24 Replies to “Pekeng Pangulo”

  1. i’m not siding with gloria pero anong napala ninyo. walaaaaaaaaaa. gusto ninyo kasi bibigyan kayo ng trabaho na may malaking suweldo, ng bahay at lupa na kompleto sa makabagong kagamitan at pang-sunog sa mga bisyo ninyo. puro kayo mga tamad at pathetic. puro walang silbi at salot.

  2. Oh c’mon, mangpandoy. You don’t know how ignorant you sound. Yan kasi ang kadalasang sinasabi ng mga mangmang na hindi nakikihalubilo sa “tunay na masa.” Bet ko pa eh you’re too PROUD to go out there and know what is really happening. “ARMCHAIR ACTIVIST.”

  3. Better an “armchair activist” than an “active” one for a misguided cause.

  4. Mga tsong cool lang tayo.. oh ayan hindi na sumagot si mang pandoy, napahiya na! Pero mga kaibigan “isang babala” ingat din tayo ha baka gamitin na naman tayo ng mga mapansariling kapakanan tulad ng mga “HATOR” nung EDSA 2.

  5. 6 months after na umupo si Gloria nung EDSA 2, nabuo itong awitin ito:

    1. Lumabas na naman sa kalye ang buong sambayanan
    Problema sa kahirapan di pa rin malunasan
    Gloria, gloria gumising ka naman
    Gloria, gloria maawa ka naman
    Naghihirap ang taong bayan
    Naghahanap ng kasagutan

    2. Pangakong kalunusan sa problema ng lipunan
    laganap pa rin ang katiwalian sa gobyerno ng iilan
    Gloria, gloria lunasan mo naman
    Gloria, gloria makinig ka naman
    Galit na ang taong bayan
    Handa ng lumaban!

    3. Walang tunay na pagbabago tayong natikman
    Sawang sawa na sa pangako, naiinip na ang tao
    Gloria, gloria umalis ka na dyan
    Gloria. gloria umalis ka na dyan
    Galit na galit na ang taong bayan
    Handa ng lumaban, sagot sa kahirapan,
    Rebolusyon ng taong Bayan!

  6. eh kung galit kayo ke gloria mga guys gumawa na lang tayo ng sarili nating gobyerno ng mga kabataan diba???? tutal puro kurakot ang mga nakaupo ngayon di ba??? eh kung magkakaroon tayo ng gobyerno ng kabataan sila susunod nmn ngayon sa atin diba?? nasa atin pagasa wala sa rally oh hello garci oh debatihan na yan… try natin gumawa ng malacanang ng kabataan…

  7. What’s up for the New Year?

    Siyempre tuloy pa rin ang laban,
    tuloy pa rin ang pagpapatalsik kay gloria,
    if she thinks na pagod na tayo kakasigaw sa kalye,
    sorry po pekeng pangulo, lalo pa na mag-iigting ang galit ng sambayan!
    Di kami titigil hangga’t di ka namin natutungkab dyan sa malakanyang!

    Binabati ko si Marine Captain Faeldon na patuloy ang paniniwala na kailangan ng bagong pamunuan. Taas kamao ako na nagpupugay sa iyong pakikibaka sampu ng iyong kasamahan sa Grupong Masdalo,
    Mabuhay ka KASAMA!

  8. Ng mamatay si rizal umasenso ba tayo ? namatay si bonifacio, si magsaysay sr. si marcos. Umasenso ba tayo ? Ng bumaba si erap umasenso ba ? Ang tutuong topic ay hindi corruption, kundi ma delay tayo. Alam nyo ba na nawawala na sa atin yung Malampaya Natural gas natin ? Kase nabuking nung nakaraang administrasyon na sinosolo ito ng shell, petron at Lopez group. Alam nyo ba na nilaban dati yung kotseng tumatakbo na imbes gas eh tubig ang fuel nya ? Hindi kase pinatalsik natin yung presidente… Hindi tayo pwedeng umasenso… Hindi natin dapat malaman kung ano meron tayo, ang mahalaga ay masira tayo….. mawasak tayo… dahil hindi tayo bilib sa sarili natin….. dahil kano at intsik lang ang magaling…. tayo… taga punas lang ng pwet nitong mga to… di tayo pwedeng umasenso… kailangang mawasak ang ekonomiya natin…

  9. Mga iho at iha wala ba kaung ibang pinagkakaabalahan. Magtrabaho na lang kau para di kau umiiyak. ok? Wawa naman kau mga Tsong!

  10. Wag na tayong mag aksaya ng panahon…… Wala na tayong pag asang mga pinoy. Kayong mga kabataan ngayon. Pag tumanda kayo,siguradong ganun parin ang sitwasyon natin.
    Sa impyerno dadaputin ang walang kwentang lahi natin.

  11. We Filipinos often ask: What is wrong in our government? Is it the leader (the driver) or the constitution (the vehicle)? These two things are the prime mechanisms for the failure and success of any government, but I may say also that, in our case it is the destination (no concrete government platforms) that is wrong! It is very easy to blame the politicians for the mess we are presently in. But bear in mind that we, the people, are the biggest contributor to this failure. We have this very short memory: we voted for the politicians who had been previously known and branded as corrupts before. The best example are the Marcoses: they were branded as the biggest government thieves of all times, but now, they are again in our government. So, my question is, who’s fault is this?

  12. I want a cel number of gloria 'satanas' arroyo, mike bingot defensor, ermita ensaymada and ignacio manyak bunye. Thanks says:

    Keep it up! Sama sama tau sa pagpapatalsik sa satanas sa malacnang

  13. The Three Chiefs:

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good Chief. He protects his men and gives them the benefit of the doubt. He sees them as innocents until proven guilty. He lets charges be filed against them for alleged infractions, but he provides them opportunities and leeway to properly prepare to defend themselves. He treats them in a manner befitting officers and gentlemen. He understands them for he previously investigated the source of their discontent. He never succumbs to the caprices of the Senior Chief no matter the pressure for he sees him as one of the Garci Generals he investigated and is not quite convinced of his absolute cleanliness. He is the good father that protects his children and defends them even if their grandfather accused them of doing something wrong and inappropriate. He is the protector of the Marines. He is Vice Admiral Mateo Dimayuga.

    The Bad Chief. He never gives a damn nor howls a faint of protest when his men are rounded up, put in restricted custodies and later detained in hurriedly prepared prison cells even before charges are formally filed against them. He does not even bother if his men are ill-treated in detention centers and paraded like criminals before the court hearings even formally begin. He readily kowtows to the orders of the Senior Chief even if these are detrimental to his men. He is the bad father who severely punishes his children without trying to understand their sentiments. He is the bad father who abuses his children, then sells them to the highest bidder in order that he may earn the favor of the Senior Chief. He is the scourge of the Scout Rangers. He is Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino.

    The Ugly Chief. He was once the Chief bodyguard of the Commander-in-Chief. He shamelessly cried before the media and the nation when his Commander announced her decision not to run in May 2004 Elections, and he shamelessly cooperated with Garci in rigging the votes to ensure his Commander’s victory for which he was awarded as Army Chief and now Senior Chief. Knowing that the Bad Chief will always be his faithful running dog, he immediately ordered the arrest and imprisonment of the Scout Rangers to impress upon the Commander that he is on top of the situation. But he could not impose the same on the Good Chief who knows a lot of ugliness about him. Unable to order the arrest of the Marines, he brings his case to the media and there he tries to outmaneuver the Good Chief. He orders the Bad Chief to finish within the next two weeks the construction of additional detention cells in Tanay where the Marines will be immediately imprisoned if the Good Chief refuses to detain his men in his own camps. Like the Bad Chief, the Ugly Chief is afraid of the Scout Rangers for nothing breaks their brotherhood so he incarcerated them before they could even think of something that may put the Ugly Chief in an ugly situation. The Ugly Chief is also afraid of the Marines for they are a tightly knit group, especially if the Good Chief is hell-bent on protecting them, so he will use all his powers to arrest and imprison the Marines before they can finish thinking and planning and before they can move against the Ugly Chief and his Commander. The people are still hopeful the highly-regarded Marines will soon finally move. From among the three Chiefs, the Ugly Chief really wears an ugly face. The Ugly Chief is the unconfirmed Senior Chief. He is Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon.

  14. Rebellion from the Barracks

    Rigoberto Tiglao, KUDETA, PCIJ, 1990

    (This is the lead essay of the PCIJ’s award-winning book Kudeta: The Challenge to Philippine Democracy and was written by Rigoberto Tiglao, one of the Center’s founding members. Tiglao, is now ambassador to Greece and resigned from the PCIJ board in the late 1990s.)

    On November 30, 1989, rebel soldiers attempted a coup d’etat against the government of President Corazon C. Aquino. Although the attempt failed — partly because of the deployment of US Phantom jets — it was a jolt on the Philippine body politic. On the surface, the country seems to have recovered from the shock of a coup that came close to succeeding. The government has been able to arrest key leaders of the mutiny and has managed to keep rebel officers on the run. But the threat of a military rebellion continues: the unrest in the barracks remains a powerful force that could shake the very foundations of Philippine society.

    Since a military mutiny sparked a popular uprising in 1986, the barrier between the military organization and political authority has been breached. The dividing line set up since the founding of the post-war Philippine Republic has been crossed: the Armed Forces designed to be the protector of the civilian government has instead become its greatest threat, its foremost contender for power. The military could very well put an end to the Philippines’s fragile tradition of elite democracy.

    This book tries to chronicle the events and the factors that led to this crucial watershed in Philippine political development — the emergence of the military as a major political force. As documentation, it tries to go beyond the ephemeral daily news dispatches. It also offers a different perspective from which to view the rebellion from the barracks.

    Mainstream interpretations of the military’s restiveness do not adequately explain the complexity of the factors that propel the rebellion. The most popular explanations take an essentially voluntarist view of political upheavals, blaming mutinies solely on ambitious military factions. The commonplace analysis is that rebel officers emerged from an Armed Forces which tasted power during the martial-law era, got intoxicated by the promise of more power when it triggered the dictator’s fall, and so now refuses to give up its power and privilege.

    Other explanations, like that of American scholar Alfred W. McCoy, take a similar line of reasoning. McCoy describes rebel officers as forming a fascist faction within a military subservient to the elite. He portrays them as Rambo-like torturers of Left-wing activists. His interpretation pins down military mutinies to psychological factors: because they have developed the torturer’s mindset, rebel officers want to have the same god-like power over civil society as they have over their victims.

    These interpretations fit with an important, and obvious, feature of the military rebellion: groups of ranking officers who occupied crucial positions within the patronage system set up by former president Ferdinand E. Marcos and his trusted chief of staff, Gen. Fabian Ver. These officers, supposedly funded by money from Marcos or his associates, attempted several mutinies against the Aquino government. In the 1989 coup attempt, they formed the second wing of the assault against the state.

    McCoy’s portrayal, in particular, accurately describes the background of the leaders of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), especially Lt, Col. Victor Batac, its strategist.

    Batac was once administrative officer of the Constabulary Security Unit which was notorious for torturing suspected communists during the early martial-law years, Cashiered Lt. Col. Gregorio Honasan, the best-known RAM officer, was suspected of involvement in the killing and torture of dissident doctor Juan Escandor and atrocities against Muslim secessionists. Official investigations have linked another RAM officer, Lt. Col. Eduardo Kapunan, to the 1986 torture and murder of Left-wing labor leader Rolando Olalia.

    Discarding Old Models
    But important features of the rebellion do not seem to fit with the mainstream interpretations nor with Latin American models of the coup d’etat familiar to Filipinos. In Latin America, coups were staged by a cabal of generals and colonels who led unquestioning subordinates and foot soldiers usually belonging to small but strategic units like an armored brigade. In contrast, what is most striking about the Philippine rebellion is the number of officers, especially junior officers, who were actively involved.

    According to official sources, 534 officers were suspected of involvement in the December 1989 coup. These include seven brigadier generals, one Navy commodore, 13 colonels, 45 lieutenant colonels, 47 majors, 155 captains, 123 first lieutenants, and 91 second lieutenants from various military units throughout the Philippines. Substantial as these numbers already are, they represent only the surface of the rebellion. It is quite likely that many more rebel officers have not been exposed.

    It can still be argued, however, that these officers comprise only less than four percent of the 14,000-strong officer corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines {AFP). But their number and the fact that they belong to strategic commands and elite units all across the country mean that they represent more than a clique of conspirators. They have reached what could be considered a critical mass to warrant describing the phenomenon more as a political movement rather than a conspiracy.

    Moreover, the diverse personalities involved in the mutinies show that it is inaccurate to claim that all RAM officers are motivated purely by the drive for power. The rebels come from diverse military and social backgrounds and even the AFP hierarchy is hard-pressed to describe idealistic officers like West Point graduate Maj. Danilo Lim or Maj. Abraham Purugganan as scheming power-grabbers. While it is true that the core of the RAM leadership is composed of officers who once worked for former defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile or for military intelligence, its membership base in the Armed Forces is deep and wide.

    Significantly, the bulk of the rebel officers come from several classes of the Philippine Military Academy: 1971, 1972, 1973 and then leapfrogging to 1978, then 1981, 1982,1983 up to 1988. This is unlike the Thai Young Turks whose members come mainly from Class Number 7 of the Thai Military Academy. The emergence of the Young Officers Union (YOU), a rebel group composed of junior officers in search of a coherent ideology, also adds a new dimension that places rebel officers as part of a broad political movement, not simply a conspiracy. The weakness of a voluntarist approach, which stresses the primacy of certain actors, was pointed out by Eric Hobsbawm, a scholar of political movements, when he wrote in 1975; “The evident importance of the actors in the drama… does not mean that they are also dramatist, producer and stage-designer.

    Defender of the Elite
    The second major interpretation of the military rebellion moves out of the myopic lust-for-power viewpoint and locates it within the Marxist and liberal-democratic models of political forces as emanations of economic classes. For the Aquino government and its generals, military rebels are the “ultra-Rightists.” The rebels are called “military adventurists” violating their oath of allegiance to the Constitution and determined to set up a garrison state.

    To some Leftist analysts, the military rebellion represents the emergence of what is in effect a Rightist or fascist political party. According to this thesis, the rebels want to supplant democratic political institutions with authoritarian structures and to resist even the token democratic reforms such as land redistribution which the Aquino government wishes to implement.

    This analysis is convincing mainly from the perspective of comparative analysis. In Latin America, for example, military juntas set up repressive regimes which cracked down on populist forces and defended landlord and big-business interests. Left-wing movements in those countries were crushed by military-led governments, rather than by liberal democratic regimes.

    The rabid anti-communism of the RAM leaders, especially in the early years of the Aquino government, lends credence to the applicability of the Latin American model to the Philippines.

    The fact that key RAM officers were intelligence operatives who hunted down communist leaders or combat officers who fought communist guerrillas with fervor makes this thesis a compelling one. In the early months of the Aquino administration, RAM also vehemently opposed the government for declaring a cease-fire and negotiating with communist rebels. Moreover, the alleged involvement in the coups of politicians like landlord-businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., the political heir of the dead dictator Marcos, makes it tempting to view rebel military factions as defenders of entrenched class interests.

    Arguing within the liberal-democratic framework, University of the Philippines professor Felipe Miranda wrote that the politicization of the military began in the early post-war period and that the attempted coups of contemporary times were the natural culmination of such a trend. He cited letters written by AFP officers to President Jose P. Laurel begging for promotions, concluding that the permeation of patronage in the military was politicization. He also recounted how Laurel’s generals attempted an “unauthorized military exercise” to keep the President in power when he lost in the 1949 elections. But this in itself only meant that the generals were acting as the armed allies or agents of a particular elite faction: they did not want to seize power themselves.

    Miranda’s prescription to prevent a coup is to “break the chain of manipulation linking the most politicized (sector of the military) to the apathetic but exploitable military men.” This is Weberian sociology: it presents the military rebellion as simply a dysfunction in the social organization of the AFP. To solve it, the politicized section of the military — the dysfunction — must be removed. In the end, this logic leads to only one course of action: hunt down and arrest the manipulative coup plotters.

    Ambivalent Army
    Certain characteristics of the Philippine military, including the rebels, do not fit perfectly with the Rightist party model. Firstly, the Armed Forces’ links with the landlord and big business classes as a whole have been weak. While the Philippine Constabulary, in particular, has efficiently defended elite interests, the military in general was not a force directly wielded by the elite classes.

    The AFP was modeled after the United States armed forces. The pre-martial law tradition of civilian supremacy meant that authority over the military rested in what is described in political science terms as a “semi-autonomous” state. This means that while the state defends elite rule, it also has a wide berth of freedom, and more importantly, power, autonomous of specific class interests.

    For example, in the 1950s, Central Luzon landowners had to get Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay elected to the presidency first before they could get the government to launch a suppression campaign against the dissident Huks. Marcos’s success in quashing rival elite factions when he declared martial law owed much to this semi-autonomous nature of the Philippine state. The weak links between the elite and the Armed Forces meant that no military units could be mobilized to defend elite groups Marcos went after. Instead, the military’s links with the Philippine elite have traditionally been through the patronage network: a provincial commander kowtows to the governor and to the local landowner or businessman who dispenses patronage.

    Secondly, the social origins of the officer corps work against its being used directly as the instrument of the ruling elite. Because they are not themselves members of the privileged classes, military officers are ambivalent toward them: on one hand, they are awed by the rich, but they also resent the elite. The military’s class composition is very much like that of the civilian bureaucracy. There is no military caste as such, unlike other societies where the officers are drawn from the landowning classes.

    A survey made by Miranda indicates that the cadets of the Philippine Military Academy, the training school of the country’s officers, come mainly from lower-middle class families.

    According to the study, 56 percent of the cadets’ families had incomes coming from salaries and 23 percent of the cadets’ fathers were “professionals,” a category which in the Philippines includes teachers and not-too-successful engineers and lawyers. Moreover, 20 percent of the cadets had relatives in the military — an indication that the Armed Forces reproduces itself from members of the same social strata. On the other hand, the bulk of the enlisted personnel come from poor peasant or rural working-class origins.

    Populist Rhetoric
    Recent RAM and YOU statements and interviews do not point to a Rightist or conservative agenda. Even the rabid anticommunist line has recently been de-emphasized. In Latin America and Thailand, coup plotters and military juntas justified themselves by claiming that civilian governments were incompetent in crushing communism. This was also Marcos’s argument when he staged his own type of coup d’etat by declaring martial law in 1972. The current rhetoric of the rebel officers, however, is almost sympathetic toward the communists. When asked how the military insurgents are different from the Communist Party, YOU leader Maj. Abraham Purugganan said: “We are both revolutionary movements.”

    While apparently still groping for a systematic ideology, the rebels have taken a populist standpoint. They criticize the elite and blame it for the country’s state. Speaking of his experiences as a combat officer, Purugganan practically justified the struggle of the communist New People’s Army: “We realized that the real problem is not the people or the NPA because the basic problems of the people are there and if the basic services are not delivered by the government, then the CPP/NPA will not have any reason to agitate.”

    Although the rebels’ siege of Makati, Manila’s financial district, in December 1989 was probably undertaken for purely tactical reasons and for maximum media mileage, it had a negative impact on big business. It is also quite possible that the Makati holdout may have arisen from the rebels’ anti-big business sentiments. The mutineers also want agrarian reform, which differentiates them from landlord-supported Right-wing coups in Latin America.

    Moreover, the rebels have openly assumed an unquestionably anti-American position since the December 1989 coup. The intervention of American jets on behalf of the government was traumatic for the rebels, especially as RAM had always assumed that it had some modus vivendi going with American officials.

    The US role in foiling the revolt had important consequences for the movement. Firstly, it radicalized the rebels. Ever since it was formed, RAM had engaged in dalliances with American government agents. At the same time, rebel officers knew that the Americans were not reliable allies, that in the end they would pursue their self-interest. But the US Phantom jets dramatized to the rebels that Philippine problems are directly linked to US foreign policy, a viewpoint previously seriously held only by the Left. In 1970, the brutal police suppression of demonstrators had the same radicalizing impact: it showed the students that the state was essentially an instrument of the ruling elite.

    Secondly, the US “persuasion flights” allowed military insurgents to claim that they were fighting a foreign power, which is a powerful line in terms of mobilizing forces. CPP strategists had always thought that a clash with American soldiers would inflame the revolutionary fervor of their movement. In the Philippines, the armed might of the United States — 11 Phantom jets, each with the firepower equivalent to one armored battalion — was used only once in the post-war period, and ironically, against military rebels.

    That allowed the rebels to bring to the forefront the anti-imperialist standpoint of the “Filipino ideology” which RAM and YOU had adopted. US intervention also allowed the rebels to claim that they were continuing the anti-colonial struggle of nineteenth-century Filipino revolutionaries. Previously, only the CPP had claimed exclusive rights to that tradition.

    Revolutionary Ferment
    Some insights from the study of revolutions help in analyzing the military rebellion. Victorious revolutionaries often come up with self-serving reconstructions of events. But as the scholar Wendell Philips pointed out: “Revolutions are not made; they come.”

    Rebel movements are not conspiracies. They emerge in a society during periods of rapid transformation when conflicts threaten to tear at the seams of the social fabric. Such periods of ferment are usually brief and they result either in a revolution or a reactionary restoration. In both cases, vanguard groups — collectives which share a common worldview and are committed to political action — emerge. These groups attempt to tap the insurrectionary impulses which social sectors exhibit in periods of rapid change.

    Two such periods of upheaval occurred in the Philippines in the last 20 years.

    The first was in the early 1970s. By that time internecine struggles between rival elite factions in the late 1960s had brought the country to political and economic crisis. During that period the New Left movements in the US and Europe which had been fired by the Vietnam War and economic crisis were at their peak. This was a crucial conjuncture which resulted in the emergence of a powerful rebel movement based in the radical studentry. The student movement was inspired by romantic figures like Che Guevarra, Ho Chi Minh and Commander Dante, the founder of the New People’s Army. The radical vanguard, the Communist Party of the Philippines, tapped into the insurrectionary mood of the youth, transforming student activists into cadres of a nationwide, rural-based revolutionary movement. The success of this crucial tapping was not the result of a master plan. It was brought about by a confluence of factors, some of them fortuitous.

    To begin with, the CPP had the only professional cadre corps in the student movement. In the early 1970s, many of these cadres were in Manila, ready to be sent to rural areas where they could build Red bases. They were only waiting for arms shipments from sympathetic communist parties abroad. Key CPP cadres were in Manila when the student movement broke out because they were setting up a network for the landing of weapons. By that time, CPP secretary-general Nilo Tayag was only nominally the chairman of the radical youth organization, the Kabataang Makabayan; he had already been sent to Southern Luzon to open up Mao-style rural bastions.

    It was fortuitous that university professor Jose Ma. Sison broke away from the old Communist Party to found a Maoist party in 1969. Previous to the split, he was head of the youth and student bureau of the old party. He organized students, principally al the University of the Philippines and the Lyceum. That proved to be crucial because by the time Sison established his breakaway party, he already had a beachhead in the campuses.

    Confluence of Events
    By the early 1970s, the first cadre corps of the CPP was firmly entrenched in the student movement. As professors or full-time organizers of student groups, these cadres were able to expand the Left organizations in the universities. In contrast, the old party was still focused on peasant organizations, mainly in Nueva Ecija province, or in professional groups like the Civil Liberties Union. Thus when the student movement peaked rather unexpectedly in 1970, the CPP was in the best position to ride the crest of the insurrectionary wave.

    One event caused the eruption of the student movement. On January 30,1970, there was a huge demonstration in front of the Congress building where Marcos was delivering his State of the Nation address. Members of a populist organization led by a radio broadcaster whom no one took seriously and made up largely of vagrants from a nearby park breached a police cordon just as Marcos and his wife were leaving Congress. The vagrants threw a cardboard crocodile at Marcos, causing the Presidential Security Command to panic and assault the protesting students, most of whom were nonrevolutionary moderates.

    The assault confirmed what the radicals had been saying all along about the existence of a “garrison state.” It angered the students, transforming them into a vast recruiting ground for the CPP which already had a full-time cadre corps. In 1971, a political rally held by anti-Marcos politicians in Plaza Miranda was bombed. The bombing galvanized the opposition to the President and intensified student protests even as Marcos began making plans to declare martial law. As the insurrectionary mood intensified, there was no other radical vanguard except the CPP which was able to lead the rebel movement.

    Given the country’s social and economic structure, a committed vanguard group was all that was needed. Exploitation — by landlords, petty town politicians, even cattle-rustlers and loggers — abounded in rural Philippines. The oppressed groups needed only an armed vanguard to push them to rebel.

    The rebellion of the 1970s shows that if one steps back from the ideologues’ accounts of “historical necessity,” the growth of revolutionary forces is often due to the confluence of events totally unplanned by revolutionaries. This framework would help us understand the rebel movement that emerged in the 1980s and the place military mutineers occupy in such a movement.

    Confluence of Events
    By the early 1970s, the first cadre corps of the CPP was firmly entrenched in the student movement. As professors or full-time organizers of student groups, these cadres were able to expand the Left organizations in the universities. In contrast, the old party was still focused on peasant organizations, mainly in Nueva Ecija province, or in professional groups like the Civil Liberties Union. Thus when the student movement peaked rather unexpectedly in 1970, the CPP was in the best position to ride the crest of the insurrectionary wave.

    One event caused the eruption of the student movement. On January 30,1970, there was a huge demonstration in front of the Congress building where Marcos was delivering his State of the Nation address. Members of a populist organization led by a radio broadcaster whom no one took seriously and made up largely of vagrants from a nearby park breached a police cordon just as Marcos and his wife were leaving Congress. The vagrants threw a cardboard crocodile at Marcos, causing the Presidential Security Command to panic and assault the protesting students, most of whom were nonrevolutionary moderates.

    The assault confirmed what the radicals had been saying all along about the existence of a “garrison state.” It angered the students, transforming them into a vast recruiting ground for the CPP which already had a full-time cadre corps. In 1971, a political rally held by anti-Marcos politicians in Plaza Miranda was bombed. The bombing galvanized the opposition to the President and intensified student protests even as Marcos began making plans to declare martial law. As the insurrectionary mood intensified, there was no other radical vanguard except the CPP which was able to lead the rebel movement.

    Given the country’s social and economic structure, a committed vanguard group was all that was needed. Exploitation — by landlords, petty town politicians, even cattle-rustlers and loggers — abounded in rural Philippines. The oppressed groups needed only an armed vanguard to push them to rebel.

    The rebellion of the 1970s shows that if one steps back from the ideologues’ accounts of “historical necessity,” the growth of revolutionary forces is often due to the confluence of events totally unplanned by revolutionaries. This framework would help us understand the rebel movement that emerged in the 1980s and the place military mutineers occupy in such a movement.

    Insurrectionary Mood
    After the early 1970s, the second period of upheaval in the Philippines was in the early 1980s when the elite decided to end its dalliance with strongman rule. The prospect of revolution emerged with the conjuncture of an economic crisis brought about by a burgeoning, foreign debt and the existence of well-organized political groups. As popular discontent against Marcos rose, especially after the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr., several political forces were well positioned to tap into the insurrectionary impulses of that period.

    The first was the Communist Party whose dramatic growth up to 1986 proved its successful leadership over a rebelling society. But it made a strategic error by calculating that Marcos would survive the tide of protests and crack down on dissenters. Weighed down by its Maoist political baggage, the CPP was not able to adjust its strategy and its organization to ride the wave of anti-Marcos and pro-democracy protests. Because of its confidence in the fact that it had grown to become a nationwide movement, it failed to take advantage of the insurrectionary tide.

    The CPP’s dogmatism prevented it from evolving a popular revolutionary culture that could fire the imagination of wide sections of the people. Ideologically, it was too rigid to embrace the new forces that had joined the pro-democracy protests. For the party, questions of strategy revolved around whether it was able to assert “leadership” overformal alliances, rather than leadership over the anti-Marcos struggle as a whole. The behavior of Party cadres affirmed for the newly politicized middle classes their own stereotyped image of the party as a shadowy and manipulative group scheming to grab political power. Moreover, the CPP’s fixation with “revolution from the countryside” could not attract members of the new protest movement which had found civil disobedience and even urban warfare more viable strategies.

    The second political force which could have taken advantage of the insurrectionary mood was composed of liberal democrats largely organized around so-called “cause-oriented movements.’

    This group’s ultimate goal, however, was the establishment of the institutions of political democracy. The liberal democrats were not really committed to social reform. Coming mainly from the upper classes, they returned lo their professions and businesses after the ratification of a new constitution and the re-establishment of Congress. Some of them opted to claim their rewards in terms of lucrative posts in government or state-owned firms. As a whole, the liberal democrats abandoned their vanguard role. Aquino’s establishment of a new political movement called Kabisig in mid-1990 came too late because it tried to tap the energies of the 1980s’ movement long after they had been dissipated.

    Military as Vanguard
    The third vanguard group from that period led the rebellion from the barracks. The sheer size and scope of the forces involved in the December 1989 coup showed that military mutineers have succeeded in riding the wave of the rebel movement of the 1980s The social group that RAM and YOU have tapped for their rebellions is their own military organization.

    There are uncanny similarities in the political development and the organizational features of the military rebels and the communists. Firstly, for both, an educational center played a crucial role in the radicalization of political consciousness: the University of the Philippines for the Left and the PMA for the military. Also, both groups used personality cults. For the military mutineers, ‘Gringo’ Honasan remains a legendary figure as was Commander Dante for the Left. Both groups are also experts in propaganda and the use of media. Moreover, their organizations are patterned on a Leninist mix of covert and overt groups. Lastly, in both groups, the “macho” culture dominates. The RAM officers’ fondness for sophisticated weaponry and daring rescues finds a counterpart in the urban-guerrilla exploits of the motorcycle-riding NPA Commander Pusa in the 1970s.

    RAM’s advantage over the Left and the liberal democrats is obvious: it has legitimized access to arms, the most critical resource for capturing state power. But in addition the very nature of the military organization facilitates recruitment for insurrection.

    The military rebellion, however, has fundamental weaknesses which could lead to its gradual marginalization.

    One is the inherent disadvantage of the military fraternity: sectarianism. Despite RAM’s and YOU’s intentions to organize other sectors like the Left does, military rebels remain rooted only in the AFP. Its non-military elements: are small: civilian supporters of either Marcos or Cojuangco, some opposition politicians, the families of the rebels themselves, and the small organizations formed by Tayag and his former communist associates. For most Filipinos, the military has always been an alien ‘institution. It is feared because of its arms but it is also regarded as socially inferior.

    Secondly, in addition to the social barrier is an ideological one. Military rebels do not have a systematic ideology, a consistent worldview for changing society.

    Although the young officers mouth the “Filipino ideology,” no coherent worldview binds the various strands of the rebellion. This inadequacy has sustained mainstream views of the rebellion as a simple power grab. The absence of a clearly defined worldview is understandable given the rebellion’s unique circumstances.

    Both liberal-democratic and Marxist paradigms provide for an army completely subservient to the establishment or to a party. Thus these frameworks cannot provide an ideology for a rebellion from the barracks. To make up for its lack of ideology, the rebels seem to be moving toward a nationalist reconstruction in the “Filipino ideology.” But this is risky because it could degenerate into fascism: for while the “Filipino ideology” is strong on nationalism, it does not provide for political democracy. Perhaps what the rebels need is a theoretical framework for defining the role of the military as a distinct social class operating in an underdeveloped society and within the framework of an autonomous state.

    An ideology is crucial to any rebellion. It opens for the masses a crack through which they can have a glimpse of a possible new world. Sison, for example, merely appropriated the Selected Works of Mao Zedong to provide a compelling framework with which to tap the insurrectionary impulses of students and peasants. But it was enough to give confidence that the rebellion is modeled on a successful revolution and that specific conditions in the Philippines could fit into the Chinese model.

    Lack of Symbols
    The third weakness of the military rebellion is the dearth of insurgent symbols and language, what has been called revolutionary cultural politics. Often this is more powerful than ideology.

    The Left vanguard in the 1970s appreciated the power of cultural symbols. From the Chinese Cultural Revolution, it borrowed ready-made symbols and language which the alienated Filipino youth easily embraced. Even peasants and workers adopted these symbols as their own: Mao caps and pins, the universal rebel gesture of clenched left fist, the ritual singing of Bayan Ko and the Tagalog version of the Internationale in demonstrations, Isabela as the Yenan, and of course, the romanticization of the masa or masses and of figures like Commander Dante and other NPA fighters.

    The Communists also succeeded in evolving symbols from the local milieu. For example, the address Ka which was originally meant (or an elder or respected person was appropriated to mean “comrade” in the Leninist sense.

    Compared to the CPP and the NPA, there is a remarkable absence of revolutionary cultural politics in the rebellion from the barracks. This has only bolstered the mainstream view that RAM and YOU are shadowy groups of conspirators lusting for power. There is hardly any cultural mediation for tapping the insurrectionary impulses of other sectors.

    This flaw could be fatal. The weakening of the Left now can be partly attributed to the decline of its symbol-and culture-making skills. Left symbols have remained frozen in the 1970s and have degenerated into stereotypes. On the other hand, the strength of Thai military revolts and their apparent success in changing their nation is derived partly from the fact that they have subsumed their rebellion within the Thai culture of allegiance to the monarchy.

    The dynamics of revolutions show that rather than cerebral formulations, rebel movements are linked to social reality through the mediation of culture. It is through culture that there exists a feedback mechanism between the vanguard and the masses. Without the germ of such a revolutionary culture, RAM and YOU would always remain a limited movement within the closed world of the military fraternity.

    The RAM/YOU linkage with Marcos forces is extremely dangerous. The recent history of El Salvador shows the dangers of such an unwieldy alliance. In October 1979, young army officers staged a “reformist coup” in San Salvador. Liberals and progressives were asked to join the early junta. After less than a month, however, the young progressive officers were eased out of power by old-guard military officers supported by the elite and the US government. The old guard seized control of the junta and then launched a general war of extermination against popular forces. Indeed, the requisites of an El Salvador-type scenario are present in the Philippines where the elite has demonstrated remarkable resilience and innovativeness in co-opting or completely destroying — rebel movements.

    The Geographical Factor
    All revolutions have been driven by particular locomotives. For the French, it was the emerging middle classes. In Russia, it was Lenin’s worker-run Soviets, while in China, the locomotive was Mao’s peasant armies ranged against the warlords. In Vietnam, the anti-colonial insurgency tradition was the main motor that propelled the socialist revolution. For the CPP-NPA, the engine, for lack of a better term, was geography.

    Even with the increasing importance of urban “Sparrow” warfare, the communist revolution is primarily based in the mountains and foothills where the State’s reach is weakest. Geography was the main reason the first thrust of CPP organizing was in the Isabela Valley cut by the Sierra Madre mountains and the areas around the Cordillera range. It is also the reason the isolated island of Samar remains a CPP bastion.

    Stripped of its Maoist formulations, Sison’s contribution to revolutionary strategy is basically the stress on geography.

    This was first pointed out in Sison’s seminal work, Philippine Society and Revolution, which argued that the insurgency can succeed only where the State was weakest — in the hinterlands. This contradicted the old Communist Party’s strategy of an uprising in Central Luzon that would trigger a national revolution.

    In “Specific Characteristics of our People’s War,” a document prepared after martial law was declared, Sison gave organizational form to the geographical imperatives by arguing that the Philippines’ archipelagic character required that the Party’s political and military commands be based primarily on island boundaries.12 After its breakthrough in the student movement in the early 1970s, the CPP built a revolutionary base among the peasantry. Its bastions were rural areas which are the most distant from the government’s administrative and military apparatus concentrated in Manila.

    But geography has its limits, as the new CPP theoreticians like Marty Villalobos and Manila-based cadres have themselves pointed out. Technology — such as helicopter gunships and the social engineering techniques used by military Special Operations Teams — can offset the advantages of geographical distance. The concentration of military units around Red strongholds could also keep the NPA on the run for years. The “geography” framework fails to stress the importance of a sanctuary where rebel forces of a fairly large scale could be concentrated, as in the case of the Vietnamese revolution. Moreover, politically the Philippines is urban-centered and the government in the capital can still function despite rebel control of scattered and distant rural areas.

    Unlike the other vanguard groups, however, the Left’s strategic advantage is its almost mystical belief in the power of the masses. This contrasts sharply with RAM’s dependence on the AFP officer corps or with the liberal democrats’ fetish for political institutions. The communists have unwavering faith that they are destined by history to lead the struggle of the poor and the oppressed. This faith has allowed the CPP to grow quietly. In the Manila-Rizal region, for example, the party has taken over the leadership of significant trade unions. It has also kept its long-standing vanguardship of the agrarian reform movement. Given the Philippines’ rapacious elite, the Left’s faith in the poor and its ability to lead the lower classes could ensure its survival lor decades to come.

    The Military Fraternity
    On the other hand, the military rebels’ greatest advantage is the fact that they operate in the most unique of social institutions, the Armed Forces. If the CPP has geography, the mutineers have “fraternity.” The military is a fraternity bound by strong ties of camaraderie forged over the years, sometimes in life-and-death situations. It has a built-in cadre corps in PMA graduates. Moreover, the hierarchical structure of a military squad — foot-soldiers from the underclasses led by middle-class, university-trained officers to whom their men are intensely loyal — ensures a tightly knit rebel unit.

    Just as the CPP has incorporated geography into a potentially workable mode of capturing power, the military rebels have used fraternity. Given the AFP’s social organization and the fragility of the State’s armed defense, the advantages of the military fraternity combine for an equally, if not more, potent mode of toppling a government.

    An overview of the six coup attempts since 1986 and an anatomy of the December 1989 revolt demonstrates the importance of fraternity in the military.

    The December 1989 coup was the culmination of the preceding five attempts. It is interesting to note that these first attempts were launched alternately by two groups of military rebels: RAM/YOU and the so-called “Marcos loyalists,” officers who had benefited from the Marcos patronage system and remained loyal to the ousted President. The potency of the December 1989 coup attempt was due to the fact that the two factions linked up for the assault.

    As Chapter Three will narrate in detail, the Marcos loyalists’ siege of Manila Hotel in July 1986 was a dress rehearsal of sorts for destabilization attempts against the Aquino government. The strategy of the hotel takeover was a variation on the classic coup dynamics. It entailed setting up a rebel center at the hotel which would function as a rallying point for military defectors. The Marcos supporters calculated, wrongly, that the military would delay obeying orders to crush the coup while the more committed loyalist officers moved to reinforce the rebel center and even capture important symbols of the government’s authority.

    Taking note of the Manila Hotel siege, RAM responded with a second attempt at a coup d’etat that became known as the “God Save the Queen” plot in November 1986. This was more of a pronunciamento-type of coup attempt, with AFP service commanders withdrawing their support from the government. Again, the idea was that the committed rebel troops would take over the Marcos-era parliament building, knowing that most of the military would remain neutral and adopt a wait-and-see attitude. RAM calculated that if Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos expressed support for the takeover, the rest of the AFP would acquiesce.

    In January 1987, it was the Marcos loyalists’ turn. It was the first attempt which bore the marks of a full-fledged coup try: the attack against four military camps and the capture of a television station as a rebel center. This time the loyalists calculated that Marcos’s landing in his native Ilocos Norte province would rally both the sympathetic politicians and the officer corps.

    On August 28,1987, it was again RAM’s turn. Seeing how fragile Aquino’s armed defense was against the Marcos loyalists, RAM attempted a swift capture of Malacañang and Camp Aguinaldo, again counting on the neutrality, if not the wholesale defection, of military men to the rebel ranks. Again, the attempt, planned almost solely by Honasan, failed.

    Combined Assault
    Taking stock of their failures and weaknesses, a unity between the RAM and loyalist factions was forged. By March 1988 an overall plan for a united assault, codenamed “Oplan Inang Bayan,” was formulated.

    The plan shows the sophistication of the rebels’ planning and their intimate knowledge of the topology of the government’s armed defense. There is an Alpha force made up of military units north of Manila. Rebel sources said this force was to be composed largely of the extensive and intact patronage system built within the military in Central Luzon by Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. According to the plan, the Alpha force would capture Camp Olivas, Camp Aquino,and Basa Air Base and set up a blockade of Manila.

    The Bravo Force, on the other hand, would come from the south and capture Fort Bonifacio, Villamor Air Base, Sangley Base, and the international airport. A smaller Charlie Force would come from east of Manila, primarily to secure Camp Capinpin in Tanay, the base of the Scout Rangers. The Delta Force would be the shock troops directed against media and communications facilities. The “concept of operations,” as the document described it, would ultimately be the capture of Malacañang, after neutralizing Ramos’s and De Villa’s command centers.

    While the plan appears to have been revised several times, the December 1989 coup had the features of “Oplan Inang Bayan” — the capture of Bonifacio, Villamor, and Sangley; the battalions from the Southern Luzon Command moving to Manila; the assault on Camp Aguinaldo; and the aborted finale: the attack on Malacañang.

    The strategy was in the mold of classic coup attempts: a committed force would move in fast, before reinforcements loyal to the government could be deployed to defend the centers of authority. The capture of the two major camps and Malacañang was calculated to change the loyalty of those reinforcements.

    To a large extent, fraternity explains the near success of the December 1989 coup attempt. As Chapter Four shows, pilots who were instructed to fly F-5 fighter planes to destroy rebel-held T-28 planes at Sangley hesitated for several hours before finally following orders. One account also said that the F-5 pilots who seemed as if they were shooting down at the T-28s were actually neutralizing Malacañang’s anti-aircraft guns. This account claimed that only when the pro-government pilots thought that the rebels had hit one of their planes did they launch an attack on the RAM forces in Sangley.

    Fraternity also accounts for the defection of crucial sectors of the Air Force to the rebel side. The sympathy shown by the pilots for the mutineers appeared to have come from what they perceived to be the unjust killing of rebel major Francisco Baula, a respected Air Force officer. Baula was shot while supposedly trying to escape from prison in 1988.

    These fraternal bonds also explain why RAM and YOU, whose members were responsible for toppling Marcos. could unite with officers associated with the deposed President. Many of the loyalist officers were themselves PMA graduates like the RAM members. In their discussions, the Marcos officers would also explain that it was not the former president who was the problem but the non-PMAer, Fabian Ver. The RAM colonels would respond by saying that Marcos was incidental, that they had no choice but to rebel in 1986 because the integree

    Ver was after their necks. The PMA bond has been renewed by both factions risking their lives in joint or separate coup attempts.

    The RAM officers would also argue, quite pragmatically, that Marcos or his wife Imelda or Cojuangco, could provide the finances for, among other things, powerful communications equipment and the so-called “mobilization funds.” The renewed PMA bond would ensure that the fraternity would never again be under the sway of politicians if ever a coup succeeded.

    Academy Bonds
    The fraternal bonds make it nearly impossible to isolate the “politicized military” from the rest of the officer corps, as Miranda suggested. Fraternity facilitates recruitment for insurrection. A RAM cadre who attempts to recruit a classmate or another PMA graduate takes virtually no risks. In most cases, the RAM officer would only ask his classmate to remain neutral and not engage in combat if a coup is attempted. The fraternity is of crucial importance because it allowed RAM to recruit field commanders of strategic fighting units like the Scout Rangers and the Marines.

    The military hierarchy underestimates the esteem in which many in the AFP hold RAM leaders. No matter how radical or violent their cause may be, rebel officers are seen as having sacrificed their military careers for a cause. The claim of some generals that RAM officers were promised millions of pesos by the Marcos faction falls flat because many in the military know that it is very easy for ranking officers to amass their own millions from corruption.

    RAM did not start out with a grand master plan for exploiting the PMA fraternity bond for its rebellion. An insight from a theorist of revolutions might be useful. After studying historical evidence wrung from the myth-making of victorious revolutionaries, Jeremy Brecher wrote: “Revolutionary movements rarely begin with a revolutionary intention; this only develops in the course of the struggle itself.”

    Although it is debatable whether RAM or YOU could be described as “revolutionary movements,” Brecher’s observation applies to them. RAM began as a movement for military reform, not a conspiracy for a coup. It led a rebel movement in the AFP which grew because of certain conjunctures which do not quite fit into the broad framework of a “politicized military” seeking to grab power. More importantly, the development of RAM and YOU indicates that the mutiny in the barracks is on the brink of being transformed into a revolutionary movement.

    Political Upheaval
    To begin with, the upheaval in the political consciousness of the youth in the late 1960s and early 1970s has been underestimated. During that time, a dramatically new political culture, with a revolutionary language and symbols, emerged. That virtual cultural revolution left no social sector in the Philippines untouched. The ranks of the Communist Party included youths from elite families like Edgar Jopson or poor families like the priest Conrado Balweg and the urban poor scholar Benito Tiamzon, now the acting CPP head.

    It was inevitable that the cultural revolution would also affect the PMA. For one thing, the Academy had virtually the same liberal-democratic educational framework as the University of the Philippines, the activist breeding ground. This explains why many rebel officers come from three classes — 1971,1972 and 1973. These officers entered the Academy from 1967 to 1970, the period when the upheaval in the political consciousness of the youth occurred.

    One other factor hastened the radicalization of consciousness in the PMA. CPP founder Sison, a University of the Philippines instructor in the mid-1960s, had worked hard to draw Lt. Victor Corpus under his ideological tutelage. Corpus’s recruitment into the CPP was a breakthrough for the party. Corpus later became primarily responsible for training and building the NPA as a fighting force. His activities at the PMA, where he started teaching comparative government in 1970, would have other far-reaching consequences.

    About two years earlier, another PMA professor, Dr. Dante Simbulan, was chipping away at the conservative worldviews of the cadets, especially by presenting data on elite hegemony in the Philippines. Simbulan, Corpus, and another PMA instructor, Lt. Crispin Tagamolila, formed a critical mass that laid the germs of a rebel consciousness in PMA. They encouraged the cadets to challenge long-accepted viewpoints. The defection of Corpus and Tagamolila to the NPA in 1971, bringing with them the PMA’s arsenal of rifles, further prompted PMA cadets to question their ideological presuppositions.

    It is interesting to note that members of the rebel vanguard of the 1970s — the Communist Party — were [he teachers of the military rebels. Chapter Three explains how the RAM core leaders, many of whom were intelligence officers, patterned their organization in the Leninist mold of insurrectionary organizing they learned from studying CPP methods. It also explains how the former CPP secretary-general, Nilo Tayag, influenced YOU, particularly its evolution of a “Filipino ideology.”

    Crucial Junctures
    The second crucial juncture was former defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile’s fall from Marcos’s grace. This falling out prompted the expansion of Ver’s powers. It also encouraged Enrile to build a cordon of officers around him. These officers would later form the core of RAM. The defense ministry provided RAM organizers with the resources, time, network, and cover to recruit members. The most crucial confluence of events that transformed RAM into a rebel movement began with Marcos’s announcement of a “snap” presidential election in October 1985 and ended with his flight to Honolulu in February 1986. Enrile and his men began to feel the heat from the presidential palace after the Aquino assassination in 1983. At that time Enrile was convinced that Marcos and Ver were plotting to kill him as well. Enrile thought his murder was going to be made an excuse for another period of military rule, just as the staged assassination attempt against him in 1972 was used to declare martial law.

    To Enrile, flight was inconceivable. A gradual liquidation of his assets would have accelerated a Marcos-Ver attempt to assassinate him. The only alternative was offense, and Enrile prompted RAM to make specific plans for a move against Marcos.

    The election campaign gave RAM the chance to come out openly and forge links with cause-oriented groups. This enabled the movement to project an image of a conscienticized group of officers willing to lead a popular revolt, instead of a conspiratorial clique plotting a military coup. RAM officers successfully projected themselves as defenders of the ballot. They even provided protection to computer operators, led by RAM officer Kapunan’s wife, who walked out of the Marcos election commission’s fraudulent count.

    The fevered election period catalyzed the Edsa uprising. RAM’s offer to act as a security force to candidate Corazon Aquino broke her supporters’ suspicions that the movement was an Enrile scheme to grab power through a military junta. RAM officers also used the media to project themselves as the country’s warrior-saviors, cleverly drawing to themselves women journalists charmed by RAM’s macho image.

    Rebel officers even met with Manila’s influential Jaime Cardinal Sin. Their clever media projection and meetings with select leaders of the Church and the opposition prompted Sin and leaders of the protest movement like Agapito Aquino to call on their followers to surround the military camps when Enrile, Ramos, and their men defected from Marcos.

    The Aquino government later built a mythology of “people power” and even a religious recounting of the event as a miracle inspired by the Virgin Mary. But this reconstruction of the uprising overlooks important factors such as the US government’s warning to Marcos not to use force against the people; the slowness and inefficiency of the dictator’s coercive apparatus; and Marcos’s debilitating lupus disease that clouded his legendary political judgment and made him waste valuable time in seeking a way out of the impasse.

    Images of Revolt
    The images of the four-day uprising propelled RAM into the national consciousness as a rebel movement: the dashing Honasan slinging his Uzi machine-gun alongside the suddenly-transformed Enrile; the defecting helicopter pilots embracing the RAM officers they were supposed to attack; the nuns giving sandwiches to RAM soldiers; RAM leaders posing for victory photographs atop a captured tank. Years later, these images remain compelling. A government soldier who encounters the fugitive Honasan at a checkpoint would probably have these images running through his head when he lets the rebel leader go.

    Events after the “EDSA uprising” allowed RAM and YOU to become the vanguard that tapped the insurrectionary impulses of wide sectors of the military organization. During this period, the weaknesses of the Aquino regime became marked. At the same time the conjuncture of certain events stirred the rebellion in the barracks.

    To begin with, the harmony of the coalition was doomed from the start. The government Aquino put together after Marcos fell was composed of cause-oriented organizations and Left-sympathizing human rights lawyers represented by Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo; big business groups represented by Finance Secretary Jaime Ongpin; traditional politicians represented by Vice-President Salvador Laurel and Agriculture Secretary Ramon Mitra; and the military represented by Defense Secretary Enrile and Chief of Staff Ramos. Personality differences exacerbated the ideological ones. Arroyo, for instance, deeply distrusted the military and big business and could not get along with ministers like Ongpin.

    The factionalism within the Aquino government merely reflected a deeper cleavage in the political system. The strictures of the Marcos dictatorship and the cooperation of the Philippine elite with authoritarian rule dismantled the country’s two-party system. In the postwar era, the real counterweight to the military has traditionally been not Congress nor the executive nor the judiciary. It was the hegemony of the two political parties — the Liberal and the Nacionalista — which discouraged the military from pursuing an independent political agenda. AFP officers behaved much like politicians, taking part in the norms of Philippine politics by betting on either the Liberals or the Nacionalistas and hitching their destinies to their party’s fortunes. The party system that emerged with the dismantling of the dictatorship remains weak, with political parties being merely expedient coalitions of political families.

    Filling the Void
    In the post-Marcos period, the vacuum created by the absence of strong, centralized government leadership and the lack of real political parties has led to the emergence of RAM/YOU.

    Ironically, the CPP provided the major impetus for the growth of RAM and YOU in the early years of the Aquino regime. In its first few months in office, the government began negotiations with the Communist Party and declared a ceasefire with Leftist insurgents in December 1986. The CPP had remained largely intact from the ruins of the Marcos dictatorship. It began talking of some form of power-sharing with the Aquino government. The demand was based on the Party’s strength: the robust labor movement it led in the cities was reinforced by rebel battalions based in the countryside.

    The negotiations between the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF), how ever, convinced RAM of two things. Firstly, that Aquino was being manipulated by her advisers, principally Arroyo, to move toward the Left. At that time, RAM had perceived the communists as its mortal enemy even though the CPP’s strength was beginning to decline after it made the strategic error of boycotting the presidential elections in February 1986. For RAM, as to most rebel movements, the intensification of a threat — whether real or imagined — injects more commitment to the cause.

    Secondly, the peace negotiations demonstrated to RAM that Ramos could no longer represent the military’ interests. Rebel officers began to think of the chief of staff as the spineless leader of a corrupt organization. The said that Ramos, who had been chief of the inept and corrupt Philippine Constabulary for years, could not be expected to lead the movement for military reform and stand up to Left-leaning civilian officials.

    In Latin America and Thailand, military intervention was rationalized in terms of containing the communist threat. That justification remained a compelling one for the Philippines as well, particularly for a military fraternity which has seen its brothers felled by communist bullet; At that time, Enrile, RAM’s patron, distanced himself from the Aquino government’s position on the peace talks. He apparently also encouraged RAM lo launch the “Go Save the Queen” plot.

    Enrile, who epitomizes the Filipino as reactionary politician, occupies a central role in the evolution of RAN Enrile was pushed into breaking away from Marcos and the dictator’s fall gave his political life a second lease. The ouster of Marcos allowed Enrile to dream of becoming president. As defense minister to Aquino until November 1986, he provided the same access to resources he ha given RAM in Marcos’s last years in power. As Chapter Three narrates, the defense ministry served as RAM recruitment office.

    In Search of Patrons
    The Enrile-RAM connection demonstrates the importance of both fraternity and patronage in the military rebellion. Enrile used his position as RAM’s patron for his power agenda. He carefully cultivated the image of himself and Honasan as a father-and-son tandem. The relationship between rebel and politician is not unique RAM. In a sense, it mirrors the relationship between the Tarlac politician Benigno Aquino and the NPA’s Commander Dante during the early days of the communist army’s founding.

    But just as the Aquino connection with the NPA has waned, so have Enrile’s links to RAM since the August 1987 coup attempt.

    That attempt was planned mainly by Honasan. Rebel sources said the rebel officer’s daring was bolstered by his belief that Enrile was backing him and had the resources to make the attempt succeed. But the expected support did not materialize and since then RAM realized that Enrile was no longer the reliable godfather. Many rebel officers are said to be disappointed because they feel that despite Enrile’s wealth he has been scrimping on financial support for the mutineers.

    This disillusionment with Enrile paved the way for another patron. Among all Filipino politicians, the exiled Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco — with his political sawy, financial clout and patronage network — was in the best position to make a bid to seize power. In the past, Cojuangco had shirked from any alliance with Enrile and RAM. As a fanatic Marcos warlord, he saw Enrile as an ungrateful, treacherous vassal of the former president. But Enrile’s eclipse from RAM and Honasan’s unsuccessful 1987 coup attempt appeared to have made an alliance with Cojuangco possible.

    RAM stood to gain from such an alliance. Not only did Cojuangco have vast financial resources, he had also built a patronage network within the military, particularly among officers who had been stationed in Central Luzon. Many of those officers were themselves PMA graduates and had some past associations with RAM leaders. Moreover, Cojuangco had always claimed to be an economic nationalist who fought American and European companies by setting up a coconut monopoly with government funds. Cojuangco also liked to say that proof of his patriotism was the fact that unlike other Marcos cronies, he invested his money in the Philippines instead of abroad. This line of reasoning was attractive to the YOU whose “Filipinism ideology” had been inculcated by Tayag. the former CPP secretary-general who had clandestinely worked with Cojuangco in the past.

    Cojuangco’s actual participation in the December 1989 coup plot, however, remains a subject of speculation. Only a successful coup will confirm his role, if any. But the speculations remain because Cojuangco slipped back into the Philippines from the United States only about a month before the December 1989 rebellion broke out.

    One rebel account said that Cojuangco returned to the country to prove to RAM/YOU that he was really committed to toppling the government. He allegedly told the rebels that he was risking his personal safety to prove his sincerity. With that commitment, RAM/YOU with Marcos loyalist officers drafted “Oplan Inang Bayan,” the basic blueprint for a takeover.

    The Importance of Washington
    The US factor also remains important. Some US officials had implicitly supported RAM’s coup plot against Marcos. After the dictator fell, these officials maintained contact with RAM. US intelligence agencies probably saw the movement’s usefulness in terms of pressuring Aquino against striking a modus vivendi with the Left and most importantly, ensuring that the government does not p out the US military bases.

    According to rebel sources, Honasan had previously been allowed by US intelligence authorities to se refuge in restricted areas of Clark Air Base. Whether the officials openly supported RAM activities is immaterial. What is important is that RAM believed the US was either implicitly supporting the rebellion or remaining neutral. It was so confident of the US position that it prepared no contingency plans for events like the “persuasion flights” of American Phantom jets. The air cover provided by the US for loyal troops was a setback for RAM because senior officers who were expected to join the plot changed their minds after the flights.

    As of mid-1990, Filipino fears of another coup attempt have abated. So far reported escapes of RAM officers from military prisons have been counteracted by news of the capture of other rebels. Unlike in previous coup tries, the government after December 1989 has built up its defenses, including forming an anti-coup force and an extensive counterintelligence unit specifically to thwart rebel attempts.

    The main conclusion of this study is that from a band of military reformists and a clique of conspirators goaded by Enrile, RAM and YOU have become a political movement within the Armed Forces. Both the Aquino government and the military rebels themselves seem to appreciate this. On one hand, the government hopes to develop an anti-coup movement within the soldiery. On the other hand, RAM has changed its name to Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabayan orthe Revolutionary Nationalist Alliance. It is also giving more space to YOU which reflects the rebellion’s development from its core of lieutenant-colonels into a mass movement of junior officers. YOU recently claimed that it has set up 198 “collectives” in military units throughout the country.

    So far there is no indication that the growth of the rebellion from the barracks has been stemmed. The government and its big-usiness and liberal-democratic allies have failed to create conditions for reforming Philippine society. They have thus lost their claim of vanguardship of the 1986 uprising. Because of its confidence in having crushed the December attempt, the government has not been able to drive a wedge among the military rebels. At the same time, the struggle among e factions is likely to intensify, especially with the coming presidential elections in 1992. As the elite factions battle, there will be a vacuum in political hegemony which the military rebels will be tempted to fill.

    Since the strength of the military rebellion lies fraternity, the most likely scenario for another assault the State will be one in which the AFP’s basic combat units, the battalions, will declare a withdrawal of support from the Aquino government.

    Rebel sources claimed they had already prepared videotapes showing commanders of strategic units in Manila and the rest of the country withdrawing support from the Aquino regime and calling for the organization of a transitional government.

    Clearly, the rebellion from the barracks has driven a wedge between the military and the State. It is quite possi

  15. Nakita ko na yan. Napunta na ako sa parehong gilid. Pero hanggang idinidistansiya ninyo ang sarili ninyo sa gobyerno nagiging ganun din kayo. Ang politika ng personalidad.. ng mga tao e hindi sa gobyerno lang. Diyan din sa “inilalaban ninyo”, puro politikang h..indi maka-prinsipyo. Wag na tayong maglokohan dito.

  16. mga kapwa ko Pilipino, ano kaya kung sisimulan natin sa ating nga sasrili ang pagbabago, kung ano ang maibabahagi natin bilang Pilipino. Tignan mo ang ibang Nation progresibo sila dahil may pagkakaisa sila, bakit hindi natin gayahin. Nandiyan ang China na gustong amngkinin ang lupa natin bakit hindi ang dayuhan ang pagtuunan natin ng pansin. Magkaisa tayo mga mahal kong Pilipino. alam ko kayang kaya natin ito.

  17. HUWAG NA TAYO MAGSISIHAN MGA KAPATID KONG PILIPINO, IISA ANG PINAGMULAN NATIN. HUWAG NATING HAYAAN NA MAWASAK ANG BANSANG PILIPINAS DAHIL LANG SAS HINDI NATIN PAGKAKAISA BILANG PINOY. IPAPAKITA NATIN SA BUONG MUNDO NA PILIPINO TAYO NA KAYANG KAYA NATING SIMULAN ANG PAGBABAGO MULA SA SARILI NATIN. HUWAG NATIN IDAAN SA DAHAS ANG PAGBABAGO NA IYON. MAGKAISA TAYO PARA LALONG TITINGALAIN ATYO NG IBANG BANSA. MABUHAY ANG PILIPINO, MAGKAISA TAYO PARA SA PAGBABAGO, TUNGO SA MAUNLAD NA PILIPINAS

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