EDSA, DU30 and Enrile’s revelations



AFTER enduring sustained heavy political and media fire on the extra- judicial drug killings for the past seven months, President Rodrigo Duterte finally hit back by filling Manila’s Rizal Park on Saturday and Sunday with a couple of hundred thousand people from various parts of the country to show massive public support for his war on drugs. The spectacle was impressive but hardly surprising, given the fact that the entire government was behind the entire mobilization effort, led by the Department of Interior and Local Government and its communist front partner-organization, “Kilusang Pagbabago” under DU3O’s “de facto prime minister”—Cabinet Secretary, NDF vice chairman and KP’s doctrinal and organizational head, Leoncio Evasco Jr.

The whole thing must have cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of pesos. But it completely missed the point. Even the bitterest critics of the drug killings support the war on drugs. What they have condemned, do condemn and will continue to condemn are the summary killings of mere suspects. Thus, while huge streamers proclaimed, “support for DU30’s war on drugs,” not a single sign proclaimed support for the extra- judicial or summary killings. Not one sound bite praised DU30 or the Philippine National Police for the “rub-out” of Albuera, Leyte, mayor Rolando Espinosa inside the sub-provincial jail in Baybay, Leyte, at four o’clock in the morning, or the police kidnap-murder of the Korean Jee Ick-joo inside the premises of Camp Crame, PNP’s central headquarters.

A people’s proclamation, bogus or what?
On Facebook, there briefly appeared a so-called “People’s Proclamation”, invoking “people power as the highest expression form and expression of democracy” and calling upon DU30 to establish a “revolutionary government” so that he could rule by decree. There was no sign the so-called proclamation had come from the DU30 camp, and it apparently did not reach the crowds or the newspaper reporters covering the event. Otherwise, it would have appeared that while celebrating the end of one dictatorship 31 years ago, the pro-DU30 crowd would like to see DU30 lead a new one. If the DU30 camp was not the source of this so-called “People’s Proclamation,” it would be good if they could trace and expose its real source and author.

Because of the perceived “success” of the pro-DU30 rally, there is now instant talk that DU30 would soon reactivate and intensify his war on drugs. This is now suspended following the police kidnap-murder of the Korean businessman, but the reported plan is to launch “Project Triple Barrel” in place of “Project Double Barrel,” whose main objective under PNP Command Memorandum Circular 16-2016 is the “neutralization of all illegal drug personalities”. This has accounted for the undocumented killing of some 7,000 suspects as of January.

This has apparently created a lot of tension, even in official military circles. American historian Alfred McCoy, who has chronicled the troubles of previous Philippine regimes, appears to be looking at this when he warns that DU30 could face a threat from the military, which could move very quietly indeed. “You will never know it’s going to happen until it happens,” McCoy has been quoted as saying. “One of the things about the military is that it’s complex. From any level, from lieutenant colonel onward, you can get a core group that will oppose you (and) they don’t talk about it before they do it.”

DU3O’s military ties
DU30 has tried to cultivate strong personal ties with the military by visiting as many camps as possible since July. He talks not just to the officers but also to the men, whom he tries to entertain with “locker room” stories. But his latest visit to the Philippine Military Academy where he joined the PMA alumni did not apparently produce any good results. According to some sources familiar with what happened, DU30 marched with the alumni but when he was introduced to speak, only a few clapped their hands. As reported earlier by Times columnist Rene Saguisag, DU30 spoke of his two wives, among other things, hardly what the officers and men were expecting to hear from their President and Commander in Chief.

He did not speak long, though; he left before the alumni could ask him any questions. The alumni would have wanted to be clarified on at least four issues, sources said. These included: DU30’s policy of selective promotion in the military; DU30’s statement, echoed by his spokesmen, that out of five statements he makes only two are to be taken seriously; the President’s real position on the rapidly growing communist presence in government, the reported communist arms landings and the growing armed communist threat in the cities and countryside; the President’s real regard for the Medal of Valor, which he has awarded en masse to a particular group without individual screening, in violation of the standard procedure and protocols, which required a rigorous vetting of individual candidates before the medal is awarded.

The alumni also reportedly thumbed down a suggestion to be photographed while doing DU30’s “fist bump” sign; it’s not part of the “PMA tradition,” some seniors reportedly said.

Enrile revisits EDSA
On Sunday evening, while people were still talking about “ People Power” at EDSA, I asked former Defense Secretary and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on my weekly cable TV program “Una sa Lahat” what EDSA was all about. Enrile was the paramount leader of that revolt 31 years ago, but 60 percent of all Filipinos today are 30 years and younger. They know next to nothing about EDSA. Enrile said the “EDSA revolution” was a military revolt, and not a civilian exercise. Civilian support came after the military had withdrawn their allegiance from their Commander in Chief, so it was a civilian-supported military coup rather than a military-backed ‘people power’ uprising against Marcos.

It happened on EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) because that’s precisely where the military decided to make their stand, Enrile said. This was the first time this particular point was explained to the public by its lead participant. There was a choice of going underground and waging guerrilla warfare, Enrile said, but this was instantly discounted. Then there was Fort Bonifacio, Philippine Army headquarters—they found it too big. Then Camp Villamor, Philippine Air Force headquarters—it was open to artillery fire. So EDSA proved ideal.

On one side of EDSA stood Camp Aguinaldo, general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and also the offices of the Department of National Defense, while directly across stood Camp Crame, headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary (now defunct, replaced by the Philippine National Police), then commanded by the AFP deputy chief of Staff, Gen. Ramos.

For Enrile, the EDSA revolt spanned three days—February 22 to 24—only. He described February 25, the day Cory Aquino took her oath at Club Filipino as “revolutionary President,” as “looting and power-grabbing day.” This was the day the crowds sacked Malacañang and people who had no part in the “revolution” became active participants in sharing the spoils. Enrile said he never entertained any thought of ever running the government, but would have welcomed joining a five-man revolutionary council that would include Cory Aquino, who had lost the February 7, 1986 snap presidential election to Marcos, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Gen. Rafael Ileto, and former Executive Secretary and then-UN official Rafael Salas.

Junking the Constitution a complete surprise
But this idea lost to the idea of a revolutionary President Cory Aquino, he did not say how. But he was genuinely taken aback when Cory abolished the 1973 Constitution, and replaced it first with the so-called Freedom Constitution, and then with the 1987 Constitution. He apparently had thought that the 1973 Constitution could be amended to put in the reforms from the envisioned “revolutionary council.” Initially appointed as Cory’s defense chief, they quickly had a falling out, and he found himself leading the campaign against the new Constitution, drafted by Cory’s handpicked constitutional commissioners.

Cory stayed on as President after the promulgation of the new Constitution on February 2, 1987, under a provision, which extended “the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice President elected in the February 7, 1986 election…for purposes of synchronization of elections…to June 30, 1992.” Enrile shared the view expressed earlier in this column that this provision, as worded, applies to Marcos and his running mate, Arturo Tolentino, who were declared “elected” in that election, even though they were not allowed to sit. Cory and Salvador ”Doy” Laurel were never elected.

There was an offer from the Batasan to revoke the proclamation of Marcos and Tolentino in favor of Cory and Doy, but Cory rejected this, so the proclamation was never revoked, Enrile explained. Cory therefore sat as usurper for the next six-and-a-half years. This probably explained why Cory was subjected to so many coup attempts, and would have fallen, were it not for the intervention of the US Air Force during her most critical moment.

The real reason for the EDSA revolt
For the first time since 1986, Enrile revealed the reason for the EDSA revolt. This is a detail I had missed in my reading of Enrile’s memoir, launched in Manila in 2012. Enrile said that on Marcos’s visit to the US in 1982, he learned that the President had developed an unnamed sickness, which compelled him to stay on one floor of the Waldorf Astoria’s in New York, while his wife stayed on another. There he also learned that Gen. Fabian Ver, the AFP Chief of Staff, who was also chief of presidential security, intelligence, and a few other things, had begun contemplating a military junta of five generals who would take over the government under Mrs. Marcos should anything happen to the President.

Should Marcos die, the Cabinet would be summoned to Malacañang and kept there before his death was made public, while he himself would be eliminated, Enrile said. Enrile took this information seriously and began planning his counter-move, he said. His first moves included acquiring 300 Uzis and 500 Galils, out of his own corporate funds. The rest is history, accessible to readers of Juan Ponce Enrile, A Memoir.

Given DU30’s own health condition, I find this detail especially relevant to us at this time. DU30 has openly admitted his various afflictions, but refuses to allow an impartial medical analysis to diagnose and declare his actual medical condition. The constitutional line of succession exists, but DU30’s communist partners appear determined to prevent a constitutional successor from taking over should DU30 be summoned by his Maker before his term ends. It appears that Mr. Evasco will leave no stone unturned to put a revolutionary government in place, before anything happens to the President.

This would make Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Bongbong Marcos, who is contesting the vice presidency, and the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, who are all in the line of succession, totally irrelevant. In Enrile’s case, he and the military had to mount a coup to prevent five generals from taking over should Marcos die. In Evasco’s case, he has to make sure a revolutionary government is in place to prevent a constitutional successor from taking over, should DU30 prematurely depart the scene. Is there anyone who will prevent him from carrying out his scheme? Don’t you think he should be wearing Enrile’s old shoes, right now?



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  1. Romeo Tolentino on

    I surmised only, with all the international media, assassination of Ninoy, international credit limitation, upcoming US bases expiration, snap election, that they were the hand of US State Department. Since all of those schemed failed to oust Marcos, a military revolt against Marcos was the finale. But since the take over failed due to the leak made by a number of military officers, Enrile and Ramos had to stand their final ground. As days passed, US intervened by abducting Marcos and his family out of the country and “imprisonment” exiled was imposed to prevent him from coming back – and coined it as the will of “people power”.

    • Agree with this comment. US may have staged this conspiracy drama..memory still fresh…Ninoy inside the plane moments before he lands tells the journalists inside the plane to be ready cos the next scene will happen quickly and yes before you know it he slumps on the ground dead and the apparent gunman also dead?? Such drama unfolding.. next thing you know the wife takes over the presidency…..Ninoy becomes hero..after wife’s death… son takes over presidency but until today am still asking myself such power could have afforded them surely the means to search for the truth – who was really behind Ninoy’s assassination? Was it Marcos? Hmmmm..

  2. The people present in the EDSA revolution were clearly chanting Cory ‘s name, so it was unmistakable who they were supporting at time. Had it been known to the people that the plan was for the then Marcos’ defense chief Enrile, and not Cory, to take on the highest leadership role, they would have avoided marching to EDSA.

  3. The reign of terror has to end; otherwise those do nothings in the Palace will find themselves ousted from power through a military coup backed by concerned citizens as well as indicted for crime against humanity in the ICC.

  4. Kaya sensitibo ang mga sundalo specially yang mga cavalier kuno ng PMA dahil ung kanilang sinadyang pagpapabaya para maputakti ang SAF heroes ng mga grupo ng MILF at BIFF at mga private army ng mga pulitiko sa Maguindanao , dahil inabandona nila ang mga pulis dahil lamang sa inter-service issues kunwari ngunit ang”” reward”” lamang talaga ang pinaa\gawayan.

    Kunwari “medal of valor ” issue pa.

  5. Mr Tatad you are neither a beast nor a bird. I suggest you make clear your stand or people would be wary whether you belong tot he reptile family, cold blooded and yet likes to stay in the warm.

  6. what makes you think that the government spent millions of taxpayers money in Luneta? is it because that is how you do a rally in EDSA? spending millions just to get a rallyist to occupy the street? well Mr. Tatad that is not the right now. the dutertards are coming voluntarily because we believe to the vision of our president and we have experience the changes from the streets free of drugs that the yellowtards spread.

    • The DILG memo has been posted online like fire and it was even admitted by the DILG Sec himself. Don’t be a fool as your claims “the dutertards are coming voluntarily because we believe to the vision of our president and we have experience the changes from the streets free of drugs that the yellowtards spread” are only the by product of your creative imagination. Don’t me.

    • so what are the govt vehicles doing? what about the memo of the dilg sec that it is compulsory to attend the rally? that is what you called voluntarily ? wake up ! you have to look at both sides hindi puro mocha uson blog lang ang basahin i dont say that the lp is perfect yes they have a lot of miscoming and the proliferation of drugs is one of it but you have to see both sides i support the war on drugs but not to the extent of killing suspects and users they are human also hindi mga hayop iyan they can be rehabilitated !you just cant kill people like chicken ! if the report is true that they(the police) have monetary incentives for every kill then that is very alarming dont you think so? huwag maging bulag maging patas sa pagtingin

  7. What Enrile will never reveal is that it was a failed coup d’etat that accidentally resulted in Cory becoming president. It was an accident because that was never the intention of the plotters. That 3 day ordeal under immense fear of Ver made JPE lose his balls which is the real reason he could not stop handing power over to that plain housewife. Had he not lost his nerve he would have insisted on the council with Cory being a member of it only, and the nation would have been spared the yellow scourge that has plagued us ever since. That moment of weakness was the biggest regret of his life but of course the guy will never admit it. As for your fantasy of a military resistance to Duterte, what prognostication have you ever made that was correct, may I ask? After two EDSAs where the military was just used like toilet paper by the yellows, do you think they will allow themselves to be used again?

  8. Wow tatad ikaw na! Mag tayo ka na lng ng tulda sa harap ng Quiapo Church at mang hula ka lng. Total magaling ka mag bigay ng kakatuwang opinion

  9. Congratulations to Madame Pedroza for gathering 200,000 voluntary souls to show their unDYING support to President Duterte. We fully understand that the promised 1 million or so was just plain Hyperbole in conformance with the standard of Master Digong!

  10. Who in his right mind will believe what Enrile says. The guy admitted that the suppose ambush of him was staged.. In the court of law, once you were proven telling a lie all subsequent testimonies won’t hold water anymore.

  11. Mr. Tatad, bakit di mo matanggap na majority ng mga tao ay patuloy na sumusoprta sa ating Pangulong Duterte, hindi nyo ba ito nakikita? Kung sabagay mahirap nga namang gisingin ang nagtutulug-tulugan, Ang tagal mo na sa politika at gobyerno hindi mo pa alam ang tunay na function ng Pangulo, natural lamang sa isang Presidente na ilapit nya ang kanyang sarili sa mga Pulis at Militar dahil ito ang kanyang kamay para magpatupad ng batas,Ako bilang isang OFW ay naniniwala na kung ang isang tao ay walang gagawin o sasabihing maganda sa isang administrasyon, mas makakabuting manahimik na lamang upang hindi kayo mapagbitangan na kayo ay bayaran at “bitter”. Respeto po sa mga taong bumoto sa Pangulo, sigurado ako na lahat ng mga taong kumakalaban sa administransyong ito ay hindi na makakakuha ng pwesto sa gobyerno sa mga darating na eleksyon,

  12. The Great Defiant on

    Bumanat ka na naman Datdat…
    hindi kami bayaran at walang milyon na ginastos ang gobyerno sa amin…
    sarap mo din sapa—kin sa mukha gaya ni Jim…
    pareho-pareho kayong sinu—ngaling…

    so you want me to kiss the ass of Cory, Enrile and your American hecktorian?
    go f$%^&* yourself out!!!

  13. Juan Dela Cruz on

    We are at Luneta. We participated on our free will. How can some oligarch- paid media treat as that way and the Yellows not when in fact an elitist school would even have to issue an order to compel children to participate in a rally against the President. Real revolution is most likely when a very popular President/leader is on the lead. This has historical incidence and all indicators point us to that direction now. If oligarchs continue to insist on destabilization, they may be on the wrong side of history now. Old schemes wont work now.

    • You hit the bulls eye JDC and made me realize something else.

      These priest, nuns and leftist professors are not above using your kids as human shields at pro-dilaw rallies! What if violence or a stampede breaks out? Given the many safety concerns at such rallies, the DepEd and CHED should ban school sponsored student politically motivated rallies as it did recently by a moratorium on educational field trips.

  14. Jumping to conclusion. Stitching things together even how illogical the piece comes out. Another thing. The anti Duterte’s keep on demeaning their fellow Filipinos supporting the President. Who are the real mercenaries Mr. Tatad?

    • i cannot understand what mang kit is saying?? in one part, he insinuated that the military is not behind du30 and du30 had been snobbed by the pma alumni. and in another part of his composition, he accused evasco of working for the establishment of a revolutionary gov’t should du30 die of tatad’s imagined cancer. the question is, can evasco rule via revolutionary gov’t without the military’s support?? ano gagamitin ni evasco ang mga npa?? malabo yata at civil war ang lalabasan nito. how can the npa defeat the afp??

  15. “His first moves included acquiring 300 Uzis and 500 Galils, out of his own corporate funds.”
    ha ha ha…

  16. “Enrile said he never entertained any thought of ever running the government”
    ha ha ha…

  17. All I can say right now is ; MAY GOD SAVE THE PRESIDENT and the FILIPINO PEOPLE from those who are planning to get rid of Pres. R. R. Duterte for their own GREED and PERSONAL INTERESTS !!!

    • @rey, so who do you want to run the country? Your pacute VP Robredo? Hahaha… Good luck. If you notice, a short break on the war against drug, the proliferation of drugs is again ongoing. Ganun kalala ang problema sa droga ng pinas tapos yung taong ginagawa ang lahat ay gusto nyong patalsikin?

  18. Daniel B. Laurente on

    You are implying by asking someone to take the role of Enrile at that time of Marcos in today’s setting. Why don’t you directly ask Digong since you seem always right in analysis and always not liking Digong actions ever since he lead the country. Our country will never progressed to betterment because there are so many millions having a mindset not really wanting our country to progress and probably due beliefs that goes beyond Christian norms also due the human nature of enviousness which our country mostly have.

    • Have we seen any sign of progress? Just a sign is enough just for now! None! What we see now are concrete evidence of killings!

    • Dee Sumulong on

      Yes I do. The progress I want is progress based on equity and respect for humanity. Never conclude that millions have a mindset of apathy – not wanting progress. That is an assumption of a lameduck.

  19. Killing drug addicts is not a solution. These people are sick not criminals. They need medical help. Even if it takes a long time to cure a sick person, let it be because that is the nature of this sickness. Killing them is murder. Sanctity of life must be the goal.. Senator Cayetano, you are a disgrace to the human race. I pray that your species will not spread in this nation. Only legal solution, cut the supply of drugs.

    • The Great Defiant on

      what legal solution?
      partying at Bilibid while operating remotely?
      police, generals, senators, congreesmen, mayors in cohorts with druglords…

      while thousands of victims are crying for justice, children raped, law abiding citizen killed, drugs lab pop like African daisy’s…

      what legal solution…go f%$&* yourself out.

    • Kayong mga nagsasabi na hindi tama ang ginagawa ng Presidente para lipulin ang mga adik at drug lords, bakit di kayo mag -ampon ng 10 adik sa bahay ninyo, ipagamot at pakainin ninyo..tingnan ko lang kung ano gagawin nila sa pamilya ninyo.

  20. Never mind about the PMA graduates or alumni. Until now, they can not win vs. the Abu Sayaff, We have not seen any brilliancy move from them. Tell me. How can they stop or delay a malaysian, vietnamese or chinese invasion? I do not know what they are trained and studying about. Maybe, Marching Band.

    • Actually, the military will find it hard to defeat the ASG because a general is in cahoots with them as well as the people and politicians of that area. My sister, a journalist who was sent there many years ago learned that story when she asked around. So unless corruption is eradicated which will not happen in my lifetimes, the ASG will continue to flourish. They know the terrain and have powerful firearms and superior boats compared to our military.