Ninoy Aquino: Fight for Freedom

Starting a Revolution

It was on February 22, 1986 that then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos renounced the rampant cheating and fraud in the elections and withdrew their support for the Marcos Administration.

At about 9 p.m. over Radio Veritas, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin exhorted Filipinos to come to the aid of the rebel leaders by going to EDSA.

Military tanks and armored vans started to move toward the camps. The barrage of government troops found themselves face-to-face with an overwhelming human chain of civilians.

Hope remained afloat when military helicopters manned by the 15th Air Force Strike Wing, led by Maj. Gen. Antonio Sotelo, defected and joined the opposition. Also around this time, June Keithley of Radio Bandido reported that Marcos had left Malacanang causing the crowd in EDSA to rejoice.

Shortly thereafter, Marcos went on-air over government Channel 4 to announce that he would not step down. The broadcast was suddenly cut off. Rebels under Col. Mariano Santiago had apparently captured the station. In the afternoon, the station went back on air with a voice declaring, "This is Channel 4, serving the people again." By this time and after an attack in the Villamor Airbase, officers from the PMA and majority of the Armed Forces had already changed sides.