proposal from an ongoing Constitutional
Convention to extend Marcos’ presidential term to June 1976.
In the business and finance section were articles like “No cause for alarm, bank depositors
told.” One article was on a power struggle in the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
and one on the declining textile industry.

SECONDARY SOURCES:
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". [9] Amidst charges from the
opposition party of vote buying and a fraudulent election, Marcos was reelected in
the Philippine presidential election, 1969, this time defeating Sergio Osmeña, Jr. by 61 to
39 percent.
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]
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 plebiscite.
Marcos was barred from running for a third term as president in 1973. On September 23,
1972, by virtue of a presidential proclamation (No. 1081), he declared martial law, citing
rising civil disobedience as a justification. 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.[10]
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[11] and the man who
was groomed by the opposition to succeed Marcos after the 1973 elections.[10] 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.[12]
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, 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.[10]
REFFERENCES:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Power_Revolution

 https://nhdpeoplepowerrevolution.weebly.com/primary-sources-and-videos.html

 https://opinion.inquirer.net/37148/martial-law-through-the-eyes-of-ferdinand-
marcos
Philippine History
Research Paper
EDSA
REVOLUTION

Valeria L. Monghit
Yves David Tenio