TWENTY years ago, Filipinos did not have access to breaking news the way they do today. There were no cellular phones on which to receive hourly updates. There were no computers on which to check news sites or blogs. All they had were the print-only newspapers and the radio and television stations, most of which were either government-owned or censoring themselves for fear of reprisals.
And so, on the evening of February 22, 1986, when Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel V. Ramos announced that they were withdrawing their support for President Ferdinand Marcos, Radio Veritas was one of the very few reliable sources for breaking news — perhaps the only one.
What was it like during the early hours of the birth of the Edsa Revolution? Thanks to Champ Reyes — whose father, Wency Reyes, was one of those who asked people to go to Edsa — we have a recording of the Radio Veritas broadcast on that historic night.
Download the entire recording here or listen to the following excerpts:
Ferdinand Marcos — "The armed forces are united in support of the president." Marcos was elected president of the Philippines in 1965, re-elected in 1969 and, after declaring martial law in 1972, ruled until he was forced to flee with his family in 1986. He died in exile in 1989.
Butz Aquino — "Nananawagan ako sa mga kababayan natin, yun pong mga malakas ang loob, ay sumama sana dito sa Isetann Cubao para marami tayo na pupunta sa Camp Aguinaldo at sa Camp Crame." Aquino, Ninoy’s brother and Cory’s in-law, was later elected to the Senate, where he served from 1987 to 1995, and the House of Representatives, where he is now on his third term.
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal — "Kung maaari, wag sanang ang dugo ng Filipino ay dumaloy sa pamamagitan ng ganitong dahas." Vidal was president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines from 1986 to 1987. He has been the Archbishop of Cebu since 1982.
Roilo Golez – "It is, therefore, with much regret that I hereby tender my irrevocable resignation." Golez, who was closely identified with Marcos, surprised many Filipinos when he resigned as postmaster general. He later served as a member of the House of Representives from 1992 to 2001, and from 2004 to the present. He was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s National Security Adviser from 2001 to 2004.
Jaime Cardinal Sin — "I am calling our people to support our two good friends at the camp." Sin, though not the first to call for people to go to Edsa, was the one whose voice is said to have convinced many Filipinos that they should go to Edsa. He died last year.
Pedro Balbanero — "They can stay if they want to, as long as they will be peaceful." Balbanero, commanding general of the Military Police brigade at Camp Aguinaldo, was so loyal to the Marcoses that he returned the medals he received over the course of his military career after the Edsa Revolution. He also died last year.
The radio broadcasts made during the Edsa Revolution have been recommended for inclusion in Unesco’s Memory of the World International Register.