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The 3-Day Revolution: How Marcos Was Toppled

Times Staff Writer

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the telephone rang at Villa San Miguel, the modest, Spanish-style residence of Manila’s Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Jaime Sin.

It was Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, the powerful and once deeply loyal lieutenant of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos. But today, Enrile’s voice was trembling.

“Your Eminence, please help us,” Enrile pleaded. “In one hour’s time, we are going to die. The president’s men are coming to arrest us.”

Moments later, the phone rang again. This time it was Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Marcos’ armed forces deputy chief of staff.

Ramos said that both he and Enrile were in grave danger because Marcos suspected them of plotting against him. If the cardinal would help them to make a stand against the authoritarian leader, Ramos said, he could guarantee support from key areas of the military.

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Within minutes, Cardinal Sin, an unusually influential man in a nation that is 85% Catholic, decided that, with his help, Enrile and Ramos had a good chance of ousting a man who had ruled this nation with impunity and self-interest for two decades. Quietly, he went to work summoning the faithful to rebellion.

Three days later, a frightened President Marcos and his weeping family were hustled into four U.S. Air Force helicopters on their way out of the country. One of the world’s longest-serving dictators had fallen with relatively little bloodshed. An oppressed nation of 55 million rejoiced.

“The force of the Filipino people stormed heaven with prayer, and got answered with a miracle,” a happy and smiling Cardinal Sin said Wednesday.

The cardinal’s mobilization of the devout Philippine masses was the key to the victory. But the story behind the three-day fall of dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos is far more than a demonstration of the power of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

It is a story of how two powerful and once-aloof national leaders switched loyalties in what they saw as their final hours, using their intimate knowledge of their leader and his army against him to purge themselves and their nation of years of injustice.

And it is a story of how a nation mobilized its most basic force--its people--to rid itself of a man so determined to cling to power that he refused to let go until every institution in his society had turned against him, until his own helicopters strafed and bombed his Malacanang Palace, until the clergy of his own religion had used their spiritual mandate against him, and until the sophisticated television and radio network that he had set up to distance himself from his people while dictating to them was captured and used to destroy him.

Here, based on eyewitness reports and interviews with the principal actors in the drama, is the account of the final days of a dictator.

Cardinal Sin, a shrewd and careful man, has long resisted working actively against Marcos. This time, however, he had picked his spot. It was not until he was convinced that Enrile and Ramos were truly united against the president and behind the standard bearer of the opposition, Corazon Aquino, that he made his move.

After his conversations with Enrile and Ramos, he quietly called on his bishops and nuns and priests to use their “spiritual power” to bring tens of thousands of their parishioners into the streets, where they were to form massive barriers to any counteraction by the regime.

He called on the church’s vast radio network to mobilize and coordinate the effort and launch a propaganda campaign against Marcos.

And he called on his household nuns--Carmelites, Franciscans and Pink Sisters--to expose the Holy Sacrament in the monastery beside his home, to fast for three days and three nights and to pray for the fall of a dictator.

The alliance between Enrile and Ramos--the cooperation between a politician with intimate knowledge of Marcos’ mind and a progressive general who commanded high respect from Marcos’ most senior disgruntled officers--had its roots in perceived threats from the palace.

Enrile acted at first out of fear for his life and the lives of about 300 officers in a group that he had organized on another occasion when his life had been in danger.

That had been in 1982 when an attempt was made on his life. After the attack--its perpetrators are still unidentified--the tough defense minister ordered his most loyal officers to form a group called the Reformed Armed Forces of the Philippines Movement, informally known as We Belong.

The group had two goals: to improve professionalism in a corrupt and abusive military under the control of Marcos’ unswervingly loyal chief of staff, Gen. Fabian C. Ver, and to keep themselves alive.

Enrile was having coffee when he received a call Saturday morning. “A friend” in military intelligence had intercepted a message saying Enrile and the We Belong group were to be arrested that night by Marcos loyalists in the Presidential Security Command and charged with plotting a coup and Marcos’ assassination.

Thoroughly frightened, Enrile called the group’s colonels, ordered them to collect their men and a huge cache of arms and ammunition that they had stashed for just such a contingency and arranged to meet at his Ministry of National Defense building in the Camp Aguinaldo military base near suburban Quezon City. Then he contacted Ramos.

Had Warned Marcos

Just three days before, Ramos had written a confidential letter to Marcos warning him that moves by Ver to dismiss or reassign some of the services’ most professional officers and replace them with his own men, many of whom were little more than criminals and thugs, was creating deep dissension within military ranks.

For Ramos, the threats that Enrile conveyed from the palace and Enrile’s personal willingness to risk his life in one final stand against Marcos were enough to gain his support.

Finally, Enrile quietly spread the word to the foreign press, whom he later beseeched to remain by his side as some measure of protection, that something was up at Camp Aguinaldo.

When the handful of Western journalists arrived at the sprawling military complex just before sunset Saturday night, Enrile was already sequestered in his office. A dozen officers draped with Uzi submachine guns, pistols and radio sets stood guard outside.

In every inch of the building, dozens of soldiers in flak vests worked with silent, efficient determination to convert the ministry building in just two hours into a three-story combat bunker.

Corner offices became light-machine-gun nests. Decorative flagstones in a center courtyard were stacked into a makeshift launching pad for anti-aircraft rockets and grenades. Snipers took up positions behind TV antennas on the roof.

As the soldiers unloaded crate after crate of rockets, grenades, C-rations, machine-gun ammunition belts and M-16 assault rifles, reporters were left with answerless questions and a sense that history was about to be made.

In a third-floor conference room just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the crush of TV cameramen was so great that as Enrile and Ramos made their way into the press conference, the cameramen smashed a glass table and knocked over plants.

Spontaneous Decision

The way the two men were dressed attested to the spontaneity of their decision. Ramos wore a safari suit and running shoes; Enrile wore baggy blue jeans, sneakers and a fatigue jacket over a bullet-proof vest.

“There was an order to round up myself and the members of the reform movement tonight,” Enrile began cautiously, adding that only Marcos or Ver could have given such an order. “As far back as 1982, we’ve been getting consistent reports (that) there were efforts to eliminate us. . . . It seems they chose tonight to do it.”

Rather than dying without first making a statement, Enrile said, he and his men decided: “We will have to make a stand here, and if we have to go down, we will go down here.”

As the press conference went on, though, the defense minister gathered momentum. He grew more confident. He stopped shaking. And though he continued to chain smoke, he seemed to undergo a transformation--"an act of contrition,” Enrile finally said, “to atone for my participation in the declaration of martial law,” a nine-year suspension of personal liberties and human rights that was one of the bleakest periods in Philippine history.

For the next 90 minutes, reporters listened in awe as Enrile, who had acquired an almost villainous image as the chief administrator of martial law between 1972 and 1981, unloaded on the president, charging that he had blatantly rigged the Feb. 7 presidential election, that he had abused the public trust for years and that he was no longer fit to rule.

“I searched my conscience,” Enrile said in announcing his resignation, “and I found I could not serve the president with the present government any longer.”

Then, it was Ramos’ turn. The soft-spoken general who has long been viewed as a reformist was equally straightforward.

“The armed forces of the Philippines has ceased to be the real armed forces of the Philippines,” he declared angrily. “There has become an elite armed forces within the armed forces that no longer represents the officers and the soldiers corps of the armed forces.”

The reputation of the military had been subverted by Marcos, perverted by Ver and was fast becoming an “immoral” force in society, Ramos said in announcing his own resignation.

Ramos then detailed how Marcos had personally authorized close presidential friends, known as “cronies,” to use firearms and force to intimidate voters during the recent election, how he had allowed Ver to promote loyalist friends over qualified officers simply to safeguard the Marcos lust for power and money.

The military had become “practically the servants of political powers in our society rather than servants of the people,” Ramos said.

“I think the president of 1986 is not the president we knew before. He is no longer able and capable of being commander in chief. He has put his personal self-interests, his family interests, above the interests of the people.

“I am motivated simply by the urgent desire for a better future for the people.”

Their Last Stand

This was their final stand against a regime that they once had risked their lives to protect, the two men said. And they insisted, and sources who know them well later agreed, it was nothing more than that--two men who had reached their breaking point. There was no planned conspiracy, they said, no CIA plot to overthrow the government and no self-interest in gaining personal power.

“I have never had any plans to stage a coup d’etat, " said Enrile, whose personal political ambition to someday become president was widely known in the Philippines. “All we are doing is defending ourselves . . . and our nation.”

Ramos added: “I am only appealing to the troops now to do what is right under the constitution.”

And with that, the two leaders and their 300 or so men dug in for the night--Enrile at his ministry building in Camp Aguinaldo; Ramos at the general headquarters building of the national police, a military body, in Camp Crame across the street. Both knew that at any time Marcos could bring the force of his loyalist troops against them, outnumbering them hundreds of times over.

But when the attack came at 10:30 p.m., it was a verbal one.

The president used his powerful government-owned national television network to denounce the two men as traitors who had been conspiring against him for days.

“They were part of an aborted coup d’etat and assassination attempt against the President and the First Lady--to attack Malacanang and assault and eliminate the President and/or the First Lady,” a furious Marcos declared.

“But we were able to neutralize without bloodshed three-fourths of the force that was planning to attack.”

The remainder, Marcos claimed to the disbelief of the press and even his political supporters, were the men holed up with Enrile. They “would be easy to wipe out,” he said.

But Marcos, who top advisers said was trying to change his image as a ruthless dictator to that of a more tolerant ruler so that he could redeem his reputation for posterity, vowed not to take the two defectors’ positions with force.

Undone by Leniency

In the end, that leniency may have been his undoing. If Marcos had attacked that night or the following night after Enrile had moved all his men over to Ramos’ camp in a dramatic show of unity, Marcos could have eliminated the rebellion.

But it was during Saturday night that politics, religion and military might fused together in a movement now known as “People Power.”

Heeding the call of Cardinal Sin, the church-owned station Radio Veritas began issuing constant pleas for the Filipino people to pour out into the main street between the two camps. Priests, nuns and seminarians flooded out of their churches and monasteries. Volunteers brought boxes of food and crates of soft drinks to the soldiers holed up inside Camp Crame. Their cause became a national cause.

By sunrise Sunday, the entire eight-lane width of Efran de Los Santos Street was choked with humanity. By the afternoon, when Enrile strategists intercepted military transmissions deploying two full battalions of loyalist marines to the camp perimeter, the civilian crowd summoned by Radio Veritas’ “People Power” campaign had grown to nearly 100,000 and stretched for miles down the street.

The human barricade protected Enrile and his renegade band as they knifed their way through the crowd to Camp Crame, where Ramos and his men gave them a hero’s welcome.

The two leaders of what was on the brink of becoming a full-blown rebellion then sequestered themselves with their aides in Ramos’ wood-paneled office for several hours. They discussed strategy, theorized about how Marcos might act, and monitored military radio transmissions. They began calling in their professional and personal IOUs, contacting regional, provincial and unit commanders and asking them to join in their last stand.

Pledges of Support

By midnight, according to aides who were in the room that night, Enrile and Ramos had secured pledges from a number of provincial commanders and a few regional commanders, commitments duly reported by Radio Veritas for the morale of the crowd holding vigil outside. But their numbers were too few, and the soldiers involved were at least a day away from Manila--too far to stop the advancing armored column of Marcos’ loyalist tanks, recoilless guns and howitzers that were, by sunset, just a mile and a half away.

Their goal was to reach Camp Aguinaldo, which Enrile had abandoned that afternoon. There, according to dispatches over the loyalists’ field radio network, the marine infantry battalions were to establish assault positions and await orders to shell Camp Crame.

But the armored column did not make it that night. It was at sunset Sunday that People Power had its first victory in a vacant field more than a mile away from a rebel army they had come out to protect. A human mass of tens of thousands--middle-class businessmen, artists, teachers, students, nuns, priests and bus drivers--had placed their bodies and lives before Marcos’ tanks and artillery.

Gen. A.A. Tadiar, the commander of the marine division, was forced to wait in the field with his men and machines. After several hours, he gave up and turned his column around.

Buoyed by that small victory of People Power, Enrile and Ramos tried to go on the offensive during a press conference also designed to boost the movement’s morale.

They warned the government soldiers not to attack. “We will assault you, and we will not spare you,” Enrile said. And Ramos praised the men and women, both civilian and military, “who defended this little bastion of Camp Crame.”

Too Few Troops

But the rebel leaders knew their numbers both inside and outside the camp were too few to repulse an attack, if Marcos and Ver changed their tactics, and they went to sleep in the office knowing that unarmed civilians could not protect them indefinitely.

Just before sunrise Monday, the People Power revolution appeared to hit its lowest point. Loyalist riot troops swooped into the civilian crowd, its numbers already depleted by the night’s dampness. They fired dozens of tear-gas grenades and wielded truncheons to clear a path for Tadiar’s tanks and artillery to rumble through to Camp Aguinaldo.

Inside Camp Crame, it looked even bleaker. Enrile’s sophisticated tapping equipment picked up a transmission that all six helicopter gunships in the 15th Air Wing had been dispatched to the presidential palace to be ready for an attack on Camp Crame the minute the order came. Against heavy artillery across the street and rocket-armed helicopters in the air, the rebels, with their assault rifles, grenades and rockets, hardly stood a chance

“A half-dozen shells and a few good strafing runs and we’re all dead,” one of Enrile’s colonels said with resignation that morning.

Suddenly, at sunrise, a series of unlikely events “turned the tables for us,” Ramos said that morning. They changed the face of Philippine history.

Air Wing Defects

First, the 15th Air Wing did not attack. Rather, the six gunships and their pilots under the command of Col. Antonio Sotelo landed in the heart of Camp Crame and announced that they were defecting to Ramos’ New Armed Forces of the Philippines. Ramos’ men dashed wildly out of the command headquarters, hugging the pilots and gunners, doing high-five handshakes and weeping with joy. Ramos and Enrile, almost in disbelief, climbed onto the base of a flagpole and declared victory.

Behind the rebel leaders’ triumph, though, was a deliberately false message put out on a loyalist military radio frequency that Marcos and Gen. Ver knew the rebels had been monitoring. It said that Marcos had fled the country.

Later, Enrile recalled, they realized that the bogus message was a clever ploy by Marcos, first to draw the rebels out and lure them into revealing the actual size of their force, and second to get them to report the news to Radio Veritas, which immediately began broadcasting that Marcos had fled to Guam. That gave Marcos justification to declare a national state of emergency that would allow him to shut the station down.

When the news blared through radios all over Manila, confusion reigned. Radio Veritas is considered by far the city’s most credible station.

It was then that Marcos made his big mistake. He called a press conference to be televised live nationwide just after 9 a.m. Monday. He would show the world that he was still in his Manila palace and declare the state of emergency to shut down the rebels’ primary propaganda outlet.

Tactical Error

“If he had never held that press conference, he would still be president of the Philippines,” said Col. Mariano Santiago, a former member of Marcos’ feared Presidential Security Command who defected to opposition leader Aquino’s campaign before the election.

What Marcos did not know as he put on his powerful front and showed off his wife and children on television Monday morning was that Santiago was outside the government TV station several miles away with an assault rifle, a rag-tag team of New Armed Forces commandos, a few thousand civilians to use as a shield and a megaphone telling the station’s employees and armed guards to surrender.

After a brief skirmish, Santiago, with the help of commando reinforcements sent by Enrile and Ramos, captured the station. The broadcasting switch was flipped off, cutting Marcos off in mid-sentence as he was authorizing his troops to use small arms against the rebels in defense of government installations.

The soft line apparently was triggered by urgent overnight messages from President Reagan, who put Marcos on notice that he would cut off all military aid to his government if he attacked the rebel stronghold.

But, as it turned out, Marcos had lost his last real chance to put down the rebellion that morning.

Ver Favored Shooting

Forty minutes after Marcos had lost his last real link with the Filipino people--the ailing and aloof president had spent his last several years largely in his palace--an angry Gen. Ver did order the artillery divisions in Camp Aguinaldo to open fire. Ver had been seen by the entire nation arguing heatedly on television in favor of bombarding Camp Crame to destroy the defecting helicopters.

By then, it was too late. According to air force Col. Manuel Oxales, who was inside Aguinaldo’s general headquarters when the order to fire came over the secret palace radio frequency, the field officer in charge decided to disobey it.

“We decided it was all over when we saw the president on television with only three generals with him in the palace,” Oxales said. “We knew then his support was gone.”

The field officer refused two subsequent orders, and, when the order finally did reach commanding Gen. Tadiar, who was about to implement it, a countermanding order came over the radio. An American communications expert sympathetic to the rebels said he had helped the rebel force tap into the secret frequency to issue the final order not to fire.

At noon Monday, the loyalist forces were recalled to their base at Fort Bonafacio, the last loyalist bastion outside the palace complex.

“He’s counting heads,” said opposition leader Ernesto Maceda, now an Aquino Cabinet minister, who was eavesdropping on the palace’s military radio transmissions that day. “He’s trying to see if he still has enough of a force to launch an attack against the revolution.”

Propaganda Campaign

Quickly, Gen. Ramos seized the advantage. Playing off Marcos’ declaration that morning that he and his rebel force were “a revolutionary government,” Ramos launched a propaganda campaign in behalf of his New Armed Forces of the Philippines, appearing repeatedly on television to announce the names of the latest units and provincial commands to defect.

Ramos also took the offensive in the air. He sent Col. Sotelo and his 15th Air Wing on harassment raids. The thundering gunships moved around Manila’s airspace at will, rocketing the presidential air fleet at Villamor air force base and dropping grenades into the president’s palace. That attack moved Marcos later that night to tell the nation on the airwaves: “My family here is cowering in terror in Malacanang. . . . “

Few outsiders could understand at the time why the president did not send his air force to shoot down Col. Sotelo’s gunships. They did not know what Marcos and his air force commander, Gen. Vicente Piccio, knew. High above the gunships were two F-5 fighter flying cover. The jets were part of the 5th Strike Wing, which also had defected to the side of the revolution Monday. By day’s end, after Ramos’ show of force in the air, the entire Philippine air force had switched sides, too.

When night fell on Camp Crame on Monday, Enrile and Ramos knew they had won. Ramos’ claims over the commandeered government TV station that night were not empty boasts. The rebels controlled 85% of the nation’s military. The only question that remained was how hard Marcos and his dwindling loyalist forces would fight to fulfill the president’s repeated pledge that he would never resign and never leave the Philippines.

Message From Reagan

Anticipating the inevitable, Reagan sent a message to Marcos and the world through spokesman Larry Speakes, urging Marcos to resign and offering him asylum in America.

But the Philippine ruler remained firm. He had marshaled his forces Monday to set up a hastily rigged microwave link between his palace and the Channel 9 television station, one of four stations controlled by his daughter, Imee Marcos Monotoc. That night, he gave what was to be his last televised address to the nation.

The president went on the air at 8:10 p.m. in a stark and dimly lit room of his palace. He sat at a desk in a denim jacket, a symbol, he said, that after the helicopter bombing that day, “we’re ready for anything.”

To his right, sat his wife, Imelda, bouncing one of his grandsons on her knee. Beside the First Lady, were two of Marcos’ children, Imee and Ferdinand (Bong Bong) Marcos Jr., the latter dressed in combat fatigues.

Marcos did his best to put up a powerful front. He blasted Enrile and Ramos as “a third force” trying to usurp power from both him and Corazon Aquino, who had been leading a nonviolent protest campaign in an effort to claim the victory that she said Marcos had stolen from her in the election.

He launched an attack on the rebel civilian support system of People Power, calling it “spiritual terrorism,” and chided “that renegade Santiago” for that day’s successful attack on the government station, Channel 4--"physical terrorism,” he called it.

Certain He Meant It

Even now, former Marcos loyalists say they are certain the president meant it Monday night when he pledged in the most sincere of tones, “We have no intention of going abroad. . . . We will defend the republic until the last breath of life and until the last drop of blood in our bodies.”

But Enrile, Ramos and others who had come to know every nuance of the president in the decades that they served him, saw that he was a beaten man Monday night.

“I was his martial law administrator,” Enrile said that night. “I know his capabilities. The war is almost over.”

Marcos appealed to his loyalists: “I am calling on all the people to support the legally elected government.”

And, almost pathetically, he held up a copy of the day’s newspaper, pointing to the date to prove that he was actually in the palace and that the transmission was live. As if it were not enough, the president then declared, “At 8:20 in the evening of the 24th of February, I am here.”

Twenty-five hours later, Marcos would be gone.

That last day, however, was to bring the worst of the bloodshed in the near-bloodless coup. At least 15 people were to die in the violence between Marcos diehards on the one hand and the rebel troops and civilian mobs on the other.

At daybreak Tuesday, small bands of Marcos loyalist troops had taken to the streets in an effort to subvert the rebels by guerrilla attacks.

One group that reportedly had been ordered by Ver to reclaim the government TV station established a base inside a ground station adjacent to a 1,000-foot TV transmitter for Channel 9, the one station to which Marcos still had access.

Two loyalist snipers climbed halfway up the tower and opened fire with rifles on the street below, trying to break up the sprawling human mass that People Power had used to surround and protect the rebels’ commandeered station.

Again, the plan backfired. After a two-hour firefight that critically injured three civilians in the crowd, Ramos’ troops killed both snipers, and a helicopter gunship knocked out the transmitting antenna for Channel 9--Marcos’ last link with the world outside his palace.

Shortest Term

The station was blacked out seconds before Marcos was to be sworn in for his fourth term as president of the Philippines, perhaps the shortest presidential term in history.

The crowd that came to his palace for the Tuesday noon event was dwarfed by the legions of supporters who had flooded a suburban clubhouse for a similar presidential inauguration for Aquino just half an hour earlier. Aquino’s swearing-in was unconstitutional, but few Filipinos questioned her mandate.

The streets of the sprawling city were jammed with her supporters in yellow, her campaign color. Demonstrations formed spontaneously at intersections throughout Manila. There were no policemen to be seen. The nation seemed on the brink of chaos. It had two presidents and no government.

Unknown to most, though, Marcos already was negotiating on the phone with Enrile.

Decision Already Made

The president had made his decision to leave even before he stood on his second-floor balcony with his hand raised and declared: “This is the best day of my life.” Beside him, his wife stood in tears. His vice presidential running mate, Arturo Tolentino, was nowhere to be seen.

By then, Marcos had phoned U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.), a close friend of President Reagan.

Reagan had sent Laxalt to see Marcos last October in a an effort to persuade the Philippine president to implement reforms. Marcos and Laxalt had hit it off.

Marcos phoned to ask Laxalt about rumors that Reagan was sending the U.S. Navy up the Pasig River to shell Malacanang. He wanted to know if he really had lost Reagan’s support.

Then, after Laxalt had consulted Reagan and phoned back, Marcos asked the senator what Laxalt thought he should do. Laxalt told Marcos that he personally thought that the time had come for Marcos to make a clean break, to leave the Philippines. A defeated Marcos replied, “I am so very, very disappointed.”

The president hung up, and, at 11 a.m., called Enrile. First, Marcos asked his former defense minister to form a provisional government that would exclude Aquino--"he wanted to see that the person who handles the transition government is a person who will at least protect some of his people,” Enrile recalled Wednesday.

Enrile rejected the idea. “I do not believe in military juntas,” he said.

At 4 p.m., Enrile got a second call from the palace. “Please tell your men to stop firing at the palace,” a frightened Marcos told him.

“Mr. President,” Enrile replied, “I don’t have any men in the vicinity of your palace.”

“Nonetheless, will you see to it that it stops?” Marcos pleaded.

U.S. Escort

Later in the conversation, Marcos finally agreed to leave the palace that night. He asked Enrile to get U.S. Gen. Theodore Allen, commander of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group, to provide Marcos and his family and friends a security escort.

Enrile then phoned U.S. Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth and told him what Marcos had requested. Bosworth took it from there.

It was just after 9 p.m. Tuesday that the first two U.S. Air Force helicopters arrived, followed a few minutes later by two more. The Marcos family had spent their last hours in Malacanang tearing through the few precious belongings that they could bring along--Imelda Marcos’ jewelry, some of Marcos’ diaries and just enough clothes to last until they reach one of their many homes in the United States.

The family ate their last meal in the palace: fish, wine and vegetables served from half a dozen sterling silver buffet trays. Outside the walls of the palace compound, street fights were breaking out between protesters trying to claim the palace for the people and loyalist civilians who had been issued firearms by palace guards that morning.

The helicopters evacuated about 60 people in all from the palace for the 50-mile ride to Clark Air Base.

Two hours later, after the chants of opposition crowds gathering before the palace had replaced the throb of the helicopter blades, a young farmer--one of the loyalist vigilantes who believed that he was defending his president still inside--was beaten to death--mistakenly by someone on his own side.

Police were still trying to identify the victim Wednesday, but, said one police corporal, “One thing’s for sure. He’s the last of so many to die for President Ferdinand E. Marcos.”


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