ObserverThe 1986 capitulation national unrest historically remembered as People Power EDSA revolution of August 25 actually sparked with the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. in Aug. 21, 1983. From that time on, we saw that the pangs of Martial Law began to lose its chilling effect on people’s behavior. Daily demonstrations became part of the life of the nation. Marcos gave orders to his generals to break up the mass of humanity who voluntarily joined the mass protest against his dictatorial rule. They ranged from 300,000 to 400,000 angry people at EDSA chanting “Tama na! Sobra na! Alis Na!
But Metropolitan Commander Maj. General Prospero Olivas said he could not. Armored vehicles appeared immobilized and could not plough through the crowd, being stopped literally with but their bare palms of people and noticeably nuns of various orders.
At the Office of Media Affairs then, I was the provincial information chief of Maasin, So. Leyte. Like the many who know we were the information (propaganda?) arm of Dictator Marcos government. During that week of Feb. 22-25 I was advised to stay at our regional office in Tacloban city.
All the while, in spite of the news on massive build up of people at EDSA, I had a very strong confidence in the President; they called Dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. I was a loyalist to the core. I never entertained any possibility of his ouster. He was strong, intelligent and visionary.
I believed in his battle cry that this nation can be great again!
The shattering news of Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, Fidel Valdez Ramos, PC/INP head and other generals who declared their withdrawal of support to Marcos, came shaking fears in my spines.
From there I began to worry. All my 6 children were still in school. I did not have other income but from my salary in government.
Even when Marcos, his family to include close cronies were finally driven out of the country, we simply reported to office almost doing nothing. At that time OMA/National Media Production Center (NMPC)and all other propaganda outlets during the Marcos era were abolished.
OMA’s function got resurrected with Cory Aquino Proclamation that of creating a new office now, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in December 24, 1986, 9 months after the restoration of Democracy.
Incumbent employees of OMA had to apply like new recruits seeking government posts. Others resigned or retired. I re-applied! And the rest is history.