EDSA revisionism and the errors of FM (2)


“Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there darkness, light, And where there is sadness, joy.” – St. Francis of Assisi

Last of two parts

(Part 1 appeared on Thursday March 10)

SO I rushed to the La Salle University Gymnasium at Greenhills where Namfrel
was holding the canvassing of the election results. I told Joecon that at the rate they were going, they would end up proclaiming Marcos as the duly elected President, in the same manner the Parliament would proclaim FM as the duly elected President. Then I told Joecon to suspend the Namfrel canvassing with Cory having a dwindling majority of 75,000 votes, otherwise he would make a fool out of the Opposition, particularly me because of my performance on the floor of the Parliament. Joecon asked me who would suspend the Namfrel canvassing. Of course, I replied who else but you since you are the Namfrel chairman.

Joecon suspended the canvassing with the Cory majority standing at 75,000 votes. Joecon saved the day for the Opposition and me, otherwise if he failed or refused to do it, the sail of our argument that Cory won the elections would have been blasted into smithereens and the argument of the people would have lost ground, since people would be willing to die for justice, not for JPE and FVR.

With the suspension of the Namfrel count and its propaganda effects, FM should have arrested Joecon and told him to continue with the Namfrel canvassing which would have confirmed the results of the canvassing in the Parliament – that FM had won the elections.
Fifth, he should have allowed the original plan of the Marcos boys to proclaim FM as the duly elected President and Salvador “Doy” Laurel (DHL) as the elected Vice-President.

That way the election results would not have been contested by the Opposition. For how can anyone claim that the elections were not clean and honest when its Vice-Presidential candidate won the elections? This was the formula that the late Enrile Zobel (EZ) had in mind before the snap elections were held. EZ was preparing a peaceful formula of transition from the martial law regime to democratic restoration considering that DHL and the top UNIDO leaders would have paved the way for the establishment of real and meaningful democracy in the Philippines.

Many knowledgeable people credited First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos (Imelda for brevity) of having torpedoed the plan because it would have been difficult to get rid of DHL considering he was younger than Imelda. It would have been very easy to push aside MP Arturo Tolentino, the running mate of FM in the snap elections, because of his age. Imelda was determined to succeed Marcos as President, in the perception of people in the know, and considering her ambition, it was almost impossible for FM to intervene and frustrate Imelda’s plans.

Sixth, A group associated with FM had raised from 50 million to 100 million US dollars, in the words of then MP Edelmiro Amante (Edel for short), who was also a member of Congress and later Executive Secretary of FVR, and was used by the group to convince me and my family to leave for the United States of America, and for me to check in at the Walter Reed Hospital, the US Navy medical facility in Maryland, until the snap elections were over.

The offer appeared valid because FM was trying to persuade me to join him, praising me to high heavens in the process. I refused, of course. Then, my friend Edel requested me to see Imelda at the MacArthur Suite of the Manila Hotel, on Imelda’s request. As I believe in what Vice-President Emmanuel “Maning” Pelaez had told me a long time ago — that civility does not make you any less valiant–I showed up for the appointment. We talked and Imelda told me that since I could not join them, she and the President were requesting me to leave for the United States of America with me checking in at the Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland until the snap elections were over and I had the option to come back to the Philippines after the elections.

I told Imelda that I could not accede to their request because the people would not believe that I was sick and their conclusion the moment I do it would be that FM had bought me.

Imelda countered that since they were in control of media they would see to it that nothing of that kind would happen. I told her that my final decision is to preserve my integrity and my honor and that of my family. That decision strengthened the judgment of FM of me that I was an imponderable factor and it was senseless of them to bribe me, as he repeatedly told Secretary Antonio Raquiza that anyone who thought that I could be bought had an erroneous reading of my character. To be fair with FM and Imelda, they never mentioned money in their request for me to leave the country.

As Imelda told me, FM spent quite some time to study his opponents and me in particular.

I knew because FM was also a Sun Tzu student. Considering that I was irrepressible in the debates in Parliament, he must have arrived at the same conclusion that I could play a strategic role in the canvassing, in the same manner that he ordered Vice-President Pelaez not to have me proclaimed in the 1978 elections because he knew that I could debate anyone effectively in Parliament and win.

FM’s mistake is not to have me arrested when I refused to leave for the USA before the snap elections, for with me under arrest no one could have performed my role during the canvassing since everybody, except me, did not dispute the Opposition decision to boycott the canvassing from the very beginning. With me out of the way, how could the people have known the Opposition was cheated in the elections?

Sixth, FM’s biggest error was not to order the total demolition of JPE, FVR and their boys.

With JPE and FVR done in, everybody would not have converged in EDSA or would have scampered away for the hundreds who were there at the beginning, and the uprising would have been aborted. When you fight for the establishment of a new order, you cannot stay in a half way house. You have to damn all the torpedoes and totally ignore the possibility of collateral damage, in the same manner that Chairman Deng Xiaoping demolished the demonstrators at Tien An Men square.

FINAL STORY OF EDSA: I will write my conclusions on EDSA with specific reference to lessons learned and the personalities who betrayed agreements in my column next Thursday.


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  1. Whether the acts were “correct” or are “errors” can only be subjective. From his point of view, Mr. Marcos thinks they were correct altho Bono may say otherwise. Based on the tsaynis leaders’ perception that the unity of the nation is more paramount, the manner that Deng dispersed those at Tiananmen Square may be correct but moralists, do-gooders and pseudo journalists may say otherwise. Just like when tactical reasons necessitate an arrest in times of martial law, pseudo journalists who thinks that martial law should be a children’s party will say that there should never be arrests and detention under martial law. But whether it was an error in judgment that Marcos didn’t disperse and bomb the motley crowd of onlookers during the first few hours of the EDSA Aggrupation is for historians to decide – but for Mr. Marcos, it may be the humane thing to do.

  2. To the writer, tell your reader the main reason why JPE and Ramos became traitors and joined the Edsa 1 revolt. I do not buy the reason that it is for the country. Is it because Marcos is grooming Imelda as the next president ? Is that the reason that they gamble their lives and join the revolt. Both of them are the leaders with Marcos for Martial Law. In fact the majority of the military abuses were attributed to both of them because they are running the military.

  3. At least Bono confirmed what some of us already know, that FM really did win the snap election. And the claim of Cory was false. Maybe that is why the Aquinos end up with Noynoy, karma lang yan, in advance.

  4. Do not make revisionism of EDSA 1 mr. adaza. This is what the result of your EDSA 1 by your partner oligarch who wants the interest of the very few, The people of the Philippines is awaken about the LIES of oligarch elitist people which were you belongs. Traitor of our nation… This is the reason why BBM will be the new vice President of the Philippines.. . Yellow regime dont do nothing for the people, AFTER EDSA 1. Joecon is the culprits of the snap election. We dont want NAMFREL AGAIN to be involve in this coming election. UUlitin na namn ninyo ang pandaraya ….

    • Hijo, mukhang di mo alam ang sinasabi mo. Sa pagbibilang nga ng NAMFREL ay alam nila na matatalo si quo rhee.

  5. There are 2types of individuals , those who made history and those who follow history. I am just a reader and a follower of history. Those who made history like the above writer must be honored because we will never know what happen and the events that change history. I pray that these Filipinos can identify themselves and accurately write a few volumes of books for the sake of future generations that we may know our history.

  6. Thank you Sir Adaza for sharing and telling the History as it is and not the History that someone wanted everyone to know and learn.

  7. MARCOS overlooked the fact that there were some of your classmates at UPLAW who could have persuaded you to change your mind. Obviously ,the ACCRA MFia were loyal to JPE and Marcos’seeking their assistance was out of the question!

    Thank God for your tenacity and your resolve to get rid of the Dictator.

  8. Bono, I am a Namfrel volunteer during the canvassing of votes.Young and full of idealism I know that the future of our country hangs in the balance in this snap election called by the dictator Marcos. Jubilant as Cory leads a wide margin from the initial canvassing I became worried because Marcos is catching up with her but as more than 80 per cent was counted Joe Concepcion stopped the canvassing. The final Namfrel counting which JoeCon halted was in the headline news of Philippine Daily Inquirer, all you have to do is find out in the archive of PDI and confirm Bono and I is not lying. The truth shall set you free but sometimes it is painful but it is the truth. I never met Mr.Adaza but I was watching his performance of the live coverage at the Batasang Pambansa where he stood alone forcing every final votes canvassed to each region of the country to put an asterisk making the proclamation of Marcos doubtful. Bono’s version of the story answered the question why Namfrel suddenly stopped the canvassing but it keep a nagging question to everyone monitoring the canvassing. I think JoeCon is still alive to confirm this story but he was rewarded to a cabinet rank by Cory. The late Doy Laurel ,Cory’s VP when they parted ways keep on saying that their election was never confirmed by the Comelec but this is another story. I feel betrayed as one of the dreamers of the original EDSA. I shall look forward to reading Bono’s identification of the personalities who betrayed EDSA. I believe him being one of the players involved but I know that they are the yellow brigades of the current regime.

    • Even if 80% of the votes have been canvassed, the 20% can still overtake the precarious lead of 75,000 votes. That is the same story in the 2010 and 2013 election when they stopped the counting midway and just proclaimed the candidates they wanted to win. Hence, the results of the 2010 and 2013 elections are all bogus. We have a computerized president, computerized vp, computerized senators and computerized congressmen.

  9. I get it now. This article is about FM’s mistakes on one hand and your correctness and perfection on the other.

    • Bonifacio Claudio on

      Yes, Sir, I agree with you… The writer portrays himself as belonging to the Yellow Heroes… The 1986 EDSA as we know today was a demolition and betrayal of the weal of the “common tao” & of the nation, and yet here is today a self-confessed participant who exalts himself for having been with the Yellows — traitors to the common good.