EDSA DAY 3: February 24, 1986
EDSA People Power revolution timeline: Day 3
June Keithley starts broadcast over dzRJ (christened Radyo Bandido dzRB) by playing “Mambo Magsaysay.”
Church bells ring and word spreads that President Marcos is planning an attack. People again converge on Edsa; tires are set ablaze and sandbags and rocks are piled up.
Armed Forces chief Fabian Ver is still unable to locate dzRB, which is very near Malacañang.
At Camp Crame, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile warns of two oncoming armored personnel carriers. Human barricades led by nuns and priests prepare to repel APCs.
In Washington, US President Ronald Reagan refuses to personally tell Marcos to step down but agrees to give him asylum. US Secretary of State George Shultz calls Ambassador Stephen Bosworth in Manila with instructions to tell Marcos “his time is up.”
Marcos rejects US stand. He vows over radio: “We’ll wipe them out. It is obvious they are committing rebellion.” Ver and Army commander Maj. Gen. Josephus Ramas give go-signal for all-out attack on Edsa using tear gas, gunships, jet fighters and Marine artillery.
At Crame, AFP Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Fidel Ramos calls for civilian reinforcements amid report that large loyalist military force was being assembled.
Rebel soldiers tearfully prepare for battle and request that absolution be given them. They sing the Philippine Military Academy hymn and bid one another farewell.
Tear gas explodes outside Camp Aguinaldo on Santolan. Marcos loyalist soldiers led by Col. Braulio Balbas enter camp and take positions on golf course fronting Crame. More tear gas canisters are launched, but strong breeze blows gas back to loyalist troops.
Tension rises as helicopters approach Crame. Shortly, seven Sikorskys armed with rockets and cannons land inside the camp. Col. Antonio Sotelo and the entire Air Force 15th Strike Wing defect.
Balbas trains awesome firepower on Crame after hearing exaggerated account of rebel strength from Rodolfo Estrellado of military intelligence. Unknown to Balbas, Estrellado has joined rebel side.
Aboard gunboat, Commodore Tagumpay Jardiniano announces to his 50 officers that he is supporting Ramos-Enrile forces. Officers rejoice after minutes of silence.
Frigate soon drops anchor in Pasig River with guns trained on Malacañang.
Keithley announces that Ver and Marcos and his family have fled the country.
Triumphant Enrile and Ramos address ecstatic crowd outside Crame. Two fighter planes with orders to bomb camp tilt their wings and head toward Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
To show they had not fled, Marcos appears with his family and his generals on Channel 4. He announces the lifting of his “maximum tolerance” policy and declares a nationwide state of emergency.
Ramas issues “kill” order to Balbas. In reply, Balbas says he and his men are looking for maps.
Ramas again orders Balbas to fire. Balbas answers: “Sir, I am still positioning the cannons.”
Rebel soldiers and loyalist troops continue to exchange fire for control of Channel 4. After a demonstrator waving an Aquino banner climbs a wall of the station, a wounded soldier comes out in surrender.
Marcos’s press conference is cut off the air.
Rebel soldiers inflict slight damage on Malacañang to indicate their capacity to strike back.
Three rebel gunships destroy choppers at Villamor Air Base.
Marines led by Balbas withdraw from Aguinaldo.
Channel 4 resumes broadcast, delivering news of more defections.
With more and more people converging on Edsa and surrounding areas, Singaporean Ambassador Peter Sung offers to fly Marcoses to his country. Marcos refuses.
Ver and Ramas decide to launch final “suicide assault.” Aquino shows up on makeshift stage in front of Philippine Overseas
Employment Agency office on Edsa and delivers a brief pep talk.
In Washington, Reagan agrees to make public call for Marcos’s resignation.
Philippine Airlines chair Roman Cruz Jr. addresses his resignation letter to Aquino, making him the first public official to recognize her as duly elected President.
The United States endorses Aquino’s provisional government.
Marcos and his entire family appear on television. He appeals to loyalist civilians to go to Mendiola and calls on people to obey only orders issued by him as “duly constituted authority.” He declares 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew.
Meeting between Aquino and Ramos-Enrile group ends with decision that her inauguration as President will be held at Club Filipino in San Juan the following morning.
In Malacañang, the Marcos children’s dinner with Chief Justice Ramon Aquino and his son ends. Present are Imee and Irene and their respective husbands, Tommy Manotoc and Greggy Araneta, and Marcos Jr., who is dressed in fatigues.
Outside, people defy announced curfew and continue to roam streets of Manila.
Officials who withdrew support from Marcos: Gen. Guillermo Picache (ret.) of National Pollution Control, Maj. Francisco Baula Jr., Col. Romy David of Clark Air Base, entire 5th Fighter Wing at Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Commodore Serapio Martillano, Col. Carlos Taniega, Brig. Gen. Augustus Paiso of AFP planning unit, Col. Godofredo Rios of V. Luna Hospital (To be continued)
Sources: “Chronology of a Revolution” by Angela Stuart Santiago,
“Walang Himala: Himagsikan sa Edsa” by Angela Stuart Santiago, “The Quartet Tiger Moon” by Quijano de Manila, “People Power: The Philippine Revolution of 1986,” “Bayan Ko” and PDI archives
EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION CHRONOLOGY:
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.