(1 April 1967 - Present)
PART 1 | PART
2 | PART 3 | PART
The Philippine Constabulary (PC) group started their PC Basic Course at Camp Panopio, Quezon City. Their BOQ did become the headquarters of Matatag 71 while in Metro Manila.
The Magic 10 Philippine Navy group attended the Naval Officer Qualification Course at Cavite Naval Base. Aris Delos Reyes graduated on top. Soon, they were seen sailing along the shorelines of Zamboanga and Sulu.
Matatags who were in the Army were given their field assignments. They distinguished themselves as junior officers during the heat of the insurgency battles in Mindanao in the 1970’s.
The PAF group was sent to Philippine Air Force Flying School at Fernando Air Base for flying training on 3 May 1971. Together they comprised the PAF Class 72B. 2nd Lieutenant Mardol Maranon was our first soloist, more that 2 hours less than the minimum required time for solo.
(out of 38 in the Air Force) and 2nd Lt Alex Catilo graduated from the PAF
Flying School on 25 Nov 72. Bong Ebuen got the most coveted McMicking Award for graduating number 1 and Miles Millena topped the class in academics.
Ten were left with the Trainers at Fernando Air Base, Lipa City; 3
joined the Beavers (Bert Sillona, Bobby Navida and Mardol Maranon);
one opted for the Fighters (Rey Doria) at Basa Air Base ;one with the U-17 (Elo
Elona); and the rest went to 205th at Nichols Air Base.
The Mindanao snafu erupted
in Cotabato in November of 1972, a week after PMA CL '71 graduated
from PAF flying school. During that time, co-pilot training was
done while flying actual missions. Right away, members of PMA
class '71 in the 205th Airlift Wing (AW) were made co-pilots for
C-47, AC-47 and Hueys, together with the members of PMA class
'70, also, were co-pilots at the time. PMA class '71, being the
most junior of the co-pilots, were sent to more challenging assignments
in order to get our feet wet. Flying as co-pilots on the C-47s
then were EBFernandez, Narsing Dauz, Domingo MM, Nolan Ramos,
Volts Espejo, Bob Yarisantos, Manny Resplandor, and Rolly Malinis.
Our first casualty was Tates Nartatez who died in an AC-47 crash
on Christmas eve of December 24, 1972, proceeding to Edwin Andrews
Air Base (EAAB) in Zamboanga, after a flare drop mission in Bongao
island of the Jolo island group.
We have seen a lot of
great chopper co-pilots who saw action in all of Mindanao starting
the year of '72; like Popop Ocampo, Belo Belonia, Bong Ebuen,
Red Kapunan, Gatz Galzote, Safix Sarmenta (deceased), Eslie Eslao,
Bai Seron, Philip Espejo and Tito Legaspi. These are the guys
who saw bullets whizzing by their heads in an air-to-ground-to-air
firefight. During the reign of 205thAW, the PMA classes of '70
and '71 showed their greatness in teamanship under BGen Tony "Banaba"
Villanueva together with the PAFFS dodos of class 70a, 70b and
71. True, most of the first pilots at the time were members of
67, 68 and 69, and some members from previous classes like (sirs)
Sabu, Reodix, Billy Enerio, Tikboy Tiqui, Charlie Tanega, Casito
Casas, Nick Rodriguez, Venny Venadas to name a few and not only
from PMA cavs, but, from PAFFS grads as well. Not to be outdone
were the Beaver and U-17 flyboys of the class - Bert Sillona,
Ed Maranon, Ed Elona and Bobby Navida.
Later we saw the presence
of Rey Doria flying the F-5 at Mactan Air Base. It was quite unfortunate
we lost Rey then due to an unexpected accident. I Remember CASFCOT
in Awang, Cotabato; CASF Davao; EAAB in Zambo, SATAG in Jolo,
Pto. Princesa, Palawan; Sanga-sanga; Cag deOro; Cag de Sulo. We
were all there, of course, (sirs) Madarid Madrid, Enchie Lorenzo,
Pogi Bill Villanueva, Sayong delRosario, Bai Somit and more, Santi
was there also, just to name a few of our '70 pards. Maganda ang
samahan namin noon sa 205th, maybe even until now. We have high
respects for each other in all areas of endeavor; like troop (air)
movements, re-supply, air-evac, night flying, weather flying,
flare drops, close air-to-ground support, parades, road runs,
red alerts, juicy flights, chicks, dice (craps), mahjong, chimpay,
pearly shells, avgas drums, sotanghon???, etc... At Fernando Air
Base, contributing their shares of training pilots for combat
in Mindanao were Miles Millena, Boy Castellano, Edwin Abello,
Nick Varona, Arpee
Santos, Tito Legaspi, JB Ramos, Manny Foronda, Dan Francia, and
In the battlefronts, then Second Lieutenants Gregorio Honasan and Romeo Dominguez almost lost their legs in separate encounters in Mindanao in 1973. Also wounded-in-action (WiA) in the same year were: 2nd Lieutenants Rafael Galvez and Johnny Velasco. Lieutenants Antonio Duran and Manuel Nartatez had made their ultimate sacrifice – they both died young in Mindanao fighting insurgency for the country and the people. Lieutenant Librado Ladia ’72, who later rose to become Marine Commandant, would be forever grateful to Lieutenant Nolan Ramos for saving his life. Ironically, Lieutenant Ramos could not save his own life when the C-47 aircraft he was piloting crashed in Subic Bay. The promising career of the only jet fighter pilot then of the Air Force group, Lieutenant Reynaldo Doria, was cut short abruptly by an accident.
2Lt Gregorio Honasan PA Secretary: 2Lt Oscar Martinez, PA
class of 1971 takes a bow in its maiden appearance in the Cavalier
after two years away from the Academy.
class pow-wow staged last 19May 73 is worthy to be mentioned first.
This was the first gathering together with the ever-growing ladies
circle. Belated kiss-the-bride!! Everybody, however, seems
to have hidden their future drags and dumbguards. Kudos to the
PC group that sponsored the affair. By the way, the PA-Navy group
is next in line. When will it be? Our first foggy pay will come
out soon. Maybe they will be more than willing to undertake it
then. Let's have a 100% attendance next time, get that!
wedding rush suddenly stopped last June. What causes the delay?
Better join the party mistahs before it's too late.
from the south had brought news about Mel Acosta, Romy Dominguez,
Johnny Velasco, and Galvot still slugging it out there. By the
way, only Rey Velasco, Bagsy Cabagnot and Ed Finones were left
of the fourteen gallant Buldon Boys. Gringo Honasan was not so
lucky. He is now at VLGH getting more holes than he bargained
for. Advise for you guys out there: stay away from your radio
antennas. Our rotting fieldmen are getting supporting fire from
our air (rah rah) boys namely Red Kapunan, Bong Ebuen, Safix Sarmenta,
andn Epoy Espejo. Soc Brazal and Wency Cruz are the ones gathering
laurels for the Marines.
of us had joined the AAGFO (Association of Aides to Generals and
Flag Officers). Present members are: Tibo Fusilero with the CIS;
Ingo RG, flag lieutenant to the FOIC, PN; Garic RC, the little
general of the IPCZ; Teddy Malajacan, the grand prosecutor of
TJAG, AFP and Atot Paredes, man Friday of the CG, PSU. The ex-members
are Rex Piad who is now connected with the CIS and Vic Batac who
just finished his stint with the NITS.
Poca is still out there in the mountains of Quezon while Reggie
and Joe Paya are enjoying in the Visayas. Jess Paredes is at present
going through the four easy lessons of skydiving under the able
tutoring of the lamebird Tex Balmaceda.
Velasco and Egay Aglipay are in Taiwan relearning their proficiency
in chopstics. They were preceded by other Chinese lovers namely
Ted Runes, Rex Piad, Atot Paredes, and Jun Paynor.
Perico has joined up with Joey Lalisan in the most ticklish job
in the country. He left Jimmy Canatoy, Temy Lim, and Alex Lasan
in charge of his ROTC boys. Rey Doria was last heard from in Basa
still tinkering with the idea of linking up with the Skylab using
his babyjet. Ferna EB, Bert Sillona and Bobby Navida are still
busy with their own birds.
MetroCom boys, Ping Lacson, Ferna EQ, Boy Cata and Jimmy dela
Cruz are complaining about their lack of job nowadays.
Garcia and Rolly Malinis are right now in La Salle clattering
their brains with more non-sense. Other brain masters (or mashers)
led by Oca Martinez are right now in the State University. They
are Bobby Sacramento, Ankie Brawner, Aris delos Reyes, and Rolly
Degrace. On the other hand, INGO AA, not to be outdone, is abroad
taking up his Masters.
Rivers is our veteran engineer of Parang, Cotabato while Estan
David is trying his hand with the signal.
were not mentioned, it's because we have not heard from you since
graduation. Stand up and be counted.
way, Oca Martinez is right now compiling facts about the class
to be incorporated in our projected class directory. Anytime you
are in Manila, please leave your personal details with anybody
assigned in the GMA.
class revolving fund is practically nil. New arrangements had
been agreed upon during the last class meeting for financing unforeseen
events. Please contact the following for more details:
- 5th CSU, HPC
- Office, FOIC, PN
TED MALAJACAN - OTJAG GHQ, AFP
let's offer a minute of prayer to TONY DURAN who has decided to
go ahead of us; and to MANNY NARTATEZ, for his safe return. To
them both, we offer our salute and our firm resolution that the
109 MATATAGS will live up to the ideals they have lived and died
Ping Lacson Secretary: Virtus Gil
Congratulations to the new LTCs of the class. We have Gringo Honasan,
Caloy Garcia, Bay Ibo, Vic Batac, Egay Aglipay, Ed Matillano,
Miles Millena, Edwin Abello, Volts Espejo, and Tex Balmaceda.
Rex Piad and Ping Lacson are old LTCs. Congratulations too.
April 16, 28 Matatags met at a favorite hang-out in Cubao. At
the midst of an eating spree, somebody suggested that the group
should at least discuss some class matters before going to "PHASE
TWO". A class election was suggested which was initially opposed
by majority of those present until Czar Gopilan inquired who the
class officers are. So, an election was held. Gringo Honasan,
Oca Martinez, and Ping Lacson were nominated for presidency but
Gringo and Oca withdrew for personal reasons. Ping Lacson is new
Class 71 Prexy. For its first project under Ping, the class decided
to hold an inter-battalion athletic competition at the PMA sport
facilities on May 14, 1983.
competition was a big success. 1st Bn mistahs won the tug of war
and basketball but 2nd Bn delegates grabbed the pole race, bowling
and 100 meter relay. 1st Bn ladies took the beauty walk
but the egg race was too much for them. Also, 71 carbon
and corrected copies competed in Children's games. The competition
ended in a draw but only after a series of protest lodged by 1st
Bn alleging that Perla Zubia sprinted during the egg race and
that the 50 meter dash, wherein Cisco Zubia easily won, should
be declared no-contest. Although it took "SHABBY" the protest
will be considered during the next Inter-Bn competition; that
the Zubias must be excluded in egg and foot races for obvious
reasons. A sumptuous lauriat dinner at the Baguio Park Hotel topped
reunion was highlighted by a mass at St. Ignatius Chapel the following
day for our deceased classmates and the fathers of Gringo Honasan,
Caloy Garcia and Rey Acop so that they may rest in peace. Tiboy
Fusilero led the class in the spiritual strengthening exercise
in line with his observation that at this point in time we should
be strengthening the class spirit. Mistahs, we are lucky to have
Tiboy in our class.
Baguio activity ended with a lunch at half-way house after the
mass. But not quite because, while Nelson and Chit Eslao, Bobby
and Menchu Sacramento, Manny and Vicky Tandoc and Ging and Beng
Cagurangan are tidying up PMA and Ping and Alice Lacson, Oca and
Ginggoy Martinez, Rey and Mina Alcasid and the others are on their
way home, Bay and Vicky Seron, Vic and Nene Batac, Rex and Jane
Piad, Tiboy and Babes Fusilero, Virtus and Lita Gil with Rolly
Garcia and Ernie Lumang proceeded to La Union to continue the
weekend extravaganza. The affair is just swell. For those who
didn't make it this time, better keep in touch. Were planning
the way, we are updating the class directory. For easy reference
we will have it printed in a pocket-sized directory for distribution
to the Mistahs. We intend to finish this project this quarter
so may the following please contact Virtus at tel. 78-92-41. Aris,
Brazzi, Degrace, Marte, Jake, Philipp, Archie, Doy, Bong, Fabric,
Wency, JB, MM, Peewee, Ben Gange, Manny Resplandor, Popop, Rolly
Clean, Danny Francia, Gatz, Gel, Nick, Romy, Rudy, RP, Tito, Jerry,
Levy, Alex, Art, Edgar, Bobby, Czar, Ralph, Dong, Bobby Laciste,
Jimmy Gopilan, James & Yari.
In 1983, the year of crisis resulting from the Benigno Aquino assassination, members of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1971, together with other PMA classes, formed the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM). Here is how it was formed
RAM IS BORN (from Newsweek Responding to a Moral Crisis by Jose T. Almonte 25Feb 2008)
By then, disillusionment with strongman rule was widespread. Not only had the rural insurgency of the New People’s Army guerrillas spread from the traditional centers of agrarian dissidence in Central Luzon to the Visayas and Mindanao. In the Muslim communities of Southern Philippines, a separatist rebellion was raging.
I soon began hearing of the grievances of field commanders in Mindanao and Sulu over the neglect of troops in the field and, particularly, of the lack of care for their wounded. Foot soldiers were being shortchanged even on their food and clothing allowances. Weapons and ammunition were always in short supply. At the height of the fighting, the Moro National Liberation Front rebels were often better armed than the soldiers of the Republic.
Because evacuation facilities were so limited, wounded soldiers who could otherwise be saved would die. And standing by helplessly while a comrade bled to death is always a bitter experience for any soldier—because fighting side by side and suffering together bind them closer than brothers.
Meanwhile, many of the generals and flag officers had been corrupted by the regime and, in the eyes of their juniors, no longer deserved their loyalty and obedience. “An entire AFP generation above us,” the RAM mutineers proclaimed memorably, has failed “to respond to a moral crisis.”
In fact a group of veterans from the Mindanao-Sulu campaign—most of them from PMA Class ’71—had begun actively to think of doing something to restore the honor of the military. Eventually, most of the aggrieved junior officers were brought under the leadership of their upperclassmen.
The most senior of these were Lt. Colonels Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Victor Batac, and Eduardo “Red” Kapunan—all of Class ’71. But there were a number of lieutenants in the group, among them Diosdado Valeroso of the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC/INP).
The organization they later created—with the acronym RAM—had no central intelligence, but it was these three who led its “Core Group.”
Maj P.M. Lacson, PC Secretary: Maj. V.V. Gil PC
the successful week-end extravaganza at Fort Del Pilar and Bauang
last 14-15 May, Tiboy Fusilero volunteered to host the next 71
inter-battalion athletic competition in Cebu. He promised that
it will be an extra-ordinary experience for everyone.
Aglipay is suggesting that the next class activity be a 71 overnight
gathering in one of the family resorts around Metro Manila.
Paynor is in town and is allegedly inviting mistahs to a get-together
at Washington D.C. Jun must be serious. There are about 15 71's
in CONUS; Rolly Degracia, Joe Ayap (Kuno), Rey Rivera, Rey Alcasid,
Romy Dominguez, Raffy Galvez, Narcing Abaya, Danny Perico, Ernie
Fernandez, Edwin Abello, John Velasco, Ariel Domingo, and Tex
Balmaceda of course. Stan David is within walking distance too.
to Oca and Ginggoy Martinez, Bay and Beng Ibo, Jess and Ollie
Paredes, Caloy and Daday Garcia, Bert and Marmie Sillona, Virtus
and Lita Gil, and Rolly and Malou Garcia for their newly borns.
Jun Acosta and Rey Velasco, take note.
the following is the partial results of the latest attempts to
locate whereabouts of "Matatags:"
OCA MARTINEZ - J6
ARIS DE LOS REYES - NDF
SOC BRAZAL - where are you?
MILES MILLENA - CFO. Try calling up Intramuros. If he's not there,
he's probably in L.A.
VIC BATAC - C2. Vic is challenging all mistahs to beat him on
the scheduled March Week '84 marathon.
REX PIAD - SOG. Jane Piad called up. She said Rex is the most
BOY CASTELLANO - ASPP. Balikbayan from Amsterdam.
MARTE CHIOCO - Were still trying to find out.
RG DOMINGO - Mindanao Steel Corp "Strongman".
FINES FINONES - Trying to review Military Science at J3.
POCA ACOP - RECOM 6. He's building a none-room mansion at Antipolo.
JACK TAN - PCG.
BERT SILLONA - ODMCR. He's busy baby sitting.
MANNY FORONDA - Newest LTC of J1.
JUN SARMENTA - James Bond of LUSTEVECO.
EQ FERNANDEZ - CAOCTF. The classic "now you see him, now you don't."
Major Honasan, MOND
fast fading year '84 has not been bad for Army Matatags. Remnants
of IMETP for CY '83 have come back with their brand-new CONUS
school badges (and the usual harvests of awards for academic excellence
- despite dozing off in class) as another bunch has left to take
their turn. Frau Sammy Zamora is in Germany for his GSC (PC's
Egay Aglipay is taking the same course in U.S.A.) while kime Gopilan
is being given extra-instruction by Ron Reagan's man, Director
Casey, who earlier coached Ern Lumang and Mart Chioco.The rest
are steadfast in their respective assignments, adding feathers
in their caps (ready to fly now?).
Colonel (sir) Gringgo Honasan heads the '71 cast at MOND which
includes Rudy Vasquez and Maryland-trained Rey Rivera. Bay Ibo
is at GHQ along with Atty Oca Martinez, Gerry Albano, Rey Alcasid,
and Huey Tabanda. Ging Cagurangan and Atty. Sac Sacramento insist
on "following-up" their plebes in del Pilar. Nits Dallo is in
RUC 3's AOR, exchanging wits with MSC's Mel Acosta who is stationed
in Tarlac and PATC's Dong Tabamo, a recent graduate of Fort Gordon
and now based in Nueva Ecija. Generously providing them logistics
support is 3 MSP's Fred Rabara.
other Army "die-hards" remain well-connected, with Engineers Caloy
Garcia and Czar Gopilan (both former students at Ft Belvoir) holding
the money bags for 51st and 52nd Engineer Brigades, respectively.
There's Fort Benning doughboy Romy Dominguez (who also wields
a supply diploma from Fort Lee) minding the operations at PACRIS;
Rolly de Gracia, the transportation expert from Fort Eustice,
honing to perfection his logistics management skill at OG4, HPA
(this mistah is really proud of his newly-born corrected copy);
and the two freshly-installed battalion commanders: Fort Lee alumnus
Doy Francisco (who's chasing the terrorists in Ilocos) and SWAT
boss Jake Malajacan, in Fort Bonifacio.
Benning schooled "Bouncy" Brawner is the dependable dispatcher
at Metro Manila Transit; and overseas, tracking the whereabouts
of Ranger Bert Boquerin, are Raffy Galvez , in L.A., Narsing Abaya
in D.C., Johnny Velasco in the Big Apple and Estan David somewhere
"south of the border". Ben Gange is doing great as full-time businessman
after snatching a degree from AIM.
you are folks; that's the complete Army line up. Let's hear it
from the PC, PAF And PN next issue. Maj G Honasan, PA President
| Feb 22-25, 1986
Most of the members of the Class figured prominently in the February 1986 Revolution that toppled the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Just like the West Point classes during the American Civil War, Class 71 found themselves in the opposite sides of the fence. One supporting Marcos and the other against. The only difference was that it was a non-violent warfare. Each side respecting the belief of the other. They agreed to disagree. When the smoke cleared, we were again one.
The following is a historical report of the events that transpired where many Matatags were the main actors. The idea is to refresh your memories as to where you were or what you were doing during this revolution.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) At 6:45 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 1986, the Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. (later president) Fidel Ramos announced at a press conference that they felt Marcos had stolen the election. Therefore, they declared that they could no longer support Marcos and that Aquino was the rightful president.Subsequently, they barricaded themselves in two military camps: Ramos at Camp Crame, Headquarters of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police and Enrile at the Ministry of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo. Both camps faced each other across EDSA in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Supported by only a few hundred fellow soldiers, Enrile and Ramos prepared for the inevitable attack by Marcos-loyal troops led by Gen. Fabian Ver, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.
A few hours later, Radio Veritas—a Roman Catholic Church radio station which helped amplifying the voice of the Filipinos during the mass revolution and the only non-government-controlled radio station —replayed the press conference nationwide. Marcos himself later conducted his own news conference calling on Enrile and Ramos to surrender, urging them to "stop this stupidity."
At about 9 p.m., in a message aired over Radio Veritas, the highly influential Catholic Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin exhorted Filipinos to come to the aid of the rebel leaders by going to EDSA between Camp Crame and Aguinaldo and giving emotional support, food and other supplies. For many, this seemed an unwise decision since civilians would not stand a chance against a dispersal by government troops. Nevertheless, many people, especially priests and nuns, trooped to EDSA.
Radio Veritas played a critical role during the mass uprising. Nemenzo stated that: "Without Radio Veritas, it would have been difficult, if not possible, to mobilize millions of people in a matter of hours." Similarly, a certain account in the event said that: "Radio Veritas, in fact, was our umbilical cord to whatever else was going."
Rising mass support
At dawn, Sunday, government troops arrived to knock down the main transmitter of Radio Veritas, cutting off broadcasts to people in the provinces. The station switched to a standby transmitter with a limited range of broadcast. The station was targeted because it had proven to be a valuable communications tool for the people supporting the rebels, keeping them informed of government troop movements and relaying requests for food, medicine, and supplies.
Still, people came to EDSA until it swelled to hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians. The mood in the street was actually very festive, with many bringing whole families. Performers entertained the crowds, nuns and priests led prayer vigils, and people set up barricades and makeshift sandbags, trees, and vehicles in several places along EDSA and intersecting streets such as Santolan and Ortigas Avenue. Everywhere, people listened to Radio Veritas on their radios. Several groups sang Bayan Ko (My Homeland), which, since 1980, had become a patriotic anthem of the opposition. People frequently flashed the LABAN (fight) sign, which is an "L" formed with their thumb and index finger.
Shortly after lunch on February 23, Enrile and Ramos decided to consolidate their positions. Enrile crossed EDSA from Camp Aguinaldo to Camp Crame amidst cheers from the crowd.
In the mid-afternoon, Radio Veritas relayed reports of Marines massing near the camps in the east and tanks approaching from the north and south. A contingent of Marines with tanks and armored vans, led by Brigadier General Artemio Tadiar, was stopped along Ortigas Avenue, about two kilometers from the camps, by tens of thousands of people. Nuns holding rosaries knelt in front of the tanks and men and women linked arms together to block the troops.Tadiar threatened the crowds but they did not budge. In the end, the troops were forced to retreat with no shots fired.
By evening, the standby transmitter of Radio Veritas failed. Shortly after midnight, the staff were able to go to another station to begin broadcasting from a secret location under the moniker "Radyo Bandido" (Bandit Radio). June Keithley was the radio broadcaster who continued Radio Veritas' program throughout the night and in the remaining days.
At dawn on February 24, Monday, the first serious encounter with government troops occurred. Marines marching from Libis, in the east, lobbed tear gas at the demonstrators, who quickly dispersed. Some 3,000 Marines then entered and held the east side of Camp Aguinaldo.
Later, helicopters manned by the 15th Air Force Strike Wing, led by Major General Antonio Sotelo, were ordered from Sangley Point in Cavite to head to Camp Crame. Secretly, the squadron had already defected and instead of attacking Camp Crame, landed in it, with the crowds cheering and hugging the soldiers who came out. The presence of the helicopters boosted the morale of Enrile and Ramos who had been continually encouraging their fellow soldiers to join the opposition movement. In the afternoon, Aquino arrived at the base where Enrile, Ramos, RAM officers and a throng were waiting.
The Capture of Channel 4
At around that time, June Keithley received reports that Marcos had left Malacañang Palace and broadcasted this to the people at EDSA. The crowd celebrated and even Ramos and Enrile came out from Crame to appear to the crowds. The jubilation was however short-lived as Marcos later appeared on television on the government-controlled Channel 4, declaring that he would not step down. It was thereafter speculated that the false report was a calculated move against Marcos to encourage more defections.
During this broadcast, Channel 4 suddenly went off the air. A contingent of rebels, under Colonel Mariano Santiago, had captured the station. Channel 4 was put back online, shortly after noon, with a voice declaring, "This is Channel 4. Serving the people again." By this time, the crowds at EDSA had swollen to over a million. (Some estimates placed them at two million.)
In the late afternoon, rebel helicopters attacked Villamor Airbase, destroying presidential vehicles. Another helicopter went to Malacañang, fired a rocket and caused minor damage. Later, most of the officers who had graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) defected; the majority of the Armed Forces had already changed sides.
On the morning of February 25, Tuesday, at around 7 a.m., a minor clash occurred between loyal government troops and the reformists. Snipers stationed atop the government-owned Channel 9 tower, near Channel 4, began shooting at the reformists. Many rebel soldiers surged to the station.
Later in the morning, Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as President of the Philippines in a simple ceremony at Club Filipino in Greenhills, about a kilometer from Camp Crame. She was sworn in as President by Senior Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee, and Laurel as Vice-President by Justice Vicente Abad Santos. The Bible on which Aquino swore her oath was held by Aurora Aquino, the mother of Ninoy Aquino. Attending the ceremonies were Ramos, who was then promoted to General, Enrile, and many politicians. Outside Club Filipino, all the way to EDSA, about hundreds of people cheered and celebrated. Bayan Ko (My Country, a popular folk song and the unofficial National Anthem of protest) was sung after Aquino's oath-taking. Many people wore yellow, the color of Aquino's campaign for presidency.
An hour later, Marcos conducted the inauguration at Malacañang. Loyalist civilians attended the ceremony, shouting "Marcos, Marcos, Marcos pa rin! (Marcos, Marcos, still Marcos!)". On the Palace balcony, Marcos took his oath as the President of the Philippines, broadcast by the remaining government television channels and channel 7. None of the invited foreign dignitaries attended the ceremony for security reason (although Moscow sent a congratulatory message). The couple finally stepped out in the balcony of the palace in front of the 3000 KBL loyalists who were shouting to Marcos: "Capture the snakes!" First Lady Imelda Marcos sang one more rendition of "Dahil Sa Iyo" (Because of You), the couple's theme song, rather tearfully, chanting her trademark Tagalog entreaties:
Because of you I attained happiness
I offer you my love
If it is true that you shall enslave me
All of this is because of you.
After the inauguration, the Marcos family and their close associates hurriedly rushed to leave the Palace. The broadcast of the event was also cut off as rebel troops successfully captured the other stations.
By this time, tens of hundreds of people had amassed at the barricades along Mendiola, only a hundred meters away from Malacañang. They were prevented from storming the Palace by loyal government troops securing the area. The angry demonstrators were pacified by priests who warned them not to be violent.
At 3:00 p.m., Monday, (American time) Marcos talked to United States Senator Paul Laxalt,asking for advice from the White House. Laxalt advised him to "cut and cut cleanly", to which Marcos expressed his disappointment after a short pause. In the afternoon, Marcos talked to Enrile, asking for safe passage for him and his family. Finally, at 9:00 p.m., the Marcos family was transported by four American helicopters to Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, about 83 kilometers north of Manila, before heading on to Guam, and finally to Hawaii.
When the news of Marcos' departure reached the people, many rejoiced and danced in the streets. Over at Mendiola, the demonstrators were finally able to enter Malacañang Palace, long denied to Filipinos in the past decade. Looting by overly angry protesters occurred, but mostly people wandered inside, looking at the place where all the decisions that changed the course of Philippine history had been made.
Many people around the world rejoiced and congratulated Filipinos they knew. Bob Simon, an anchorman at CBS said, "We Americans like to think we taught the Filipinos democracy; well, tonight they are teaching the world."
05 March 1988
A new set of class officers
were elected to serve until our next hosting in 1991 unless sooner
recalled by the class.
Vic Batac, Oca Martinez
and Rey Rivera were elected as President, Treasurer and Secretary,
respectively. Because Rey was posted in Mindanao Jake Malajacan
is presently acting as Secretary. Selected as Service Reps were
Levy Zamora for PA, Egay Aglipay for PC, Bert Sillona for PAF,
and Bing Alano for the Navy. Ariel Domingo is recognized as the
rep for all class members abroad.
The year is about to
end. And the class stands strong and united in spite of all the
tribulations a number of its members are going through. Hopefully,
the New Year would be better and kinder to the class.
As of last count, there
are still 74 Matatags in the service counting of course those
who are underground. Eight have gone ahead of the rest while 32
have left the service. The latest who have decided to give the
service a rest were Ging Caguarangan and Teddy Runes although
we are not sure if they have formalized their exits.
Of the 74 still in the
service, 21 are in the PA, 24 in the PC, 6 in the Navy, and 22
in the PAF. While Manny Tandoc is in the Corps of Professors.
Of the 32 who have left the service, 17 are abroad. Ben Gange
and Miles Millena are in Australia raising kangaroos and koalas.
Jun Paynor is still the Consul in Gabon. Tex Balma joined his
family in Hawaii. Ariel Domingo, FernaEB, Jimmy Gopilan, Rolly
Malinis, Banong Fabric, Edwin Abello, and supposedly Ed Finones
are putting up a class chapter in the West Coast. Ging Cagurangan
and Danny Perico will be in the East Coast and Soc Brazal is in
Canada. Estan David was last heard from in Texas. We hope somebody
out there can update the class on the latest developments. We
don't have any dope on Ed Maranon and Philip Espejo.
Bing Alano is still with
CID providing support to Comm Miriam D-Santiago. Ben Domingo who
just joined him is detailed at the NAIA. Gel Molato and Peewee
Peralta are still holding their lucrative posts. Butch Tabanda
was last heard to be managing his own Gas Station in Baguio but
because there were too many mistahs who were mooching gas, he
decided that it was not a profitable venture after all. He must
be planning to go abroad also.
Jess Paredes is still
doing the political scene. Be Mainit and Inggo MM have shifted
to PAL. A while back JB Ramos returned just to visit his new plebe
but again returned to A to earn more Petrodollars. Danny Belonia
has also pulled roots but is presently in country for a visit.
Manny Resplandor is supposed to be his caretaker. It is not true
that Bay Seron is the new Food and Beverages manager of Danny's
club. Wency Cruz gave up his Marine posting for an Ayala job.
The elusive Gringo extends
his greetings to everybody. He says he's too busy nowadays so
it's difficult to fit in everybody into his sked. But he'll drop
by one of these days. Tito Legaspi seem to have dropped out of
sight for quite sometime. Somebody said he was last seen in foggy
San Francisco but this can not be confirmed because of the fog.
Mel Acosta is still in his Villamor resort while Jerry Albano
is getting deaf because of the nightly noise barrage that they
are doing at the Crame Penn.
Red Kapunan is still improving
his golf along with Vic Batac. Bong Ebuen took to assembling his
own truck to pass the time. He said its safer than going hunting
in Palawan. Bong by the way barely survived a cerebral malaria
bout. Tiboy is still wondering when will the authorities lift
his double house arrest.
Many classmates wisely
decided to take up the CGSC course while waiting for better times.
Twiggy Zubia, Bay Seron, Danny Francia, Ernie Lumang, Marte Chioco,
Rey Rivera, Reggie Regalado, Yari Yarisantos, have already graduated
and have taken up new postings. Twiggy is the R3 of Recom 1; Bay
is in VC's office at Villamor; Danny is back at Basa; Ernie and
Marte were recycled at ISAFP; Rey is a Bn Co in Butuan together
with Inggo DA who just took over as PC vice Garic RC who is now
at C6. Reggie is slated to get Batangas. Yari's post is still
Romy Dominguez returned
from Germany and was given a batallion. They are now training.
Jake Malajacan was for a while slated to get back his batallion
but some people had second thoughts because of his track record
so he is now an instructor at CGSC along with Popoop Ocampo. Babes
Galvot will soon be coming back from Indonesia.
At present, Franklin Brawner
and Virtus Gil are in Leavenworth for their CGSC. Rey Poca, Rey
Velasco, Dong Tabamo, Cata Cataluna, Volts Espejo are taking up
the local version and we heard that Rey is in the running again
for the top honors.
Narsing Abaya's batallion
was recently transferred from Agusan to Davao. Alex Lasan left
the Air Force to be a batallion commander in the Army.
We still have a number
of Provincial Commanders. Ping Lacson is in Isabela while Jimmy
de la Cruz holds the line in Ilocos Norte. Dick De Leon is in
Negros while there is a plan to improve Joey Lalisan's posting
from Mindoro to Cavite. Egay Aglipay is still in Laguna, EQ Ferna
is in Pampanga and Atot Paredes in La Union. Bugsy Cabagnot reigns
over Misamis Oriental, Inggo DA in Agusan Norte and Teody Viduya
is slated for Kalinga-Apayao. Ed Manaay was last heard to be in
The rest of the PC boys
have varied postings. Rex Piad is the CO of NCD, CIS; Joe Ayap
is U7 of Viscom; and Edwin Cuenco is the CO of SOG, CSG.
Among our seamen only
Ambet Costales is aboard ship and he holds the distinction of
ramming the docking pier at HPN. Aris de los Reyes is at ASPP
DND. Bobby Laciste is abroad but is supposed to be connected with
the AFP Anti-Graft Board. Jack Tan was yanked out of Navy Intel
and given a promising job at N5. Archie Almario is still holding
out in SouthCom but might agree to a stint at CGSC.
Egay Aglipay was the first to become General of the Class. He was promoted June, 1994.