MULTIMEDIA

EDSA Personalities: Then and now

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2016 02:32 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2018 02:34 PM

The EDSA People Power Revolution shook the not only the Philippines but sent ripples throughout the world 30 years ago when Filipinos from various sectors of society banded together to oust dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Here are some of the key personalities during that tumultuous period who are still making headlines today.

 

JOSE MA. SISON

THEN
Although the Philippine Left did not participate in the February 1986 elections and the EDSA People Power revolution, the growing Communist insurgency helped put pressure on the Marcos regime.

Jose Ma. Sison, head of the leftist movement at that time, was one of thousands of political prisoners who were freed after the EDSA revolt. He would later leave the country and seek political exile in the Netherlands.

NOW
Thirty years later, Sison is still in exile while peace talks with the National Democratic Front remain stalled.

 

GREGORIO HONASAN

THEN
Then Lt. Col. Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan was one of the "EDSA heroes" and leaders of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) which broke away from the Marcos dictatorship. He also joined 2 failed coup attempts (August 1987, December 1989) against the Aquino administration he helped install. He and his group reached a peace agreement with the Ramos administration and became senator in 1995, re-elected in 2001 and again in 2007.

NOW
Today, he is an incumbent senator running for vice-president with Vice-President Jojo Binay under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). In August 2015, he was charged with malversation, bribery, and graft before the Office of the Ombudsman for funneling portions of his Priority Development Assistance Fund to "ghost "projects" of pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles.

 

JUAN PONCE ENRILE

THEN
As former President Marcos became increasingly isolated after the Aquino assassination in August 1983, then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile gave support to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) and joined his men in withdrawing support for Marcos on February 22, 1986. Many took this as his "act of contrition" for his acts as defense minister during the dictatorship. He has been elected to the Senate four times.

NOW
In June 2014, Enrile was indicted and detained at the PNP Hospital starting July 4, 2014 for plunder for allegedly receiving P172 million kickbacks from the pork barrel scam. Over a year later in August 2015, the Supreme Court, voting 8-4, ordered the Sandiganbayan to allow Enrile to post a P1-million bail. Enrile, now 92, says he will retire from politics when his term ends in 2016.

 

BENIGNO 'NOYNOY' AQUINO III

THEN
After his mother former President Corazon Aquino died of cancer on August 1, 2009, then Senator Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III was thrust into the political limelight following an outpouring of sympathy for his mother amid outrage over alleged corruption during the Arroyo administration. He would go on to convincingly win the 2010 presidential elections with a 41% plurality.

NOW
Compared to his predecessors post-1986 (including his mother), PNoy has kept a relatively high public satisfaction rating toward the end of his term due partly to his still relatively clean image. He has picked former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas as the successor of his Daang Matuwid program and says he's looking forward to his life as a private citizen beginning on June 30, 2016.

 

FERDINAND 'BONGBONG' MARCOS, JR.

THEN
In February 1986, the young Bongbong Marcos was a young governor of Ilocos Norte during the EDSA revolution. After he returned from exile in 1992, he continue to serve his province as congressman and governor. In 2010, he won a seat in the Philippine Senate, placing 7th.

NOW
Thirty years after EDSA, he is making a bid for the 2nd highest position in the country with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago as his running mate.

 

FIDEL RAMOS

THEN
Fidel V. Ramos was the Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief-of-Staff General Fidel Ramos when he joined Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile in withdrawing support from the Marcos regime. Partly for his loyal defense of the Cory Aquino administration against at least 7 failed coup attempts, then President Cory chose him as his successor in the 1992 elections.

NOW
Ramos went on to win the presidential elections by a slim margin over Miriam Defensor Santiago. Under the Ramos government, the power shortage was addressed and political stability was attained. Ramos signed peace agreements with the military rebels and the Moro National Liberation Front, and pushed the peace effort with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front. He is now considered a statesman and continues to push his advocacy for a peaceful and progressive Philippines.

 

IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS

THEN
Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos and her husband were ousted from office due to corruption and human rights abuses. Mrs. Marcos was Metro Manila governor and minister of human settlements during the Marcos regime. She and President Marcos and their cronies are said to have stolen around P5-P10 billion in ill-gotten wealth. The PCGG says it has recovered at least P170 billion from the Marcoses and their cronies.

NOW
After she returned from exile, in 1991, she was arrested for tax fraud and corruption and posted bail. She unsuccessfully ran for president in 1992. She has been convicted by the Supreme Court for graft but the ruling was later reversed on appeal. She has served in the House of Representatives as congressman of Leyte and Ilocos Norte.

 

KRIS AQUINO

THEN
Kris Aquino was no stranger to the public. At the young age of seven, she campaigned for her dad Ninoy who was running for a Senate seat while in jail. Kris spoke at nightly sorties, begging people for help in his dad's release from jail.

Fast-forward to 1986, three years after Ninoy Aquino was assassinated, Kris remained a public figure. Then a teenager, she accompanied her mother inside a convent while people were starting to flock the streets for what will eventually be known as the EDSA People Power.

NOW
Kris is now one of the most recognizable personalities in Philippine showbiz. She has earned accolades, such as box-office queen, top taxpayer, and celebrity with most number of endorsements. Though not in politics, Kris wields influence as powerful, if not more powerful, than her brother Noynoy. Every move she makes does not escape the inquisitive eye of the public. A lot may have changed about Kris, but one thing remained constant, she is still as relatable as she was when she was seven.