Happened upon this on social media:
“To all those who demonstrated at EDSA, they should be grateful because Marcos refused to shoot at them at great expense to himself and his family. He willingly went to exile, which in itself is a terrible form of “punishment” and made sure that they lived. – Victoria D. Ferro”
This is not true.
Marcos and the military who were in charge (or who thought they were in charge) of the soldiers on the ground were at Malacañang Palace. Across the four days of EDSA1986, Malacañang ordered soldiers to ram through the crowds and fire at Crame, even ordering a full attack and to fire howitzers and mortars.
The soldiers were the ones who did not follow orders from Marcos (and Ver and Ramas). The soldiers on the ground were the ones who refused to shoot at the people.
EDSA / ORTIGAS ► The people watched tensely. The convoy of tanks slowed down as they approached the barricades. Mr & Ms 21 Mar
► The crowds outside the rebel camps had grown from 500 at dawn to over 500,000 by mid-afternoon. Veritas Special Oct 86
► The Marines decided to bypass the human sea, turned right before reaching Ortigas, and crashed through a cement wall into a vacant lot aiming to exit at a portion of Ortigas, but the exit was again blocked by onrushing masses of people. BREAKAWAY p. 60
► Tadiar radioed Gen. Ramas for instructions. Ramas: “Ram through! Ram through the crowds, regardless of casualties!” Veritas Special Oct 86
► The tanks did not move. The soldiers alighted from the tanks, their chests bemedalled with strings of bullets. The people, some in tears, held their rosaries tightly. The soldiers, in their rubber shoes, stood straight, their M-16 rifles held at attention.
“I intend to enforce the law and I have enough power under the Constitution.” Business Day 24 Feb.
CAMP CRAME ► Over transistor radios, Marcos was heard vowing, “We’ll wipe them out. It is obvious they are committing rebellion.” Time Magazine 10 Mar.
MALACAÑANG PALACE ► Tadiar met with Gen. Ver who told him that Marcos indeed approved the fire order.
Tadiar picked up the phone to Balbas in Camp Aguinaldo. “I think the order of Ramas has been cleared. So you may fire.”
“Sir, if I may,” said Balbas, “the people have been let inside Crame already and we will be hurting a lot of civilians.”
Tadiar paused. “Then hold your fire and use your discretion.” Veritas Special Oct 86
CAMP AGUINALDO ► Balbas got a “frantic call” from Col. Irwin Ver, Commander of the Palace Guard, ordering a “full attack” on the rebels. Lying boldly, Ver said the Palace was hit and they suffered 10 casualties. Veritas Special Oct 86
► This was followed by a call from Tadiar asking if Balbas had fired as ordered.
Balbas replied, “Sir, there is danger that there would be an unacceptable number of civilian casualties.” BREAKAWAY p. 83
CAMP AGUINALDO ► Another order came from Ramas to fire the howitzers and mortars at Crame. Balbas came back with a familiar tune. “Sir, we are looking for maps and positioning the cannons and mortars.”
Ramas told Balbas, “General Oropesa is going there by helicopter to supervise the operation.”BREAKAWAY p. 8