“Yung EDSA ’86 ba, kailan naganap?”
“Hindi ko po talaga alam, sir.”
The PCIJ asks young people what they know about the 1986 People Power revolution.
EIGHT YEARS ago in 2003, the PCIJ had exposed how the soldiers themselves were arming the enemy, by selling bullets and guns at fat discounts to rebels. To make matters worse, the transactions transpired at the very heart of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) command: the General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.
That early, a New People’s Army (NPA) cadre code-named Ricky visited Aguinaldo on and off to purchase wares of war from soldiers. The bullets went for P5 a pop, even though the government at the time spent P14 to make or purchase each one.
The sale of guns and bullets by some soldiers to rebel groups and warlords is an old cottage industry, according to contacts from the NPA and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Then and now, government arsenals have become a dipping pond for rebel groups, thanks to soldiers given to making quick money.
LATE IN the evening of July 7, 2005, Cory Aquino together with four Roman Catholic bishops paid a call on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Malacañang Palace. It was not a social visit. Far from it. The presidency was then in the throes of crisis. Arroyo’s legitimacy was under fire: barely a month had passed since the public release of wiretapped conversations where she was heard talking to an elections official, supposedly about padding the results of the 2004 presidential count. Many Filipinos found the whole affair scandalous and believed the president had no other option but to resign.
HE BEGAN the military undertaking that developed into the first Philippine People Power, but Juan Ponce Enrile has vowed never again to unseat a sitting president with the help of the military. This was what he told opponents of President Joseph Estrada when they asked him to join Edsa Dos in 2001.