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Feb 22 1987 - A Church Inspired Peaceful Revolution In The Philippines

By TJB · Feb 21, 2021 ·
Today a Christian inspired peaceful revolution overthrew Ferdinand Marcos, who had become a dictator, and it led to similar bloodless revolutions in Eastern Europe
  1. Today we travel to the Phillipines. where a sustained campaign of civil resistance against President Ferdinand Marcos led to the end of his 20-year presidential term and the restoration of democracy in the Philippines. The majority of the demonstrations took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, more commonly known by its acronym EDSA, and involved over two million Filipino civilians, religious groups led by Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Archbishop of Manila.

    Marcos had declared martial law in the Philippines 14 years earlier, on September 23, 1972, declaring the rising civil disobedience as a justification. Seizing emergency powers, he was given full control of the Philippines' military and the authority to suppress and abolish the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, he also dissolved the Philippine Congress and shut down media establishments critical of Him. Arresting and i exiling his political opponents he retained the support of the United States by promising to stamp out communism and by assuring the United States of its continued use of military and naval bases in the Philippines. Although there were internal problems with an armed communist uprising and also a growing Muslim independence movement in Mindanao, it was convenient timing for Marcos to introduce martial law as he was barred by the constitution from contesting a third election the next year. Angered by the injustice many young people were radicalized and the communist party saw rapid growth.

    After growing pressure from the US, Marcos eventually called a snap election in 1986. Because of reports of alleged fraud, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through Cardinal Ricardo Vidal issued a statement condemning the elections. Stating that when "a government does not of itself freely correct the evil it has inflicted on the people then it is our serious moral obligation as a people to make it do so." The declaration also asked "every loyal member of the Church, every community of the faithful, to form their judgment about the February 7 polls" and told all the Filipinos, "Now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to repair the wrong. There was an aborted military coup against Marcos and today a message was aired over the Church-run Radio Veritas at around 9 p.m., Cardinal Sin exhorted Filipinos in the capital to aid rebel leaders by going to the section of EDSA between Camp Crame and Aguinaldo and giving emotional support, food and other supplies. For many, this seemed an unwise decision since civilians would not stand a chance against a dispersal by government troops. Many people, especially priests and nuns, still trooped to EDSA.

    Radio Veritas played a critical role during the mass uprising. Former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo stated that: "Without Radio Veritas, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to mobilize millions of people in a matter of hours." Similarly, a certain account in the event said that: "Radio Veritas, in fact, was our umbilical cord to whatever else was going on. As power ebbed away, Marcos however showed restraint dissuading his generals from going on the offensive. Corazon Aquino (the wife of assassinated Nino Aquino) was inaugurated as President of the Philippines in a simple ceremony at Club Filipino. the Marcos family boarded a United States Air Force HH-3E Rescue helicopter and flew to Clark Air Base 83 kilometers north of Manila. When they were there Marcos asked to spend a couple of days with his family in Ilocos Norte, his native province. Aquino vetoed the request. President Reagan privately criticized Cory Aquino for denying Marcos a last look at his home province

    The People Power Revolution has inspired a call for a change of government through peaceful protests rather than bloodshed. Many similar revolutions have followed since then, such as that in East German and many other former Soviet Bloc countries

    Listen to the pod by visiting www.pogp.net

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