Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 1986- The People Power Revolution overthrows President Ferdinand Marcos

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 occurred in 1983-86. The methods used amounted to a sustained campaign of civil resistance against regime violence and electoral fraud. This case of nonviolent revolution led to the departure of President Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of the country's democracy. It is also referred to as the Yellow Revolution due to the presence of yellow ribbons during the demonstrations and the arrival of Benigno 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 Metropolitan Manila from February 22–25, 1986 and involved over two million Filipino civilians as well as several political, military, and including religious groups led by Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila. The protests, fueled by the resistance and opposition from years of corrupt governance by Marcos, culminated with the departure of the dictator from MalacaƱang Palace to the United States state of Hawaii. Corazon Aquino was proclaimed as the legitimate President of the Philippines after the revolution.

On February 25, 2011, the Philippines celebrated the 25th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

At 3:00 p.m.(EST), Monday, February 25, 1986, Marcos talked to United States Senator Paul Laxalt, asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him to "cut and cut cleanly", to which Marcos expressed his disappointment after a short pause. In the afternoon, Marcos talked to Enrile, asking for safe passage for him and his family including his close allies like General Ver. Finally, at 9:00 p.m., the Marcos family was transported by four US Navy SH-3 helicopters to Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, about 83 kilometers north of Manila, before boarding US Air Force C-130 planes bound for Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, and finally to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where Marcos arrived on February 26.

When the news of Marcos' departure reached the people, many rejoiced and danced in the streets. Over at Mendiola, the demonstrators were finally able to enter MalacaƱang Palace, long denied to Filipinos in the past decade. Looting by overly angry protesters occurred, but mostly people wandered inside, looking at the place where all the decisions that changed the course of Philippine history had been made.

Many people around the world rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. Bob Simon, an anchorman at CBS said, "We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy. Well, tonight they are teaching the world."

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