MANILA—Juan Ponce Enrile looked at the 1986 EDSA revolution as
an attempt to stop a military junta and, in his eyes, was not
meant to overthrow President Ferdinand Marcos.
The former defense minister under Marcos sat down with the
former leader’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in a
one-on-one conversation released in two parts on Facebook, a
production criticized by martial law victims for Enrile’s
apparent attempt at historical revisionism.
In the installment video posted on Saturday, Enrile said top
military officials at the time had formed a junta to take over
the government in the event that Marcos died. Marcos was then
rumored to be suffering from lupus and undergoing
“The chief of staff, head of the Philippine Army, head of the
Philippine Air Force, head of the Philippine Navy, head of the
Philippine Coast Guard” comprised the junta, he said.
According to Enrile, the junta had planned to execute him
should Marcos die, because he said he believes he “was a
hindrance to their political objective.”
“They (military junta) will invite all the members of the
Cabinet in the name of your father for a cabinet meeting and
once we are in the Palace, we will be quarantined, but in my
case, I will have to be executed,” Enrile said.
Marcos Jr. then asked Enrile: “The uprising of what became EDSA
was not a break with my father, it was an opposition to this
Enrile replied: “Correct but it just happened [that] on the day
we went to Aguinaldo, we were already going to be arrested by
the Presidential guards because of the [intelligence]
information you got, the Palace got.”
“We have no other way but to protect ourselves,” he added.
Enrile’s assertion appears to contradict the state of mind he
expressed around the time of the “people power” revolt.
In an interview before the EDSA revolution in February 1986, a
transcript of which is
posted on the Official Gazette website, Enrile said he was
resigning his post as defense minister because “I can no longer
serve the government.”
When asked 32 years ago, “Are you saying that you no longer
recognize President Marcos as President?” Enrile said: “As of
now, I cannot in conscience recognize the President as the
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. And I am appealing to
my brother-members of the Cabinet to head the will of the
people expressed during the last election. Because in my own
region, I know that we cheated the elections to the extent of
Marcos won the 1986 presidential elections based on the
official Comelec count, but the poll fraud and widespread
discontent prompted a successful civilian-military uprising
weeks later that led to the fall of the regime.