Mar
17

“Demokrasya at Kudeta” (Democracy and Coup D’ Etat) is a four-volume book written by Ding L. San Juan consisting of no less than 2,500 pages. The first two volumes were already out for sale, the first was launched in 2005 and the second on Sept. 12, 2006.

Introduction to the first volume was written by Prof. Anacleto I. Dizon. He differentiated mutiny, revolt and revolution from coup d’etat, the latter being a sudden and unexpected bold stroke of policy, the sudden overthrow of a government.

Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos wrote the Preface that undescored the inspirational connection from the earlier struggles of the Filipino people to the present period and the tough challenge to the new breed of leaders and younger Filipinos to win a brighter future for the Philippines.

“Demokrasya at Kudeta” (Democracy and Coup D’ Etat) is generally a book on Philippine history, politics, military, culture and foreign relations rolled into one great episode. It focuses on the events leading to the emergence of a political phenomenon called “People Power” for which Filipinos were recognized and inspired other nations to adopt it in the quest for democratic governance.

The book chronicles the military component and national security aspect about coup d’etat, including experiences of various countries, their “cause and effect” and emergence in contemporary Philippine history.

There were over 100 mutinees and revolts and one revolution during the 333 years of Spanish colonization of the Philippine archipelago. No one succeeded.

In the 17 short years of the Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and Macapagal-Arroyo incumbencies, twelve coups d’etat took place: one under Marcos, nine under Aquino, none under Ramos, one under Estrada and one under Macapagal-Arroyo. Only two succeeded, those under Marcos with the disguised assistance of the United States, and under Estrada.

“DEMOKRASYA AT KUDETA” (DEMOCRACY AND
COUP D’ETAT), Volume 1

(1) “People Power Revolution of 1986”

The first volume of the book recounts in great detail the events that led to the first “People Power Revolution.” On Feb. 22, 1986, then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and AFP Vice Chief of Staff & Philippine Constabulary Chief/Integrated National Police Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos and members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) led by Army Col. Gregorio B. Honasan barricaded themselves inside the Ministry of National Defense in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City and announced their withdrawal of support for Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Minister Enrile and General Ramos charged President Marcos of planning to arrest leaders of the opposition. Enrile accused Marcos with committing massive fraud in the Presidential Election that has forfeited the mandate of the Filipino people. The duo declared that Corazon C. Aquino was the rightful President of the Republic of the Philippines. Ramos called on the AFP and PC/INP to join them in the rebellion against the Marcos regime. Enrile said:

“We’ve received reliable information that I, General Ramos, and members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, would be arrested by the Presidential Security Command on orders of the ‘highest authority’ (President Marcos). We’ve gathered here at Camp Aguinaldo to take a defensive position and preempt the impending arrests… I am morally convinced that it was Mrs. Aquino who was elected by the Filipino people. I believe in my own heart, in my own mind, that she’s the duly elected President of the Republic.”

Ramos said they do not recognize the proclaimed presidency of Marcos and the rest of his government as representing the people. To him, they are not the duly constituted authorities of their country under the Constitution. He added:

“I came here to support the decision of Minister Enrile to seek a better armed forces and a better life for our people. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has ceased to be the Armed Forces of the Philippines… supposed to be the defender of public safety and enforcer of the law. What has developed is an elite in the AFP that no longer represents the rank and file and the officer corps of the Armed Forces… We tried to make the military organization a professional organization beholden not to a man but to the Filipino people so they can protect the common weal and the interests of our country.”

Through a telephone conversation arranged by two emissaries between Enrile and Ver, the latter said the President did not intend to harm them but only to arrest the security men of Enrile implicated in a plot on his life.

Enrile emphasized the Reformist group’s demand for the President to resign, but the Chief Executive countered that he would not step down from office.

On his part, Ramos clarified that they have no intention of surrendering inasmuch as it is the people’s power protecting them. “This certainly is a more powerful weapons system at our disposal. These people are unarmed. However, the power that they hold to support us is much powerful than the hardware of Marcos’ command,” he said.

On the other hand, Agapito “Butz” Aquino, brother of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr., was at a party when he heard the news over Radio Veritas. He immediately rushed to Camp Aguinaldo. He saw the soldiers sweating on the stairway of the Ministry of National Defense. Minister Enrile was perspiring profusely when he asked him what he could do. “You could ask the people to come and support us,” Enrile answered. Butz grabbed a phone and he asked his friends, particularly the members of August Twenty One Movement (ATOM) to support the repormists. Through Radio Veritas, he went on the air and made his appeal. In about an hour, 10,000 strong marched from Isetann Department Store in Quezon City to Camp Aguinaldo while chanting, “Cory… Cory… Cory!” and jubilantly flashing the “Laban” (Fight) sign.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin of Manila also aired his message over Radio Veritas to all peace-loving Filipinos to keep vigil, pray at EDSA and to bring food to the soldiers at Camps Aguinaldo and Crame. He called on the three contemplative sisters in the metropolis — the Poor Claire Sisters, the Pink Sisters and the Carmelite Sisters. The cardinal bade them:

“Come out from your cells. Go immediately to the chapel and before the exposed Blessed Sacrament with outreached arms you have to pray and prostrate before God on the floor. And you should start fasting tonight, and you should not eat solid food until the time when I tell you, because we are in battle and you are the powerhouses. And the moment we do not win the battle, you will have to past until the end of your life.”

President Marcos claimed that he was in control of the situation — the AFP was solidly behind him and the rebellion had been successfully routed. The Chief Executive was his usual inscrutable self, albeit sad and tired. He said:

“… I have nothing but sadness for those who participated in the conspiracy, especially the Minister of Defense and the former Vice Chief of Staff. We did not know that they could rech this height of treason and rebellion. I would hope that this sadness of mine will impress them with the fact that we have no intention to hurt them. They should now realize that we are in complete control of the situation. As I have said, if there were to be any fighting, it would be a bloody mess, but it would mean possibly the liquidation of all the men who are now in that corner of Camp Aguinaldo.”

Before dawn on Day Two (Feb. 23), about 30 unidentified armed men came in ten cars and bombed and destroyed the transmitter of Radio Veritas worth 50 million pesos, forcing the management to switch to its standby transmitter, which was limited in range.

Prompted by their desire for pschological advantage, Enrile and Ramos reinforced their appeal to Marcos loyalist troops. Brig. Gen. Eduardo Ermita, Col. Honesto Isleta, and retired Col. Noe Andaya wrote an appeal to all officers and men of the AFP and the INP “to examine their conscience and be guided by their conviction.” As a result of which, wave of defectors followed the written appeal dropped by a Philippine Constabulary Bolkow helicopter. In Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, loyalists forces continued to thin down while rebel reformists continued to swell.

On Day Two at 3:00 p.m., about 1,650 strong Marine forces led by powerful column of ten 45-ton Landing Vehicle Tanks (LVTs), eight mini-cruiser jeeps and some land rovers were stopped at the corner of Ortigas Avenue and Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) by tens of thousands of people who formed a human barricade. Brig. Gen. Artemio Tadiar, Philippine Marines Commandant, threatened to shoot them if the blockade was not lifted, but the people that had risen to one million did not budge. Instead, they knelt in front of the tanks and prayed the Rosary. They tried to befriend the soldiers and asked them to join the rebellion as they offered them candies, flowers and cigarettes. People from all walks of life — nuns, priests, seminarians, students, laborers, peasants, etc. — were in the frontline praying and singing hymns of joy. They were begging for Tadiar to turn back. Finally, the battle-tested Marines withdrew without firing a single shot.

“I don’t want to hurt these people, I’m also a human like you,” Tadiar told Maj. Gen. Josephus Q. Ramas, Commanding General of the Philippine Army who was tasked by President Marcos and General Ver

On Day Three (Feb. 24) at 6:20 a.m., while Cardinal Sin was airing his appeal, five gunships of the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing under Col. Antonio Sotelo landed at the Camp Crame Parade Grounds. They were ordered to destroy Camp Crame but deemed it wise to defect to the rebel forces of Enrile and Ramos.

June Keithly aired over Radio Bandido that Marcos had fled the country and that he had seen in Guam. This development brought about cheering, weeping and dancing in the streets while people at Camps Crame and Aguinaldo were jubilant. General Ramos announced the birth of the “New Armed Forces of the Philippines” in front of thousands of people who went to the main gate of Camp Crame.

However, President Marcos suddenly appeared on PTV-4 and announced he would never leave the country. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian C. Ver asked his Commander-in-Chief to finish off the rebel forces, but the latter vehemently refused to do so.

“Sir, we are still in control of the situation. We are organized and ready to annihilate them, to destroy them. Just have us give the order!” Ver said.

“No, no… I told them not to use mortars or artillery…”

Brig. Gen. Antonio C. Palafox, Commanding General of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division, was insisting on President Marcos to allow them “to raze Camp Crame to the ground” with his artillery fires, but Marcos was adamant in dissuading Palafox.

“Pabayaan mo na lang sila, General. Matulog na lang kayo. Ayokong may mamamatay na kahit isa sa mga kababayan natin,” (Don’t bother anymore, General. Just go to sleep. I can’t afford to lose anyone of our countrymen), Marcos said.

“I’ve only one round of non-HE (High Explosive). If you want, Sir, ‘yon ang paputukin ko… (I’ll explode it…) just to scare the people!” retorted Palafox.

“Pabayaan mo na lang, General… Marami ‘kong nakikita sa telebisyon na pami-pamilya na may mga bata. Pag nag-stampede, maiipit ang mga iyon. Mamamatay sila. Kawawa naman.” (Don’t bother anymore, General… I can see several families with children on television. If there’s stampede, they will be crushed to death. Have mercy on them.”

Three rebel helicopter gunship led by Mdr. Charles Y. Hotchkiss attacked Villamor Air Base and destroyed loyalist helicopters on the ground. A helicopter gunship piloted by Capt. Wilfredo Evangelista fired six rockets at the Palace, causing minor damages.

At the end of the day, Enrile and Ramos had the allegiance of some 90% of the 250,000 strong AFP while Malacanang was left with only 5,000 troops comprising its internal security force.

On Day Four, Marcos refused to acknowledge defeat and rejected the proposal of US Pres. Ronald Reagan for a power sharing with Cory Aquino and the assurance that he would be welcome to come to the United States.

“The Philippines is my home and I want to stay and die here,” Marcos said.

The inauguration ceremony of Marcos in Malacanang was covered by Channels 2, 9 and 13 attended by only a few thousand loyalists screaming, “Martial Law! Martial Law! Marcos pa rin! (It’s still Marcos!” While he was taking his oath of office before Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino, he was suddenly cut off the air.

On the other hand, Cory Aquino took her oath of office at Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila before Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee. Her first significant act was the appointment of General Ramos as Chief of Staff of the New AFP.

Just to have a graceful exit, Marcos called Enrile and offered him power in a provisional government, but Enrile politely turned him down. FM called Sen. Paul Laxalt, a friend and confidant of President Reagan, and asked for advice:

Marcos: “Is President Reagan asking me step down?”
Laxalt: “President Reagan is not in a position to make that kind of demand.”
Marcos: “Senator, what do you think? Should I step down?”
Laxalt: “Mr. President, I’m not bound by diplomatic restraint. I’m talking only for myself. I think you should cut. And cut cleanly. The time has come.”

Marcos made a final call on Enrile asking for safe conduct pass for his family. After their conversation, the Marcoses packed hurriedly. At 7:00 p.m., two US helicopters touched down on the Malacanang Golf Course. The departing First Family boarded the first helicopter, and Ver and his sons the second.
Their destination: Hawaii!

(2) The Manila Hotel Takeover (July 1986)

Only four months in power, President Aquino experienced the first of the nine coups d’etat launched against her government. On July 6, 1986, at least 500 fully armed soldiers and some 5,000 civilian Marcos loyalists occupied Manila Hotel to proclaim former Sen. Arturo Tolentino as Acting President of the Philippines on behalf of the exiled Marcos.

Tolentino claimed that Enrile and his security officers knew of the coup plot a week before, after which he read the letter purportedly written by Marcos justifying the Manila Hotel takeover: “I hereby order that in view of the inadvertent unavoidable absence from the Philippines, I authorize Senator Arturo Tolentino to be the legitimate head of the country until such time that I return to the Philippines.”

The seat of government was caught unaware. President Aquino, General Ramos and PC/INP Chief Gen. de Villa were in Cagayan de Oro City (Southern Philippines), visiting military camps. Ramos immediately cut short his visit when he learned the incident from the AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Salvador M. Mison, while President Aquino deemed it wise to stay in Mindanao.

Upon her return to Manila, President Aquino announced to the Filipino people the failed propaganda gimmick of the Marcos loyalists. She immediately declared her 24-hour ultimatum coupled with stern warning:

“The law will not be violated with impunity. While moderation will remain the yardstick of our response, let me state now, however, that an incident like this will not be allowed to happen again. There will be close monitoring of die-hards and other similarly subversive activities from hereon.”

While several politicians and AFP/INP generals were busy conferring at the Quirino grandstand, fresh from Hawaii, former President Marcos disowned the letter attributed to him by Tolentino via press releases to Philippine media. He said, “I have nothing to do with that at all. The letter authorizing Tolentino to take over leadership was written a long time ago, just after I left the country.”

Indeed, it was a lost cause for the Manila Hotel mutineers. After Enrile and Ramos aired their support and loyalty to President Aquino, the rebels surrendered to Brig. Gen. Ramon Montano, Commander of the Capital Command (CAPCOM).

(3) “God Save the Queen” (November 1986)

“God Save the Queen” was bloodless, but came close to shooting in Camp Aguinaldo, three other military camps and the “Batasang Pambansa” (National Congress), with a Cabinet revamp as a result.
Government authorities unearthed a RAM-Marcos loyalists alliance. The movement of troops and opposition leaders were closely monitored. By 7 p.m. of Nov. 22, 1986, all gates in Camp Aguinaldo were sealed to prevent Colonel Honasan’s troops form escaping. All government forces in Camps Aguinaldo, Crame and Fort Bonifacio were placed on full alert. Before midnight, AFP troops were dispatched to several vital installations — communication centers, government buildings, water and electrical stations.

In a conference at Camp Aguinaldo, General Ramos confronted the officers of RAM-HF (Honasan Faction). He gave unequivocal warnings: they can leave camp but face the consequence of their actions; use the parade grounds as a landing field and risk being shot.

At 3 p.m. of Nov. 23, the reformist forces of Honasan went back to barracks after realizing the hopelessness of their cause.

President Aquino sacked Minister Enrile and appointed Deputy Minister Rafael Ileto as his replacement. She ordered all cabinet members to resign in grand attempt to “star all over again.” She likewise directed the forging of a ceasefire agreement with the CPP-NPA.

(4) GMA-7 Assault (January 1987)

Col. Oscar Canlas of the Philippine Air Force, an Intelligence Specialist of General Ver, led the assault on GMA-7 in Quezon City on Jan. 27, 1987 at 1:30 a.m. They were reinforced by three truckloads of rebel soldiers.

Some military officials and civilian leaders negotiated with the renegade Colonel, but refused to give in. As a result of which, General Ramos directed Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre, Capital Command (CAPCOM) Commander, to use teargas on the rebels.

After the rebel soldiers opted for nagotiations, they finally agreed to lay down their arms on Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. Colonel Canlas was detained at the Intelligence Service AFP (ISAFP).

The following day, General Ramos ordered the arrest of four Marcos loyalists responsible for the three-day siege of GMA-7: Zumel, Abadilla, Cabauatan and Baquiran.

(5) “Black Saturday Incident” (April 1987)

On April 18, 1987 at about 4:00 a.m., 13 enlisted personnel, all members of the Guardians Brotherhood led by TSgt. Ernesto Librado, forced their entry through Fort Bonifacio and drove straight to the 202 Military Police Company stockade to free the 108 detained military men, most of whom participated in the Jan. 27, 1987 coup attempt. They raided an armory and barricaded themselves inside Headquarters Philippine Army building in Fort Bonifacio, Makati.

The “Black Saturday Incident” lasted 20 hours before the rebels agreed to surrender leaving one rebel dead and seven wounded. There were 45 mutineers who surrendered while 10 reportedly escaped.

(6) MIA Takeover Plot (July 1987)

The Manila International Airport (MIA) Takeover Plot was pre-empted, bloodless, engineered by pro-Marcos politicians and foreigners involving the airlifting from abroad of vast amount of weapons and ammunition good for three months operations.

President Marcos was implicated in a taped conversation with Robert Chastain, a French businessman, and American Atty. Richard Hirschfeld, a former Marcos lawyer. These foreigners were reportedly acting as middlemen in the sale of arms to Marcos.

The taped conversation secretly recorded by Hirschfeld revealed that Marcos wanted to buy war materiel “from a European country” which will be used in the invasion of the Philippines. The weapons and war materiel to be procured were some 1,000 armalite rifles, ammunition good for three months, 90 mm. recoilless rifles, 100 .50 caliber machine guns, 100 grenade launchers, armored personnel carriers, Stinger air-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles, laser-sighting tanks, Blowpipe anti-tank equipment, helicopter gunships, and other weapons.

Per the former President’s plan, hewould launch an invasion of his own country from Tonga as staging point, where the King was his personal friend. He would use Hong Kong as the transhipment point for the arms to be used in the operations which was scheduled for the end of June, but was changed to mid-July.

The US Department and the State Department took cognizance of the exposed invasion plot. On July 9, 1987, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asean and Pacific Affairs heard the Marcos tapes along with the testimonies of Hirschfeld and Chastain, and thus prompted the State Department to place Marcos under severe travel restrictions. They barred the former President from leaving Oahu Island in Hawaii where he lived in exile.

The second plot code-named “Oplan Inang Bayan” was to be hatched on July 13, 1987. But the coup plot was leaked out by an implicated Army Major who revealed that the plan had two stages. The first stage, Luisita I was an assault on the Manila International Airport (MIA) and the holding of foreign hostages. The second stage, Luisita II, involved an offensive action against Villamor Air Base by helicopter gunships to disable all military aircraft.

CAPCOM Commander Brig. Gen. Alexander Aguirre said that the coup had the financial backing of a right-wing group of politicians and civilians identified with the deposed President.

(7) August 1987 Coup Attempt

More than 2,000 officers and men spearheaded by Colonel Honasan and the RAM forces simultaneously attacked various military and civilian objectives around the country in a coup attempt against the Aquino administration.

Major armed clashes between the government and rebel forces erupted in eight major areas: Malacanang, Camp Aguinaldo, Villamor Air Base, PTV-4/Camelot Hotel, Broadcast City, Regional Command (RECOM) 3 (Camp Olivas), RECOM 7, (Cebu), and Legaspi Airport. Rebel forces effectively controlled seven of these areas.

Eight critical hours after the first rebel assault on Camp Aguinaldo were lost before they could determine the loyalty of the troops, General Ramos organized the AFP-Wide Composite Counterattack Force composed of the following: Philippine Marine Task Force, PA Counter-Terrorist (PACT) Battalion, PC CAPCOM Combat Group, Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), PC Special Action Force (SAF), and PAF 15th Strike Wing.

CAPCOM forces were deployed at all possible approaches to Malacanang Palace. They intercepted some 20 rebel soldiers coming from Aguila and J. P. Laurel Streets. A second batch of rebels fired at the car of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, bachelor son of President Aquino, wounding him and killing five members of the Presidential Security Guards (PSG).

The other unforgettable incident concerns Col. Vicente S. Santos, Jr. He was then the Chief of Value Information Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, J-7, AFP.

At that time, Lt. Col. Santos was attending to three very important duties: as a soldier, as a father and as a “mother” to his six young children (five boys and one girl) aged 3, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. His wife was in the US working with his father.

To take good care of his children, he brought them to stay at the OJ7 Annex building, a 100 meters away from the AFP General Headquarters building where he was posted.

Tension escalated at the GHQ. Sleeplessness, missing meals, tiredness from the day and night duties and looking after his children, Vic’s body and spirit succumbed to sickness. His children, however young they were, always reminded him to take his medicine regularly.

When a signal for rebel soldiers was announced to attack, the target of all heavy weapons of different make, including incendiary rounds, were directed at OJ7 troopers in the GHQ building. Its first floor was literally a burning inferno.

Smell of blood, stench of sickness, smog of gunpowder, fumes of explosive materials, unbearable smoke and heat of raging flames engulfing the entire first flloor of the GHQ building and stress suffocated Vic at the height of gunshot exchange between government soldiers and rebel troops.

While Vic’s spirit was still actively working for his sworn duties as a government soldier and as a father of six young children, he felt his body could not help it but slowly giving up everything at the moment. He could not see the point and understand the logic why Filipino soldiers should fight against each other.

“Useless,” he muttered as the word flashed in his mind. Then everything blanked out.

Vic didn’t know how he was rushed by a whining ambulance with other victims like him to the AFP Medical Center. He didn’t even know what already happened to his children.

Vic might have been thinking during the remaining last lucid moments of his consciousness that Filipinos fighting among themselves could only mean a PYRRHIC VICTORY — no winner, so costly as to be equal to defeat.

The bloody end of the 28 August Coup Attempt left some 53 people dead and more than 200 wounded, many of them civilian bystanders. Twelve rebel forces and 524 enlisted men surrendered, and 268 assorted firearms were confiscated. At about 11:30 p.m., General Ramos announced that Camp Aguinaldo had already been cleared, hence, no more threat to the Republic.

“DEMOKRASYA AT KUDETA” (DEMOCRACY AND COUP
D’ETAT), Volume 2

(1) December 1989 Coup

Introduction for Volume 2 is also by Professor Dizon titled “Sukatan ng Pagkamatatag ng Isang Bansa” (The Bases of a Nation’s Stability). It consisted of three major components: stabilized political, economic and social conditions.

The Preface is by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr. He said that history, culture and language are closely linked with each other. They are parts of a nation’s heritage which have their own value for contributing to the welfare, development and program of one’s country and people.

In the early hours of Dec. 1, 1989, almost 3,000 rebel forces led by seven generals, 21 full colonels and 441 other officers simultaneously attacked and occupied Villamor Air Base, Fort Bonifacio, Camp Aguinaldo, PTV-4, North and South Harbors, Sangley Point and Mactan Air Base in Cebu. The rebels briefly occupied the Manila Domestic Airport, Legaspi and Bacolod Airports with the intent of flying in reinforements. By daybreak, rebel T-28 Tora-Tora planes strafed and bombed Malacanang Palace and Camp Crame.

The rebel Marine forces left Villamor Air Base to capture Camp Aguinaldo, but they failed to penetrate the camp’s defenses. The battered Marine mutineers were forced to surrender on Dec. 3. At 2:00 p.m., both DND Secretary Ramos and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Renato S. De Villa declared victory.

Meanwhile, the rebellious Scout Rangers abandoned their strongholds in Fort Bonifacio and sought refuge at the Makati Commercial District. The negotiations made by Brig. Gen. Arturo T. Enrile, PMA Superintendent, ended the “Makati Siege” and the rebels marched back to their barracks at Fort Bonfacio.

The book dramatizes the firm and dramatic stand of Brig. Gen. Jose B. Comendador in the “Siege of Mactan.” Comendador was the Commander of PAF’s Second Air Division in Mactan Air Base when he denied use of air power to both opposing forces and stood by that decision to the end. Blind obedience to dispatch the four F-5s to hit rebel positions in Camp Aguinaldo, Villamor Air Base and Sangley Point direct from the top military hierachy would have killed a lot of people and hence, history would have been different. It can be recalled that during the “EDSA Revolt of 1986,” Comendador similarly denied instructions from AFP authorities to immediately dispatch the four Tora-Toras fully armed, level Camp Crame headquarters, destroy all helicopters and the PTV-4 antenna.

(2) Takeover of Cagayan Province (4-5 March 1990)

Brig. Gen. Oscar Florendo, Commander of the AFP’s Civil Relations Service (CRS), died during the uprising. The bloody takeover was headed by the suspended Governor of Cagayan, former Philippine Constabulary Lt. Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo, who had organized his own private army. DILG Sec. Luis Santos issued the 30-day suspension order of Aguinaldo who was charged with rebellion, murder and frustrated murder in connection with the nine-day December 1989 coup.

Florendo was in Cagayan to negotiate for peace and serve the arrest order of Aguinaldo who defied duly constituted authority. The general was held hostage and though unarmed was killed by an unknown assailant.

(3) Federal Republic of Mindanao (4-6 October 1991)

Almost a year after the bloodiest cout attempt, the rebel leaders led by Col. Alexander Noble, staged their last strategy called “Enclave Concept” designed to launch an uprising in army camps throughout the country to force government troops to spread out in order to quell the rebellion in Northern Mindanao leaving Manila vulnerable for them to capture.
The “Enclave Concept” was nipped-in-the-bud and failed due to the lack of support from the AFP, other RAM leaders and the Filipino people.

***

The cover design and layout of the first and second volumes of “Demokrasya at Kudeta” (Democracy and Coup D’Etat) were the handiwork of Melanie A. Soriano of GJMCV Publishing Enterprises; photo cover of Volume 2 was courtesy of MSgt. Tomasito T. Puli of the Civil Affairs Group, Philippine Army.
The first and second volumes of the book were published by Booklore Publishing Corporation & GJMCV Publishing Enterprises and printed by Central Books.

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Mar
17

Gaudencio L. San Juan was born in Julo, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on Aug. 30, 1944. He is a farmer, youth leader, poet, writer, historian, movie critic, propagandist, nationalist, layman and soldier — all these embodied into one unique and fascinating person.

Retired Colonel San Juan has been gifted with the tongue of the poet hero Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar at an early age, making him the toast in both formal and informal occasions to later become the “Balagtasan” (poetical debate) mainstay in DWWW RPN Radio (1994-86) and DZXO Vanguard Network (1974-77). Likewise, he was endowed with a pen, in not so a small measure, of the propagandist hero Marcelo H. del Pilar for his countless short stories, poems, dramas, essays and some novels focusing on the psycho-socio-cultural values of the Filipino thereby accrediting him as a versatile writer of the sought-after Filipino magazine, “Liwayway,” as well as, “Pilipino Reporter.” Complimentarily, he contributed to the military leadership and training of the youth by authoring four volumes of the ROTC Manual (1988-94), the first book for the ROTC Program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Being a historian, he initiated well-meaning contributions for the sake of Philippine Army History — Updating Army history books and publications, and enhancing Army historical awareness by reviving the “Philippine Institute for Military History, Inc..” as well as “Philippine Association of Military Historians” (1982-84).

With a nationalistic passion for the Filipino language to be recognized internationally, he was awarded twice the “Gawad ng Pagkilala” (Plaque of Recognition) by the “Surian ng Wikang Pambansa” (Institute of National Language) and “Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino” (Commission on Filipino Language) of the Office of the President of the Philippines. Included in such a monumental stand, was his having been a co-founder and hitherto pillar of the “Kapatiran ng mga Kawal na Makawikang Pilipino” (Association of Soldier Writers in Filipino) (1974-2007), six-termer president of the government’s “Sanggunian ng Wika” (1988-95), and member of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas” (Union of Writers in the Philippines), and Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS).

Colonel San Juan is also a spiritually-oriented man. He has been a pillar of the Knights of Columbus, being its District Marshall for the National Capital Region (1993-95), District Warden of District M-59 (1993-94), and Grand Knight of Council 8922. both in Makati City. Likewise, he was figured prominently as an outstanding leader of other professional, religious, civic, and non-governmental organizations, namely: Jesus of Nazareth Apostolic Foundation; Confederation of Cursillo Movements in Makati City; Holy Name Society; Cabanatuan City (Nueva Ecija) Diocesan Eucharistic Ministers; Marriage Encounter Philippines; Kiwanis Club; National “ROTC” Alumni Association (NARAA), Inc.; Confederation of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Public Safety (PHILCONGOS); Crusade for Better Philippines, Inc; Provincial Association of Government Communicators of Jolo, Sulu; MBC-DZRH Operation Tulong;, Public Relations Organization of the Philippines (PROP), etc.

As former commander of the Philippine Army’s Pschological Operations Group (1993-95), he was plunged into the more complex and ramified component of the military rather than its conventional and unconventional tactics, aimed at the more difficult mission of “winning the heart, mind and soul” of the Filipinos for a better Philippines and genuine independence. He had to be a consummate operator dealing on the politico-psycho-socio-cultural, as well as civilian-military operations component. Hence, he found himself interloping and mingling as a participant, observer and/or catalyst during the unprecedented era in Philippine History covering the period from the “1986 People Power Revolution” to the “2003 Oakwook Mutiny.”

Colonel San Juan was a recipient of 60 military medals and campaign ribbons, and 85 various certificates of recognition/appreciation from the civil government and private sector.

The author took up Bachelor of Science in Education and Advance ROTC Course at the Philippine Wesleyan College in 1967, Master of Arts in Education at the University of the East in 1984, as well as, Public Affairs Course (Broadcast & Print Media Management) at the Defense Information School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, USA in 1986.