February 28, 2009 · Posted in: Edsa Special, In the News, Podcasts

Enrile and Edsa 1

USUALLY nonchalant about the subject matter, Juan Ponce Enrile was in a surprisingly revelatory mood to tell the public what his sentiments are about the 1986 Edsa People Power revolt, whose annual official anniversary every February 25 he has been snubbing until last week.

At the wreath-laying rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last February 22, Enrile, Marcos’s former defense minister and now the Senate President, lamented how the role of soldiers “seemed to have been forgotten, their idealism ignored, and even their heroic contribution belittled” in the past 23 years that the four-day revolt had been commemorated.

Saying he hasn’t been at ease with being paraded as an Edsa hero, he instead paid tribute to the soldiers in Edsa, particularly those behind the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM, since renamed Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa), who “never asked for any reward, recognition, much less power. All they asked from the new leaders then was real reform and good government.”

As for his own pains, Enrile said he’d rather have these all to himself — “best left in my heart and for history to judge beyond my time.”

Back in 2006 when the PCIJ interviewed Enrile on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first People Power uprising, the senator was even more than candid with his thoughts and views. For instance, he admitted to have long been disillusioned with what became of Edsa 1 as it has been “converted into a cultist effort to mystify and sanctify certain persons.”

Though he declined to say he regretted turning over power to former President Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquno in 1986, he did say that he’d “probably not make people (who are unprepared) handle power” if he had to do it all over again.

Crediting the military more than the civilian mass movement for the ouster of Marcos, Enrile believed their failed attempt to take over power would have succeeded even if the people had not come to Camp Aguinaldo where he decided to make their last stand. “In the evening of Monday (February 24), we were already sure that we had the force to drive Marcos out. We had already the Air Force.”

To further prove his point, Enrile cited Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s continued stay in power despite her unpopularity and protests led by no less than Cory Aquino. “(It) disproves the myth created after EDSA Uno that the one that made Cory Aquino president was actually People Power.”

Listen to the Enrile interview again. Read also the accompanying i Report feature.

4 Responses to Enrile and Edsa 1



March 4th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Perhaps it is best that Enrile continue to remain silent about the EDSA Revolution. There are still people alive today who knew that the Enrile/Ramos coup attempt failed miserably from day one. The support from his comrades was just a trickle in the first few hours. Until the people rallied around Camp Crame, did more officers declare support. The truth is humbling. I was one of the masses who saved Enriles’, Gringos’ and Ramos’ ass and we all know what exactly happened in those fateful days.



March 7th, 2009 at 10:16 pm

agree with nightfly. in my book, enrile is not a hero of edsa. he’s just an opportunist. if not for the people’s support, they’re all dead (together with ramos and gringo). edsa is not his glory but the people.

it’s not within his power either to give or turn over power to cory. he is delusional. sad to say filipinos really have short memories. now they give him the senate presidency. hopeless.



May 8th, 2009 at 3:35 am

If indeed time heals, it is also a sad fact that its passage creates delusions. Enrile should just keep quiet and not stir up any debate. This way, the few people will continue to maintain whatever iota of respect they have for him. You will not change the minds of those who know what the real situation was back then. That alliance was not a noble act, but was just self-serving. The people handed power to the opposition, just because they were tired of the unabated corruption and declining economy. However, what is truly sad is that we know see that this did not create real change and that corruption and abuses continue unmitigated and is thriving with the same or even greater impunity.



February 25th, 2013 at 9:42 am

philippines should not be like this today if edsa 1 didnt happen… those bullshit aquinos cant handle power ….

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