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Marcos wanted to use force – Noy

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III addresses the crowd during the 30th anniversary celebration of the "People Power Revolution" that toppled the 20-year-rule of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and helped install his late mother Corazon "Cory" Aquino to the presidency Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. The four-day People Power saw hundreds of thousands of Filipinos trooping to EDSA Avenue fronting two military camps to lend support to mutinous soldiers who broke away from Marcos. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – In his final 48 hours as president, Ferdinand Marcos wanted to resort to violence, but was persuaded against it by Washington and told to hand over power peacefully, President Aquino disclosed yesterday.

Aquino dispelled the “myth” that Marcos held back the military and police so as not to harm civilians at EDSA. 

“One of the enduring myths about Mr. Marcos is that, even in his time of maximum peril, he somehow found it in himself to hold back rather than harm the tens of thousands of unarmed civilians gathered at EDSA,” Aquino said.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Aquino said at the memorial for the late Stephen Bosworth, former US ambassador to the Philippines, at the Church of the Holy Trinity in McKinley Road in Forbes Park, Makati City.

A careful study of the reports and anecdotes right after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, he said, dispelled this myth.

Early on the third day of the people power revolt, Marcos sent Marines to attack Camp Crame, which prompted Bosworth to call Washington to report that an attack was expected at dawn. 

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“This eventually led President Ronald Reagan to order the ambassador to tell Marcos his time was up, and a transition should be worked out,” he said.

The military prepared on the same day to get through the crowd at Santolan. Then generals Fabian Ver and Josephus Ramas ordered the use of tear gas, artillery, helicopters, and bombs from jets to wipe out the rebels.

Marcos lost his power when the helicopter gunships landed instead at Camp Aguinaldo and the military joined the people who gathered at EDSA.

The other report cited was the order by Ramas to attack Camp Crame even with civilians there.

Col. Braulio Balbas, who received the order, delayed his actions not once, but four times having been given the kill order four times. 

“After rebels began strafing Malacañang, Mr. Marcos’ cohorts responded by ordering a suicide assault, which Marcos himself approved, but the Marines refused to do it. I recount these in detail because of the Marcos myth,” Aquino said.

The President also recalled the press conference where Ver argued with Marcos about attacking Camp Crame. 

“Today, however, we know that not just one – but several orders had been made, that would have had bloody consequences if carried out,” Aquino said.

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