When the day began, just after midnight, a meeting was in progress in the home of Marcos's Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile.

DASMARIÑAS VILLAGE, MAKATI - Among those present were Enrile, his press secretary, Silvestre Afable, and three key officers plotting a coup against Ferdinand Marcos.
     The five were putting final touches to a speech Enrile planned to read 36 hours later over national radio and television. Enrile would proclaim himself head of a ruling junta, the National Reconciliation Council, just after rebel troops assaulted the Palace at 2:00 AM February 23, capturing or killing Marcos.
     Spearheading the attack on Marcos was Enrile's chief of security, Colonel Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, an officer whose relationship with the Defense Minister has been described as "closer than father and son."
     Enrile was the central political figure behind the coup conspiracy, but Honasan, his PMA classmates Col. Eduardo Kapunan and Col. Victor Batac, were the masterminds of the attack plans.
     At 2:00 AM of the 23rd of February, Sunday, Col. Honasan and his commandos, guided by carefully prepared maps and rebels in the Palace guard, would break into the presidential bedrooms of Malacañang Palace to arrest Marcos and his First Lady, Imelda. Simultaneously, Col. Kapunan's force would set off a series of massive explosions near the Malacañang armories, signalling three rebel battalions to move in with reinforcements. The first and largest explosion was intended to assassinate General Fabian Ver who would be sleeping inside his home in nearby Malacañang Park.
     The rebels also finalized a list of nominees for Enrile's junta: opposition candidate Corazon Aquino, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Fidel Ramos, Cardinal Jaime Sin, and several leading technocrats like Marcos's Prime Minister Cesar Virata.
Veritas Special Edition Oct 86

Unknown to Honasan, one of his moles in Malacanang Palace had been leaking top-secret details of the coup plot to the Vers.  

In January, Honasan had pressured an officer on the staff of the Presidential Security command into acting as an agent within the Palace. Thirty-five-year-old Major Edgardo Doromal had been reluctant to take the assignment, and he wasn't up to its demands. In just a few days, Doromal's nerves frayed, and he unburdened himself to his commander, Col. Irwin Ver, who immediately passed on the astonishing information to his father, the general. The Vers turned the jittery Doromal into a double agent, and he channeled accurate, up-to-date information to them. (WORTH DYING FOR 1987,pp272-273)

While Enrile was polishing his speech, General Ver was fortifying the palace.

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 2:00 AM - Ver ordered the 5th Marine Battalion Landing Team out of Zamboanga to the National Capital Region. He plucked 8 officers and 82 enlisted personnel from the 5th Infantry Battalion in Piddig, Ilocos Norte for urgent posting in Malacañang. Further, he beefed up the anti-riot units with one Philippine Air Force (PAF) Crowd Dispersal and Control Battalion
Malacañang's defenses were divided into 4 sectors; each sector had a battalion of ground troops. The Palace was the responsibility of Col. Irwin Ver, Presidential Security Command (PSC) Chief of Staff. Lieutenant Colonel Rexor Ver headed the Presidential Security Unit of 400 men, whose primary mission was to provide close-in security to the First Family. The Recon Company of the PSC, an armored unit with 8 light Scorpion tanks, 10 M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), and 11 V-150s was under Major Wyrlo Ver.
     The Pasig River from its mouth at Manila Bay to Guadalupe, about 2 kilometers from the Palace, was secured by a Philippine Navy unit composed of 6 patrol crafts, 2 frigates, a demolition team, and ferry boats. All approaches to the Palace by road were secured by the Metrocom Western Sector under Lt. Col. Agapito Heredia. This mobile unit of 350 men took care of choke points at the Ayala-Lozano approach, the Sta. Mesa-JP Laurel approach, the Mendiola approach, and all approaches on Otis St. and Nagtahan Bridge. The unit was also assigned to provide the palace with in-depth defense.
     All in all they had 3,629 fully armed officers and men.
(BREAKAWAY1986, pp. 5-6)

     Ver was turning the palace into a death trap. . . a cat's cradle of detonation leads to 500 lb. bombs and Claymore anti-personnel mines lining the river.  

Acting on orders from Marcos, who was in command, Ver announced to his generals that he would let Col. Honasan's commandos approach the palace riverfront in their rubber boats.
     Ver was turning the palace into a death trap. A navy demolition team was already weaving a cat's cradle of detonation leads to 500 lb. bombs and Claymore anti-personnel mines lining the river.
     In a garishly theatrical touch, the river was to be lit up with spotlights as Honasan and his men crossed in their boats. Marcos's son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Jr., was to step forward with a megaphone, give the rebels one chance to surrender, and then signal the launch of the counter-attack.
Veritas SpeciaL Oct 86

While Ver was fortifying the palace, some reformists began to feel the heat.

FORT BONIFACIO - After escorting Trade & Industry Minister Robert Ongpin to his Alabang residence, his 19 security men were arrested by elements of the Scout Ranger Regiment and brought to Fort Bonifacio.
     Military officers who interrogated them told Ongpin's aides that they had been arrested in connection with an attempted coup and a plan to assassinate the President and his wife.
     In the ensuing investigation, Ongpin's chief security aide, Lt. Alamos Alabe, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academny and detailed with the Linsi Security Agency, managed to talk his way out of Fort Bonifacio, claiming he was not a member of the military. Immediately, Alabe rushed to Ongpin's house to inform him of what had happened.
Business Day13 Mar 86

DASMARIÑAS VILLAGE, MAKATI, 3:00 AM - The meeting at Enrile's house was just breaking up. Col. Tirso Gador, a commander from Enrile's home province, walked the others to the street. "I have your Uzis in my car," he told them.
     The would-be rebels stared blankly. "We told him we didn't know how to use an Uzi," recalled Captain Felix Turingan, who added, "I'd been planning to use my Armalite."
     Nonplussed, Gador held an impromptu training session in the early Manila dawn, right outside the Defense Minister's palatial home.
Veritas Special Oct 86

Honasan and Kapunan had left the meeting earlier to make a final reconnaissance of the approaches to the Palace.

OUTSIDE MALACAÑANG - Honasan and Kapunan discovered a battle-hardened Marine battalion sitting precisely at their point of attack. By dawn, it was clear that they had been betrayed. Ibid.

According to Ramos aide Avelino Razon, the AFP Vice Chief of Staff was in his office by 6:30 AM as usual. A RAM member, Major Razon had kept the general informed of the coup plans.

Sonny Razon: That early morning it was not yet clear what the apprehension of Ongpin's security was all about. As far as I knew, everything was still "go."

Jose Almonte: We planned the whole action mainly under two offices: the Ministry of National Defense and the office of Gen. Ramos, then PC Chief and AFP Vice Chief of Staff. His closest aides and the chief of his security, Sonny Razon, were members of our core group; they kept the general informed of meetings and developments.

ALABANG, RIZAL, Morning - Ongpin, in a panic, called up Marcos and asked why his security aides had been arrested. Marcos assured Ongpin that he would investigate the matter. Marcos offered the services of some of his security from the Presidential Security Command but Ongpin vigorously objected. Business Day 13 Mar '86

CAMP AGUINALDO, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, 9:00 AM - Sent by Ver, Metropolitan Command officer Col. Rolando Abadilla tried to talk Honasan out of doing anything rash.
     "He reminded me that Ver and my father were friends, that Irwin and I were friends," Honasan said. "I told him to tell Ver he could order me to report to him anytime because he was the chief."
     Despite his cocky response, Honasan was shaken. As soon as Abadilla left, at about 10 a.m., he called Kapunan into his office. They weighed what they had seen on their late-night drive and discussed their options, then decided to freeze operations for twenty-four hours. "We didn't abort our plans," said Kapunan, "we just froze them."

10:00 A.M. - Gringo Honasan checked out incoming reports for additional data on the prepositioning of troops and armored vehicles in Malacanang and other places in Metro Manila. As he pored over some of the documents, two brief reports which came in at 7 A.M. caught his eye: "5th Marine Battalion landing Team moved from Fort Bonifacio to Pandacan area just off the Otis entrance of the Malacanang Park at 0400H." "14th Army Infantry Battalion moved to North Harbor from Nueva Ecija at 0300H."  BREAKAWAY p. 168

MAKATI, Midmorning - Defense Minister Enrile was at the Atrium for coffee and gossip, chatting with Deputy Prime Minister Jose Rono, when a call came from Trade Minister Bobby Ongpin. "My security men! They've all been rounded up!" QUARTET OF THE TIGER MOON 1986, p. 15

Enrile was worried because three of those men were from his office and were on loan to Ongpin to train his own security force.

More to the point, several of those arrested were intimately involved with the coup plot.

MALACAÑANG PALACE, Morning - The household staff, all in white, moved reassuringly about their chores. Tuesday's event was going to be significant and the Palace had to be brushed to a shine. The carpets were being shampooed and vacuumed, the shiny floors, made of rare Philippine hardwood, waxed and polished, and the huge chandeliers overhead, products of proud artisans from Guagua, Pampanga, dusted. The marble floors were scrubbed till they shone like mirrors. Everywhere, the capiz windows were cleaned and then opened to admit fresh air. The lights in the Ceremonial Hall, the dining room, Heroes Hall, the president's Study Room, and Mrs. Marcos's Music Room were turned off. The entire Palace was left to bathe in natural sunlight. MALACANANG TO MAKIKI 1991, p. 3

Mid-morning, Cory Aquino was just leaving for Cebu to campaign for civil disobedience.

Cory Aquino: It was my aide, then Lt. Jose Honrado, who told me of the rumors of a coup for the weekend, and who recommended that I stay in Manila. But I'd been hearing of rumors of coup attempts in the past and they never materialized, so I was not all that convinced that there would be one. On the other hand, Cebu was for certain. I had announced several days before that I would be in Cebu that Saturday in pursuance of the non-violent movement I had launched in February 16 at the Luneta. Thousands of people were expecting us who I imagined would be terribly disappointed and probably not as eager to give me their support if I did not come.  

CAMP AGUINALDO, 12:00 Noon - There was commotion at the Defense Ministry as some of the reformists discussed what to do. Navy Capt. Rex Robles was assigned to act as liaison with the diplomatic community and to tell the world their story in case the reformists were arrested. Another reformist sent an urgent signal to a US Embassy official to seek help. No response. Honasan and Kapunan left for the Defense Minister's residence.  Business Day 28 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE, High Noon - Stephen Bosworth, American ambassador to the Philippines since May 4, 1984, was ushered into the Study Room. With him was Philip Habib, Ronald Reagan's "trouble shooter," whose presence in the country was the culmination of several months' turmoil and intrigue.  MALACAÑANG p. 4

Philip Habib was cutting short his stay by three days and leaving immediately. It would not do for President Reagan's negotiator to be in Manila if all hell was going to break loose. It might seem as if he was involved, or responsible.

The President, Habib, and Bosworth reviewed the elections, discussing peace and order. The Americans brought up the touchy subject of overstaying generals and insisted that Ver resign or retire. They bore down on that so hard that the President said later that perhaps if he had thrown them Ver's head, the Americans might have eased up on him.

DASMARIÑAS VILLAGE, MAKATI - Enrile was taking lunch with his wife Cristina when Honasan and Kapunan arrived and asked to have a chat with him.  Sunday Inquirer Magazine 9 Mar 86

Honasan said, "We're getting constant information that there's an order to round up all the members of the movement." A
siaweek 9 Mar 86

Enrile assessed the situation. "We can disperse, in which case they would hunt each one of us. Or we can regroup and take a stand and take our chances. If we regroup, the possibility of an encounter is very high. But the possibility of a stand-off is not far-fetched."  
Sun Inq Mag 9 Mar 86

Honasan and Kapunan tried to convince Enrile to fly to Cagayan where he could hide in the meantime and think of other options should the reformists be arrested. They assured him they could handle the situation in the camp. Enrile replied, "Why Cagayan? If I die, I might as well die here." Enrile decided to regroup and call everyone to Camp Aguinaldo.
 Business Day 28 Feb 86

Cory was receiving a warm welcome from the people of Cebu.  

CEBU CITY - People lined the highway leading to the city. In some intersections, crowds became so excited that they literally blocked the road, thus creating momentary bottlenecks in the traffic flow. People shouted "Cory! Cory! Cory!" and "Laban!" There was an abundance of yellow banners, streamers, and flags. People along the motorcade route displayed anything yellow, such as yellow banana leaves, yellow flowers, yellow bedsheets, yellow towels, yellow shirts and blouses, and even yellow men's briefs. PEOPLE POWER (I) 1986, p. 146

Fidel Ramos: I had two important meetings scheduled that day. Lunch with Max Soliven at the house of Mrs. Betty Go Belmonte, and later in the afternoon, a dialogue with Cory supporters, mostly neighbors of mine who wanted to picket my house in Alabang.

Ming Ramos: But I asked them, "What will you get from picketing? You will not get any answers. Why don't you have a dialogue with my husband instead?"

QUEZON CITY - Max Soliven secretly met with Gen. Fidel V. Ramos. Ramos explained why he had not chosen to resign despite the humiliations heaped on him by Mr. Marcos and rogue elements of his Philippine Constabulary who were involved in carnaps, murder, and other crimes. He said he had been helpless to discipline these men as they were protected "from above". He said he had had to swallow his pride because he was needed "in place" to protect the lives of many "reformist" officers and men who would be in danger. Inquirer 25 Feb

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 12:45 PM - Still meeting with US envoy Philip Habib, Mr. Marcos stressed that although he had promised a policy of "maximum tolerance" towards the planned mass protest actions by the opposition and other anti-government forces, "the moment the opposition touched any of the public officials or started a Welga ng Bayan," he would be constrained to take "more forceful measures." Inquirer 23 Feb

While the president was busy with Habib and Bosworth upstairs, Capt. Ricardo Morales (one of the First Lady's several escorts and security officers, who was to guide the rebel force up the stairs into the president's bedroom) reconnoitered the Palace defenses and then attempted to withdraw firearms from the Presidential Security Unit armory. He was accosted and brought to the aides-de-camp room for questioning.  MALACAÑANG p. 40

While Habib and Marcos had been closeted in the president's study, a noticeably nervous General Ver had been cooling his heels next door in the music room.
     Habib had barely been ushered out the front door of Marcos's study when Ver slipped in through a side door to give him urgent news. His men were in the process of grilling four officers...plotters of a plan to storm the palace and oust Marcos.  

MALACAÑANG PALACE - After Habib left, the President headed for his bedroom and rested, a by now predictable turn; he would rest after a caller, or even betweeen calls. His illness demanded that. It was to his bedroom that the news of the Enrile-Ramos mutiny was brought.  MALACAÑANG p. 91

US EMBASSY, Just Before 2:00 PM - As he prepared to depart, Habib concluded: "Cory won the election and deserves our support. Marcos is finished, and we ought to offer him asylum in the United States."
     Before boarding his US Air Force plane for the flight home, Habib intuitively told an American embassy officer to tell Bosworth, "Something's going to break."  
IN OUR IMAGE 1989, p. 415

DASMARIÑAS VILLAGE, MAKATI - Enrile's and RAM's number-one priority was to drum up as much public support as they could. To do this, they had to scuttle any impression that they had been planning a coup d'etat.
     If people realized that Enrile had been planning to stage a coup and then impose a junta, most of them certainly would not have been supportive. Enrile and his men had to cover their plans and portray themselves as victims.
     That settled, Enrile went to his bedroom, changed into jeans and canvas shoes, and took an Uzi submachine gun out of the closet. WORTH DYING FOR p. 276

Before leaving home Enrile contacted Gen. Ramos. "Eddie, I have this problem and I'd like to know if you'll help." He outlined the plot that he had uncovered against RAM. "Will you support us?"  QUARTET p. 15

Fidel Ramos: I said at once, "Yes, sir, I'm with you, all the way." Then I warned him that his phone might be bugged. "I know all about it," I said. "I will join you in Camp Aguinaldo." I had wanted my withdrawal to have a very profound impact on events. I had been waiting for the right moment. And it came.

RAM recognized that while a significant number of officers and men were prepared to line up behind Enrile, his long political and personal association with Marcos had tainted him in the minds of many more. And this was doubly true among the civilian power structure, the wealthy businessmen who'd emerged as an anti-Marcos force and the large middle class who'd tirelessly marched and demonstrated ever sine the Aquino assassination. Ramos's image was much cleaner.  WORTH DYING FOR p. 265

CEBU CITY - Cory campaigned for civil disobedience. "We are ready to assume office as soon as Mr. Marcos goes," she said.  Malaya 23 Feb 86

She expanded the list of firms and establishments she had asked the people to boycott. In the new list were Fortune Tobacco, Asia Brewery, Allied Bank, Rustan's Cebu, Cebu Plaza Hotel, Cebu Casino, Cebu Jai Alai, and the government-run station DYFM.  The Sunday Times 23 Feb 86

DASMARIÑAS VILLAGE, MAKATI, Close to 3 PM ­ Cristina Ponce Enrile was changing into her Sunday best to attend mass with her family at the chapel in their home. As she was about ready to step out of the bedroom, her husband came rushing in, got into some clothes, and "in a matter of seconds, he was ready to go," recalled Mrs. Enrile. He gathered her in his arms, kissed her and said, "I think I'm going to be arrested."
     She saw him to the door. He was already inside the car when he ran back to her to give instructions: call a publisher friend to inform the press corps, foreign and local, and call Cardinal Sin.
 Mr & Ms. 28 Feb

Honasan picked up his radio transceiver and barked orders to his radio operator at Camp Aguinaldo. "Joggers! Joggers!" It was the signal to put all his men and RAM people, including 300 civilian components, on combat readiness.  

Eggie Apostol: I was in the Inquirer office as usual, putting our Sunday edition to bed, when we got this call, about 2:30 in the afternoon, from Mrs. Enrile. I was in the office which I shared with Betty Go Belmonte and Mrs. Enrile asked to talk to me and she said Johnny was going to be arrested. "Will you help us? Will you call the Cardinal for us? And we did try to call the Cardinal, but we were not successful because I think the Cardinal was out in Ateneo for an ordination. So I told Betty and Lita Logarta to handle that part of it, to try to get hold of the cardinal, while I ran to Cristina in Dasmarinas Village. She sounded very nervous, and as I am very fond of Cristina, I wanted to be with her at that moment. On my way out, I passed by the desk of Louie Beltran who was our editor then and I told him what was happening. Of course nobody knew why Johnny was going to be arrested, everybody just knew he was going to be arrested.

3:00 PM - Enrile prepared a letter in the office of his friend Member of Parliament (MP) Rene Cayetano, to be opened only in case of his demise. He then gave Cayetano instructions to call the press.  Business Day 21 Mar

Aboard a helicopter Enrile, Honasan, and Kapunan flew to Camp Aguinaldo.  
Business Day 28 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO, 3:30 PM - On arrival at his office in the Defense Ministry, Enrile had his guards break out brand-new M-16 Armalites, still wrapped in plastic, and an arsenal of mortars and Israel-made Uzis and Galils.  Asiaweek 9 Mar

He ordered Honasan to deploy the fully-armed troops not only around Camp Aguinaldo but also around Camp Crame, headquarters of the Constabulary and the National Police, forces sympathetic to RAM. Enrile began with 200 troops.  

He made a series of calls. He called up US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth and Ambassador Kiyoshi Somiya of Japan to inform them that "we are now grouped in this building because there is an order to round us all up." The ambassadors indicated that they would inform their respective governments about it.  
Sun Inq Mag 9 Mar 86

He called back home, instructed his wife to contact Mrs. Eggie Apostol of the Philippine Daily Inquirer "to tell her what's happening and to ask her to please contact other members of media about it." He contacted by long-distance telephone Rafael Salas, UN population czar, in New York "to say goodbye." Also he called Cardinal Sin.  

ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE - Jaime Cardinal Sin received a call from Minister Enrile. "Cardinal, I will be dead within one hour." He seemed to be trembling. "I don't want to die...if it is possible, do something. I'd still like to live." He was almost in tears.  PEOPLE POWER (II) P. 105

DEFENSE MINISTRY - Soldiers are in complete combat gear, with canteens and knapsacks and K-rations. They look as if they are ready for war....Enrile is obviously nervous. He is the underdog. He must feel that the end is near. It is war.  Ibid.

Eggie Apostol: When I got to the Enriles, Cristina was just coming down with her staff. She was going out to a place where she was going to be safe. The whole family had been dispersed to different houses - the children in one house, the grandchildren in another house, and she was going to go to a cousin's house in Alabang, Meding Porcuna's. They were afraid that they would be taken hostage, something, or just to hide.

Ming Ramos: At four, the Cory Crusaders came-a group of 20 women and 2 men. They asked my husband, why don't you do something? And he was saying, "There's a proper time, you know. I have to think also of the welfare of the men under me."

Alex Sembrano: While the dialogue was going on, we received a call from the office of Minister Enrile. I told them that the general couldn't come to the phone because he was in the middle of a meeting. They called up maybe about 3 or 4 times to ask him to go to Camp Aguinaldo already.

Ramos's failure to report to Camp Aguinaldo for three hours after Enrile's first phone call raised speculation within the Core Group that he had not yet firmly decided to support the rebellion, which, due to circumstances beyond any of their control, was being mounted prematurely and according to an improvised script under the leadership of Enrile.  IMPOSSIBLE DREAM p. 380

Alex Sembrano: It got to a point where, if the general didn't join the rebels, they were suggesting a "laundry-bag" solution. They'd get Gen. Ramos and hide him; they'd allow him to surface only when Malacanang had been taken.

CAMP AGUINALDO, 4:30 PM - Enrile instructed Col. Honasan to plan and establish the area's defense. "We will fire our first shot only if we are attacked, because I want to maintain dialogue with whoever will be coming to challenge us."  Sun Inq Mag 9 Mar

He also asked Honasan to fetch Brig. Gen. Pedro Balbanero, the Military Police Brigade commander. Balbanero had under his custody the 19 persons led by Lt. Michael Aspirin.  

The first military region to go to the rebel side was Regional Unified Command No. 8, which included troops in Mrs. Marcos's own province, Leyte, led by RUC-8 commander, Brig. Gen. Salvador Mison who was in Camp Aguinaldo.  Op. cit., p. 15

VILLAMOR AIR BASE, 5:00 PM - Ver was with the First Lady at the chapel where they were standing as sponsors at the wedding of Major Gen. Vicente Piccio's son, Philip.  Op. cit.,p.7

Ver was completely unaware of what was transpiring. Although the previous days had been filled with tension and conspiracy, Ver's personal commitments that Saturday kept him occupied through the afternoon and early evening. Ver's men were so terrified of him that they did not dare break into the ceremonies. It was a long wedding.  DYNASTY p. 413

Jose Almonte: Vic Batac called around five and told me that the whole operation was compromised, so we were on Plan B, an alternate plan, which was to hold out in the camp and confront the Marcos forces. We had prepared as many camps as we could throughout the country as revolutionary base areas; if we held up here in Camp Aguinaldo, all the other camps would do the same and we'd just ask them to back us up.

CAMP AGUINALDO - Enrile briefed Balbanero and laid his cards on the table. Balbanero was "shocked and speechless" for a while. He told the Minister he knew of no order to arrest the Reformists.
     Just then, Balbanero saw Col. Rolando Abadilla, Metrocom Intelligence Chief, and the idea came to him that he and Abadilla could arrange for Enrile to see Marcos and Gen. Ver in Malacañang for a dialogue. Enrile talked to Abadilla and permitted the two to go to Malacañang.  

VILLAMOR AIR BASE - When the wedding service finally ended and the guests prepared to dash through the chicken soup heat to the wedding reception, Ver's men at last interrupted to tell him the bad news. Ver and Imelda immediately excused themselves from the reception and rushed anxiously back to Malacanang. A wedding had cost them the throne.  DYNASTY p. 413

Ver was stunned. Confident of a double agent in the rebels' camp, Ver expected their coup at 2 o'clock the next morning. He was completely thrown by the rebellion and Ramos's defection.  Veritas Special Oct 86

MALACAÑANG PALACE - An indication that Marcos's mind was not at ease: he ordered that his entire family should be at the palace. The military fetched daughter Imee and husband Tommy Manotoc and their children from their home in Wack Wack, Mandaluyong; and daughter Irene, husband Greggy Araneta, and their children from their home in Forbes Park, Makati. Came son Bongbong (Ferdinand Jr.) who soon donned a fatigue uniform, reminiscent of the days when he trained as a jungle fighter. The First Lady attempted a facade of calm, but she was obviously fidgety.  BREAKAWAY pp. 8-9

Ming Ramos: When the Cory activists had left and he and Alex were about to leave, I asked if they would be home for dinner. He said, "Yeah, maybe."

Cristy Ramos: He was very calm, like nothing alarming was going on.

Fidel Ramos: I did not say anything to Cory's supporters about Minister Enrile's call because it was not the proper place or the proper crowd. It was at Camp Aguinaldo, with Minister Enrile, where I wanted to announce my decision to our people and to the world.

MALACAÑANG PALACE - Ver informed Balbanero and Abadilla that Marcos wanted to talk with Enrile. Balbanero tried to reach Enrile by phone. After thirty minutes he gave up. He and Abadilla rushed back to Camp Aguinaldo.  Op. cit., p. 18

What Marcos and Ver were continually talking about this day, nobody among the officers and enlisted personnel knew, except perhaps Col. Irwin Ver. Even the personal bodyguards of Marcos's children did not know what was going on.  Op. cit., p. 9

CAMP AGUINALDO, MND - Ramos arrived at 6:00 PM in a gray safari suit, looking serious, gritting a cigar, not replying to the flurry of questions thrown at him. He went straight to Enrile's office with two aides in civilian clothes. Newsmen were kept out.  The Sunday Times
9 Mar

RADIO VERITAS, 6:00 PM ­ "We were doing the news roundup," Orly Punzalan recounted.. "At the time we were almost sure something was going on in Camp Aguinaldo because Enrile had requested for Radio Veritas. They were specific about wanting Veritas. So Jun Tana was there with Gabby Salcedo and Henry Diaz. They had a VHF radio and a cassette recorder."  Manila Chronicle 25 Feb

6:30 PM - At this time the total strength of the Defense Ministry security force was only 320 officers and men, including Col. Gador's Cagayan 100, plus 12 teams from the RAM civilian component.  BREAKAWAY p. I74

There was already a big crowd around Enrile and Ramos, waiting for the press conference to begin. Brig. Gen. Pedro Balbanero and Col. Rolando Abadilla told Enrile that Marcos wanted to talk with him. Enrile firmly brushed aside the idea.  Op. cit., p. 18

Rose Marie Arenas: When we went to church we were already told that General Ramos and Minister Enrile had joined together and were in the office in Camp Aguinaldo. So immediately after mass we went straight there and true enough all the press people were there, and all those people who were very close to them like Secretary Jose Almonte, and their closest aides like Greg Honasan and Sonny Razon. We were so nervous.

Eventually, Enrile agreed to speak with Gen. Ver. He asked Ver not to initiate any attack against the camps that night. Ver asked Enrile not to attack the Palace. The two called a truce of sorts.  Sun Inq Mag 9 Mar

Balbanero notified unit commanders of both sides about the modus vivendi by wire.  

Fidel Ramos: The situation was still very fluid and nebulous; nothing was clear. It is possible that Malacañang looked upon this withdrawal of Minister Enrile and myself as a very small thing. For our part, we needed time to organize, we needed time to mobilize and deploy our forces.

Ming Ramos: Around 6:30, our daughter Angelita, who was studying in the States, called up asking, "Is it true that Papa has resigned?" I said, I didn't know, where did she hear the news? She said, "A friend called from Rome, said that Enrile and Ramos have resigned."

MALACAÑANG PALACE - It was 6:30 PM when reports reached the President that Enrile and Ramos were holed up in Camp Aguinaldo and had announced that they were withdrawing their support from the Marcos government.  MALACAÑANG p. 83

SOCIAL HALL, MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, 6:45 PM - The mood was tense as the two men, clad in olive and gray, and blinking into the glare of television lights, took their seats before a cluster of microphones.
     Behind them huddled about a dozen soldiers, some in full battle regalia. Outside, at the gates of the Ministry, heavily armed guards and tanks stood at the ready. When the two men began to speak, the reason for the precautions became startlingly clear, for they proclaimed open rebellion, Philippine style, against the twenty-year regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.  
Time 3 Mar 86

"We're going to die here fighting," Minister Juan Ponce Enrile declared as he and Gen. Fidel Ramos crossed their bridges, so to speak, and began the revolt against Ferdinand Marcos.  Mr & Ms. 28 Feb

ENRILE: The fact is, there is a report that we are going to be arrested. ... As of now, I am still the Minister of National Defense and that is why I came here. ... We have no intention of harming anybody. We are here to take a stand. If anyone of us will be killed, I think...all of us must be killed. We'll stay here until we are all killed.

RAMOS: There has become an elite Armed Forces of the Philippines that no longer represents the rank and officers' corps of the Armed Forces. ... The President of 1986 is not the President to whom we dedicated our service. it is clear that he no longer is the able and capable commander-in-chief that we count upon. ... He has put his personal family interest above the interest of the people. We do not consider President Marcos as now being a duly constituted authority.

ENRILE: I cannot in my conscience recognize the President as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and I am appealing to the other members of the Cabinet to heed the will of the people expressed during the last elections. Because in my own region, I know that we cheated in the elections to the extent of 350,000 votes. ... No, I will not serve under Mrs. Aquino even if she is installed as a president. ... Our loyalty is to the Constitution and the country. ... You are welcome to join us. We have no food...

RAMOS: I am not even acting Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. I think that when he made that announcement to you and to the whole world last Sunday, he was just fooling us, and he was fooling the entire world because he flip-flopped so many times already. ... I would like to appeal to the fair and to the dedicated and people-oriented members of the AFP and the INP to join us in this crusade for better government.  Malaya 23 Feb 86

Cory Aquino: It was Bel Cunanan - she was also in Cebu - who told us about it. When I was first heard the news, I was saying, is this for real? I was very skeptical. So I called up some people here in Manila to find out more about it.

ALABANG VILLAGE - When Ming Ramos heard her husband referring to Marcos as a "flip-flop or something" she could hardly believe her ears. "Because at home no one could say anything against Marcos-never!"  QUARTET p. 21

MAX SOLIVEN - Which came first? The "arrest order" for Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Gen. Fidel V. Ramos-or their rejection of President Marcos? In any event, the battle is joined.  Inquirer 24 Feb

Alex Sembrano: There in the Social Hall, while the general and the minister were talking to the journalists, we were talking among ourselves. Shit! we said, we're in deep trouble! This is it, there's no turning back! It was the first time we were hearing all those things-that there was massive cheating in Cagayan, that they borrowed firearms from Ali Dimaporo, mga ganoon!

Sonny Razon: I was scared. What happened? What went wrong? Our plans were all wrecked! What a way to go! Now, here are the cameras. Are we ready to face them? If we lost, it would be evidence against us. So some of us were staying away. We were with Gringo on the other side of the hall, where the TV cameras couldn't catch us. And because of that, maybe the thinking in Malacañang was, we were already deployed outside, ready to strike.

CAMP CRAME ­ The war room of the rebel generals in Camp Crame was deluged by delegations of important politicians, hordes of newsmen from all over the world, and the inevitable hangers-on. In the midst of military salutes, Napoleonic posturings, flashing cameras, and interminable press conferences, ex-Secretary Anding Roces was overheard to remark with wonder and amusement:
"Look at those toy soldiers playing at war. For years they had nothing better to do than to march in loyalty parades and bang the heads of civilians who could not fight back. Now they ask these same civilians to keep their asses from being blown off."  
Mr & Ms. 7 Mar

MALACAÑANG PALACE, 7:00 PM - Marcos was closeted in his study. Reporters were told that he was resting but he was probably awake because Ver and his son Irwin and Information Minister Gregorio Cendana came and went.  BREAKAWAY p. 32

FORT BONIFACIO, 7:15 PM - Ver summoned to his Tactical Operations Center his senior officers, among them Rear Admiral Brillante Ochoco, the Navy Chief; Brig. Gen. Felix Brawner, Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations and Commanding General of the First Scout Ranger Regiment; Brig. Gen. Jose Bello, Deputy for Plans and Materiels Development; Brig. Gen Catalino Villanueva, Deputy for Personnel; Commodore Serapio Martillano, Deputy Chief of Staff; Brig. Gen. Fortunato Corrochea, Deputy for Home Defense; Navy Capt. Eriberto Varona, secretary of the General Staff; and Col. Irwin Ver, Chief of Staff of the PSC.
     They talked about military moves against the Enrile-Ramos group. There was not even a situation map in the place. The PSC at the time had 3,629 officers and men but since their job was to defend Malacañang, Ver had to utilize other units for the planned operations against the Aguinaldo-Crame complex.
     Ver notified all military units nationwide that he was still Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.  
Op. cit., pp. 32-33

CAMP CRAME - Major Gen. Prospero Olivas was waiting for Ramos when he was stricken ill. His blood pressure was 160/110, his pulse rate 130 seconds per minute. The doctors ordered him taken to nearby Camp Panopio for treatment.  Op. cit., p. 41

Jose Almonte: After the presscon, General Ramos and Minister Enrile met to review the situation. General Ramos decided to go back to Crame because he was the PC Chief, his staff was there, his communications set-up was there.

Fidel Ramos: The division of powers between Minister Enrile and myself was clear. He would take care of the political and diplomatic affairs, I would command the military operation.

Rose Marie Arenas: That same evening we crossed to Camp Crame. Minister Enrile stayed in Camp Aguinaldo, and we had people power on both sides. My car, my old Isuzu Trouper, that's why I love that car, was filled with priests and nuns and we parked right by the gate along EDSA, which was already closed. The first thing that entered my mind was to make my daughter Rachel go home to fetch the Our Lady of Fatima. So the one you saw, the Fatima, the very first one,belongs to my mother; she got it when she went to Europe.      And everybody started bringing their saints already. Now I asked my daughter to also bring the Mary, Help of Christians inside the office of General Ramos, and a small statue of the Sto. Nino.

CAMP CRAME - Knowing that the Manila riot police was Marcos's first line of defense, Ramos called their chief, Gen. Prospero Olivas, in Camp Panopio.  Veritas Special Oct 86

Ramos: Olive, you know the score. We are counting on you.
Olivas: Yes, sir.  

Fidel Ramos: Gen. Olivas was the first regional commander I called and he gave me his support and that of the PC-INP units under his command. This was very very crucial because we could have been taken from inside, and we weren't. Now Gen. Olivas had to do some play-acting in order not to reveal his hand. He had to play the tightrope because, the Metrocom being right here in the capital, he was also getting instructions from President Marcos and General Ver.

MALACAÑANG NEWSROOM, 8:00 PM - Reporters were alerted that a televised press conference was set for 10:30 PM at the Reception Hall. They noticed that Deputy Minister Aber Canlas was still at the grounds outside the old Maharlika building, supervising the construction of the stage for the Marcos inaugural, apparently oblivious of what was happening at Camp Aguinaldo and inside Malacañang. Lights flooded the Palace grounds while carpenters kept their feverish pace. Inside the Palace, a sign that the situation was not normal was the battle attire of members of the First Family's close-in security. Instead of barong Pilipino, they were wearing gray bush jackets.  BREAKAWAY pp. 33-34

SAN BEDA COLLEGE, MENDIOLA, 8:00 PM - Some 150 meters from across the Malacanang gate, about 50 law students carrying streamers and placards had pitched camp for a vigil. One of the placards read: "Feb. election: fake victory for Marcos." Another said, "We're not good neighbors of Malacanang."  Sunday Times 23 Feb

RADIO VERITAS - Listeners all over the country were practically glued to the radio for that blow-by-blow account of a two-decade old regime's downfall. People wanted to know now, not a minute later, what was happening at Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame, at Malacanang Palace, at the MIA, at Mendiola and other points of action. And only the ever-dependable radio waves, which travel 186,000 miles per second, could do the trick.  Business Day 21 Mar

Fidel Ramos: For our part, we didn't have facilities other than the very limited telephone system to communicate with the field. So it was a very good thing that we had a small component of the radio broadcasting industry supporting us at the time; first Radio Veritas, and later the guerrilla Radyo Bandido.

CAMP AGUINALDO, 8:15 PM - Brig. Gen. Fidel Singson, chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP, received the order from Ver: "Destroy Radio Veritas!"
     ISAFP was a next-door neighbor of the MND and by this time was preparing to join the Enrile-Ramos forces. one you saw, the Fatima, the very first Singson dispatched a team to Veritas with instructions not to take any offensive action, just to reconnoiter the premises.  

Ming Ramos - Around 8:30, one of our neighbors, Tony Abaya, came with Father de Santis, the priest from Alabang church. They asked if my husband wanted people in Aguinaldo. I said I'd ask. So I called my husband and he said, "That's a good idea, to have people power." That's the first time I heard that term, people power.

Joe Alejandro: Two meetings of Cory supporters were going on in Alabang. One in Benedictine Abbey, another at the commercial center. The first group, upon hearing the call to EDSA, decided to go right away. But first we wanted to reach Cardinal Sin.

Tony Abaya: Bishop Baccani was with us, and Triccie and Louie Sison, who were then chairpersons of NAMFREL for Muntinglupa. I remember Bishop Baccani and Triccie running towards the phonebooth sa guardhouse to call up the Cardinal."

Joe Alejandro: The first time the Cardinal went on radio, he only said, 'Please, do not be alarmed, stay home.' We said, that's not what we want. We want people in EDSA. So the Bishop called the Cardinal again.

RADIO VERITAS, 9:00 PM - Jaime Cardinal Sin went on Radio Veritas asking the people to support "our two good friends."  BAYAN KO! 1986 p. 129

TEODORO BENIGNO ­ "Leave your homes now," the Cardinal said, "I ask you to support Mr. Enrile and Gen. Ramos, give them food if you like, they are our friends."  Manila Times 13 Mar

Not long after, food came in, including sacks of rice and canned goods. Sunday Times 23 Feb

PASAY CITY - Butz Aquino was at a birthday party. The news was that the opposition leaders were going to be picked up, martial law was going to be declared. Over the radio they heard the replay of the Ramos-Enrile press conference. At hearing the appeal of General Ramos and Minister Enrile, Butz concluded that the situation was serious. He continued listening, and eating.  Sun Inq Mag 1 Jun

LUIS D. BELTRAN - The whole town is buzzing with rumors that the independent press offices have been or will be raided. Palace and military sources say that there is such a plan for this evening. The plan is to arrest four Cabinet Ministers and close down three newspapers: Veritas, Malaya, and Inquirer.  Inquirer 24 Feb

RADIO VERITAS ­ After the press conference of Enrile and Ramos, Orly Punzalan had to leave for a speaking engagement. He asked a friend, Rick Santos, to get on the phone to Veritas, introduce himself as a concerned citizen, and appeal for a big crowd to go to Camp Aguinaldo. Santos phoned Frankie Batacan, who was anchoring the show, and the appeal was made.  Manila Chronicle 25 Feb

CAMP AGUINALDO - Enrile telephoned Inquirer Editor-in-Chief Beltran and requested him to call as many opposition leaders as possible to go on radio and express their support.
     Inquirer co-chairman Betty Go Belmonte telephoned Member of Parliament Cecilia Munoz Palma. MP Palma immediately made a call to Radio Veritas and was one of the first opposition leaders to express support for the revolution.  
Sun Inq Mag 1 Jun

MAKATI, 9:30 PM - After some discussion the ATOM (August Twenty-One Movement) Executive Committee decided to wait for further developments and for instructions from Cory in Cebu.
     Butz disagreed with the majority decision to wait and see rather than go all out in support of Ramos and Enrile. "This is our chance to split the military," he said. He thought it was "out of character" for Ramos to be "included in a zarzuela to fool the people." As for Enrile, Butz was willing to take a chance on him: "I don't know him well but I am convinced that he had nothing to do with the assassination of Ninoy. When it comes to human rights violations, we can't pinpoint anything on him directly. We also know he's been powerless for the last several years. It's Gen. Ver who's been calling the shots."
     On his own Butz decided to take the daring course of action. He called MP Palma and asked her, "Do you believe in these two guys?" And she said, "I think so. What are your plans?" Butz told her, "I'm going to Camp Aguinaldo and offer our support, whatever support we can give them."  

Cory Aquino: I was told by people I called in Manila that Butz was already asking people to go to Camp Crame, so the ATOM would be very much involved. And I was told that the Cardinal also had voiced an appeal. In the meantime, I told them, if you can get through to Johnny Ponce Enrile, I'd like to talk to him.

VILLAMOR AIR BASE, Evening - While listening to Radio Veritas, Col. Antonio Sotelo of the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force received a call from Air Force Col. Hector Tarrazona, one of the Reform Movement's leaders, asking for his support. Sotelo said yes, he would support the defection. He summoned his squadron commanders, briefed them on the situation, and instructed them to fuel and arm all five attack helicopters in Villlamor (others were deployed in Zamboanga, Lucena, Echague, and Baguio). Business Day 12 Mar

Ming Ramos: Half an hour later, Eddie called back and said maybe we should also have people power here in Alabang.

Fidel Ramos: I told her, "Ming, don't hide, and don't run. Stay put in the house and gather people power around you. This is all a people-power play and it is important that we maintain the moral ascendancy of the people."

10:00 PM - Only Radio Veritas was carrying a blow-by-blow account of the unfolding siege. Not one of the television stations broke programming or flashed what is known in the trade as "crawls" - printed matter marching from right to left, superimposed on the video. No other radio station brodcast the first break or the press conference.
Radio Veritas' account may have the drawn the crowds to Aguinaldo, now aswarm up to EDSA with bewildered flocks trying to divine the meaning of it all and where it was leading to.  
We Forum 25 Mar

NEW MANILA, QUEZON CITY, 10:00 PM - Summoned by Gen. Ver, PC Col. Maximo Mejia arrived at businessman Eduardo Cojuangco's house in Balete Drive where he also found Virgilio de Guzman, elder brother of Brig. Gen. Isidoro de Guzman, Region III Commander. Mejia was told that President Marcos had decided to neutralize the radio station transmitter in Dakila, Malolos. Cojuangco told Mejia that the attack had been cleared by Marcos to "prevent the incident created by the Enrile-Ramos defection from escalating to a bloody one." Midday Malaya 20 May

CAMP AGUINALDO, Also Around 10:00 PM - Enrile talked by phone with Corazon Aquino in Cebu where she had just finished speaking before some 50,000 people at Fuente Osmena, the third in a series of nationwide rallies she had promised if cheated out of the Presidency.  Asiaweek 9 Mar

Their dialogue was brief; they both knew the phone was tapped. He warned her that her life was in danger. "They'll probably come to get you. So take the necessary precautions."  QUARTET p. 84

Cory Aquino: I asked him how he was and he said they were holding out. I said, well, all I can offer you for this moment are my prayers. And he said, we certainly need your prayers.

CEBU - Aquino knew of Enrile's coup plans. Enrile's colonels had pleaded with her to stay in Manila. Deeply suspicious of the Defense Minister, Aquino's supporters were planning to establish a provisional revolutionary government in the southern city of Davao.  Veritas Special Oct 86

CEBU CITY - The American consul, Blaine Porter, dropped in to see how Cory was. Ramon Mitra asked him if he had any suggestions