EDSA Revolution in 1986 was one of the turning points in the country’s history.
After enduring over a decade of the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s Martial Law, the EDSA People Power ignited Filipinos’ grit for freedom from injustices and repressive leadership.
As we mark the 37th year of the People Power Revolution, PhilSTAR L!fe takes you on a short trip down history through the remarkable quotes from key figures of this event. These words of wisdom will remind you of the value of standing up for the country's democracy and continuously fighting for historical truth in this age of disinformation.
Juan Ponce Enrile
“Mr. President, I hope you're listening. Enough is enough, Mr. President. Your time is up...Do not miscalculate our strength now,”
“It seems that killing in this administration is something that no longer bothers their conscience,”
Juan Ponce Enrile uttered these words during his interview with interview with Harry Gasser on the first day of EDSA 1.
The former senator, who initially served as defense minister during Marcos' regime, later on turned against the dictator and revolted along with former president Fidel Ramos. Prior to this, Enrile took part in his staged ambush, which was used to justify the need to implement the Martial Law.
“I would like to appeal to the fair and to the dedicated and people-oriented members of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the INP (Integrated National Police) to join us in this crusade for better government,” said Ramos, who served as the Armed Forces vice chief of staff at that time.
Jaime Cardinal Sin
“I want you to pray because it is only through prayer that we can resolve this problem. I am deeply concerned about the situation of General Ramos and Minister Enrile. I am calling on our people to support our two good friends at the camp. Go to Camp Aguinaldo and show your solidarity with them in this crucial period;”
“Our two good friends have shown their idealism. I would be very happy if you would help them. I wish that bloodshed will be avoided. Pray to Our Lady that we will be able to solve our problems peacefully,” said Jaime Cardinal Sin in extending his support to Enrile-Ramos' withdrawal of support to Marcos Sr.
Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“I am appealing to the citizenry not to believe in this illicit, illegal, and immoral third force,” said Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in response to Enrile and Ramos' dissent, while calling for people to still obey him as he is the authority as stated in the constitution. He also accused Enrile and Ramos of “riding” with Cory Aquino’s popularity to try to her “take power” later on.
Colonel Braulio Balbas Jr.
"Sir, there is danger that there would be an unacceptable number of civilian casualties."
In the military's mission at Camp Aguinaldo, Col. Balbas was ordered by Major General Josephus Ramas for a "full attack" against civilians. Unsure and hesitant about the order, Balbas reported that he was still positioning the cannons, and then clarified to Commander Tadiar if the order came from Malacañang.
When he was told that Ramas' order has been cleared, he reasoned out the unacceptable number of civilians that will be affected. Tadiar then replied, "Then hold your fire and use your discretion."
Balbas' decision to cease fire despite being ordered allowed them to end the crisis peacefully.
Salvador “Doy” Laurel
“Johnny, there is no problem about security there. I’ve taken care of that. I have about 300 Batangueños ready to protect us. We cannot show any fear at this time,” said Doy Laurel, assuring both Enrile and Cory their safety during their inauguration as president and vice president after the snap elections. Laurel served as the country’s Vice President at that time, being Cory Aquino's running mate.
United States senator Paul Laxalt
"Mr. President, I'm not bound by diplomatic restraint. I'm only talking for myself. I think you should cut, and cut cleanly. The time has come,” says U.S. senator Paul Laxalt when consulted by Marcos Sr. on whether he should step down as president amid the pressure of the People Power revolution.
Former president Corazon “Cory" Aquino
“I had always hoped and dreamed that we Filipinos could be more intensely nationalistic, and EDSA was it. Finally, Filipino people were identifying with all that's good about the Filipino—the sharing of the food, the praying together, the kindness and support shown for everybody, the total giving of oneself I don't want that changed."
On the last day of the People's Power revolution, on Feb. 25, 1986, Cory Aquino was sworn in as the country's first female president. She served until 1992.