People Power

Document Type


Publication Date



In an unexpected press conference in Camp Aguinaldo at around 6:30 p.m. on February 22, 1986, Philippine Vice Chief of Staff General Ramos and Defense Minister Enrile announced their withdrawal of support for strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the midst of political instabilities following nearly 14 years of dictatorship, countless political killings and human rights violations, the assassination of leading opposition senator Ninoy Aquino, and a recent election marred by massive fraud and violence. By 9:00 p.m., Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, went on radio, asking the Filipino people to support “our two good friends.” The popular archbishop made subsequent calls on radio, summoning people to fill the streets precisely to avoid bloodshed. By 10:20 p.m., Butz Aquino, leading social activist, called on all concerned citizens and political groups to gather in front of Camp Aguinaldo, along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Through the first night, the number of people on the street had quickly risen to 30,000. This was the start of the Philippine People Power revolution, or what is now locally referred to as the EDSA revolution.