I do not manufacture facts. I do not lie to the people
A plan of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Fabian Ver to form a military junta that will share power with the late strongman President Ferdinand Marcos triggered the break of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, then defense secretary, with the Marcos administration, Enrile said in the second part of his conversation with former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos that was posted on social media.
Enrile contemplated leaving the Marcos Cabinet since July 1985 or seven months earlier than the EDSA People Power uprising
Enrile and then vice chief of staff Fidel Ramos withdrew support to Marcos along with some top military officials under the Reform the Armed Forces Movement led to the EDSA Revolt that ousted Marcos on 25 February 1986.
The second episode of “JPE: A Witness to History” that sought to provide a factual recounting of the circumstances that led to martial law and the 1986 People Power Revolt appeared on the Facebook page of Marcos late Saturday night or a day after the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.
Anticipating intense reactions from anti-Marcos groups, Enrile said during the interview: “I do not manufacture facts. I do not lie to the people. I have not manipulated the events. I dealt with them as I face them.”
During the one-on-one huddle, Enrile said he contemplated leaving the Marcos Cabinet since July 1985 or seven months earlier than the EDSA People Power uprising that happened on 25 February 1986.
Enrile said he considered bolting the Marcos regime after learning that Ver plotted the forming of a “military junta” that would also have him assassinated.
“History was totally distorted to favor one group. Little by little, the truth will come out, Enrile said.
Kinks in history
Enrile added his recounting of the events during the Marcos regime was meant to “correct the distortions of history” due to yellow propaganda. Yellow refers to the group backing the family of the assassinated Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who was a bitter political rival of Marcos.
History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
After Marcos fled the country, Ninoy’s wife Cory Aquino became President and after Cory died in 2015, Ninoy’s son Noynoy became President in the 2016 polls.
In an introduction of the second installment of the interview, Marcos quoted French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who said after winning the French revolution “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”
During the tete-a-tete, Marcos said on Ver’s plot “maybe this is the first time this information has seen the light of day. The uprising of what became EDSA was not a break with my father, but it was an opposition to this junta?”
Enrile answered in the affirmative. “It just so happened that on the way to [AFP headquarters Camp] Aguinaldo, we were going to be arrested by the presidential guards because of information that you got, that the Palace got. Naturally we had no other way but to defend ourselves.”
On Ver’s hit list
Enrile said he feared for his life after learning that he was on the hit list of the military junta led by Ver and the chiefs of main military services and the Coast Guard.
“I was seen as a hindrance to their political objectives,” Enrile said.
“They were saying that we were planning something, although to be truthful, we were organizing because we received information that there was a military junta. And I was supposed to be executed by that junta if something happens to the President,” he said.
The key figure in the EDSA revolt said he “didn’t even know Marcos was sick then.”
In the first episode of the interview, released on 20 September, Enrile said, under martial law, none has been killed, except for Chinese drug trafficker Lim Seng.
“Name me one person that was arrested because of political or religious belief during that period. None,” Enrile said.
He added there were very few arrested and those arrested had legal basis. He mentioned the arrest of former Senate President Jovito Salonga who he said was involved in the “Light a Fire Movement.”
The movement was tagged as responsible for a series of bombings in Metro Manila during the Marcos term.
“Very few were arrested and they were released. They were inconvenienced for a while but they were released,” Enrile said.
His statement that Marcos was prompted to declare martial law due to an alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines elicited bitter reactions from former President Noynoy Aquino and his followers.