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Disarray at Malacanang grounds

The night after the People’s Power revolution

‘The night after the People Power Revolution’ – Part 1
By Renato Perdon, Sydney, Australia
It would be thirty one years ago this year, 2017, that the reign of the ‘conjugal dictatorship’ of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos came to an end.
I was still working with the government and I was already enlightened on how government works to suit one leader’s plans and not because of ideal public governance nor for the sake of the members of the public.
As my years in the government went by, I became accustomed to the system. I became indifferent, callous and less oblivious to the things that were happening in the Philippines.
I read in the papers and heard whispers from reliable sources about how ‘a new breed of presidential kin and cronies’ were taking over the place of the old oligarchy, but no one ever thought that their days were numbered.
The Marcos government was becoming known for its massive official graft and corruption, crony capitalism and monopolism, hidden wealth and military abuses. \
Added to these were the issues of excesses perpetrated by the family members, people close to the first couple, and the real issues of poverty, unemployment, and human rights violations.
So when the news of the 1986 EDSA revolution spread among government employees, I could no longer care. For me, no matter what the event would try to achieve, it would be just the same. Filipinos had become accustomed to the kind of lives they thought they deserved, was my reasoning.
But I underestimated that event, which I thought was just a small faction of disgruntled members of the military complaining about their plight. What else was new, I told myself.
Initially, I dismissed the situation as one of those events that would rock the administration, but would just die down and the conjugal partnership would continue as strong as ever. It was nothing new for me.
But I noticed that even the lowly employees of my office were delighted to participate in the events unfolding a few miles away from our location. I was still not sure whether they just wanted to join for fun or as an excuse not to do their work, after all they would still get paid.
Many of my employees started to leave their place of work, but I stayed put, doing my job. Those who were directly under my charge asked permission to go home early because of the impending clashes between military ‘fighting forces’ loyal to the Marcos administration and those against him, mainly sympathisers of General Fidel V. Ramos and National Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.
As the historic event was unfolding, I was busy at work attending to my responsibilities as a middle manager cultural administrator. By the time of the EDSA revolution, I was no longer living in Cubao, Quezon City, near where the action was taking place.
I had moved out to my house in Laguna, a three bedroom, one storey government housing unit, located a stone’s throw away from Pacita Complex. It was about an hour trip by public transport from my new place to work.
The events that were happening at the two military camps in Quezon City were becoming tense. There was lively development and excitement, and to top it all it was not clear to many what it was all about, and why it was happening.
But as the hours went by people still joined the throng on a part of EDSA between the two military camps. Some brought food, water and softdrinks for the first group of people who were undertaking a vigil at the military camps and becoming friendly with the military.
It was the novelty of the event that was taking place and everyone had the urge to join and be part of it. There was a carnival air about it that was taking place, but no one ever thought that they were making history, an important part of modern Philippine history—and indeed world history.