A Detailed Timeline of Events of the 1986 People Power Revolution
Saturday, February 22, 1986
15:00 Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, alarmed by reports of impending arrests of numerous Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) officers and opposition leaders, gather nearly 400 men in defensive position at ministry headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
Vice Chief of Staff Lt. General Fidel V. Ramos agrees to join the rebellion. He calls on the Armed Forces to join them in their rebellion.
18:45 Enrile and Ramos calls a press conference to announce their break from the Marcos camp. Also revealed during the press conference are the incidents of massive cheating during the past elections. Ramos and Enrile declare that Corazon Aquino is the rightful president of the republic.
Enrile contacts the United States Ambassador Stephen Bosworth and Jaime Cardinal Sin. Enrile asks Sin for support.
20:00 Cory Aquino is contacted by Enrile in the central Philippine city of Cebu during a rally and is informed of the developments taking place in Manila.
Uncertain of Enrile’s motives and possible reactions, Aquino goes into hiding in a missionary convent. There had been reports that attempts would be made on her life.
Aquino refuses an American offer of safe transport. She had been offered passage to any destination she would have wanted to go.
General Fabian Ver. Ver promises to delay any sort of retaliation up until Sunday morning.
21:00 The Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin airs an appeal over Radio Veritas asking the people to support "our two good friends."
23:00 President Marcos tells the rebels to surrender in a televised press conference. He claims to have uncovered an assassination plot against him by the reform movement. He produces an army captain allegedly involved in the plot. He urges the rebels to "stop this stupidity."
Enrile, on Radio Veritas, responds to Marcos’ claims defiantly saying, "Your time is up!"
Sunday, February 23, 1986
00:00 Thousands of people, responding to the Cardinal’s appeal, begin gathering outside rebel camps and bringing supplies and food for the soldiers. They form a human barricade outside the camp gates, hoping to block any attack.
Enrile issues a statement to reporters that it was Aquino who had won the elections.
01:00 Armed soldiers destroy Radio Veritas’ transmission tower, thereby cutting off all news of the rebellion in Manila and Quezon City from the provinces.
Enrile and Ramos call on Marcos to resign in favor of Aquino. They meet with businessmen, defecting officers and opposition politicians pledging their support.
Arms and ammunition are ferried into Camp Aquinaldo and Camp Crame, Ramos’ headquarters, in preparation for an expected assault on the part of the loyalist forces.
02:00 Ramos calls the revolution "a revolution of the people," as he faces his supporters for the first time outside the gates of Camp Crame alongside Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
10:00 Enrile airs an appeal for more civilian presence outside the rebel camps over Radio Veritas. Ramos says that the "moral power of an enraged population" will be enough to halt the loyalist forces nonviolently. He claims that the rebels have the support of up to 90% of provincial military commanders.
12:30 Marcos appears on television with loyalist generals. He hints at a possible artillery strike while announcing plans for his upcoming Tuesday inauguration. He introduces three more officers allegedly involved in the coup. The leader of the plot is said to be Enrile’s chief of security, Col. Gergorio "Gringo" Honasan.
13:30 Having heard of reports of loyalist troop movements, Enrile transfers his forces to Camp Crame. Tens of thousands chant "Johnny! Johnny!" as Enrile, clutching a machine gun, crosses the street to the neighboring camp with his men.
A large Marine contingent composed of tanks and an armored personnel carrier proceeds towards the Camps via Ortigas Avenue. They are stopped nearly a mile from the gates by a wall of tens of thousands of people. General Artemio Tadiar threatens to open fire if the crowd does not disperse. The people do not budge. They respond by singing, "Bayan Ko," praying and offering soldiers cigarettes and bread.
The Marines try to push forward with their tanks and guns. The people hold their ground, singing louder and praying harder. The Marines withdraw without firing a single shot.
15:00 Cory Aquino returns to Manila and goes into hiding. Before leaving, she praises the rebel leaders and calls on Marcos to step down.
An armored column of loyalist Marines are stopped by a wall of people manning makeshift barricades one kilometer from the rebel headquarters as radio appeals for "people power" to continue. After dusk, the column withdraws.
Throughout the afternoon, opposition leaders hold talks with Enrile regarding the formation of a provincial government with Aquino as president.
18:30 Radio Veritas goes off the air. Other sympathetic stations continue broadcasting new of the rebellion. Civilians manning DXRJ broadcast reports of government and other vital information to the people in the barricades. DZRJ is now DZBB, Radio Bandido.
19:00 On air as a press conference, Ramos pledges to put the "New Armed Forces" at the service of "newly-constituted authorities" ,a clear reference to the possible Aquino-led provisional government.
After this, many other government and military leaders defected, leading to two inaugurations on February 25.
Marcos held his inauguration in Malacañang Palace and Cory Aquino held hers at Club Filipino. The Filipino people recognized Cory Aquino as the new president of the Philippines, ending two decades under authoritarian rule. Marcos fled the Philippines and went into exile in Hawaii. After his departure, the palace was raided and their extravagant lifestyle was exposed to the public.