'Cory stopped US from taking Marcos to Ilocos'

'Cory stopped US from taking Marcos to Ilocos'

 


Its depiction in the movie "Maid in Malacañang" — the first ever big-screen film not complying with the Yellow-created narratives and portraying Marcos as not the bloody dictator they depicted him — which has thrown the Yellows into a paroxysm of protest.

The first account validating the movie's assertion is the report dated May 1986 by a subcommittee of the US 99th Congress armed services committee, titled "Investigation of the costs involved in moving former President Marcos an his party from Manila to Hawaii."

In the anti-Marcos frenzy whipped up the US State Department at that time and as a way of throwing water on US President Ronald Reagan's much-praised last-minute decision to give the final shove for Marcos' fall, Democrats in the US Congress claimed that the US military had no authority to house, feed and provide other services to the Marcos party when they were in Guam and Hawaii. This numbered 120 and included not only Marcos and his family but the families of General Fabian Ver, the Eduardo Cojuangco family as well as their security guards, household staff and two doctors.

(photo credit to owner)

 

The US Congress' armed services committee undertook an investigation of the episode and counted a total of $770,000 as the cost of moving Marcos from Manila to Hawaii. This included the salaries of all personnel, even the pilots and security personnel involved in the evacuation. The committee claimed that the US Air Force did not have authority under its budget for this operation, and ordered it to ask reimbursement from the State Department, the Office of the US President, and from Marcos himself for the food his party ate, toiletries used and the barracks they were housed in.

 

Certainly a sad commentary on the US Congress' treatment of a Philippine president who had been America's staunch ally in Southeast Asia. (Indeed, now President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in an interview a few years back said that the only documentation for their status in Hawaii was a small piece of paper signed by an unnamed State Department official that declared that they were guests of the State Department. "Having only that piece of paper, we couldn't work, we couldn't study," he said.)

Documented

However, we're fortunate the US Congress has documented for historians whether or not Cory did stop the Americans from taking Marcos to Ilocos Norte.

Page 6 of the report, which was based on the testimonies of the US civilian and military officials involved in Marcos' removal, narrates:

"Brigadier General Teddy Allen (the officer in charge of the evacuation of Marcos) was directed by Ambassador Bosworth to evacuate President Marcos and his party from Malacañang Palace to an undetermined location. General Allen's mission was to transport President Marcos and his party to wherever they wanted to go, secure their safe passage, and have them treated with the dignity and respect provided a head of state.

"The initial plan was to evacuate President Marcos and his party to Clark Air Force Base and then fly to his northern home province of Ilocos Norte ... The party was evacuated to Clark Air Force Base in two ways: 52 people, including the President and his wife, were taken by helicopter while 70 other people left the Palace by boat and then traveled overland to the air base.

 

Laoag airport

 

"The party arrived at Clark after sunset, making it impossible to leave for the Laoag airport in Ilocos Norte because that airport did not have runway lights. The plan was to leave for Laoag at 10:00 the next morning, February 26th. However, after the party arrived at Clark Air Base, the new president, Corazon Aquino, advised (US Ambassador to Manila) Bosworth that she wanted former President Marcos out of the Philippines. (Emphasis mine).

"Soon thereafter, General Allen, talked to Admiral William J. Crowe, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and requested permission to move the party to Guam. Admiral Crow agreed and informed officials at Guam to prepare to receive the party and to provide tight security."

(No reason was given in the report why the Marcos party was first moved to Guam, although a reasonable explanation was that the Americans scrambled to remove Marcos as soon as possible to the nearest US territory which would be in compliance with Cory's wish to get him "out of the Philippines." Guam is just 2,600 kilometers from Clark Airbase. Hawaii was three times farther, 8,800 km away.)

The US Air Force brought the Marcos party to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Wednesday February 26. Ten hours later they were transported to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii arriving there officially also on February 26, since they crossed the international date line and gained 24 hours. Marcos and his party would leave Hickam Air Force Base March 24, 1986.

 

Immediately

A second account testifying to the fact that Aquino asked the Americans to take Marcos out of the Philippines immediately is in an article in the summer 1986 edition of the conservative Policy Review magazine.The revealing article was written by Sen. Paul Laxalt, President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Marcos in those fateful days leading to his evacuation. It was Laxalt who gave Marocs the final "shove" with his now famous (or infamous) admonition to the Philippine president "Cut and cut cleanly" a phrase headlined in many Western papers.

That phrase obviously is given a new, better light in that Marcos shanghaiing to Hawaii, out of the Philippines, was certainly "cutting cleanly."

In his article entitled "My Conversations with Ferdinand Marcos," Laxalt narrated:

"We have talked a few times since Marcos came to Hawaii. His position is that he is still the president of the Philippines and that he left the country temporarily to avoid bloodshed. It's important, too, that he didn't believe he was going to have to leave the country, when he agreed to leave the presidential palace. He thought he was going home to northern Luzon. Otherwise, he told me, 'I would never have taken all that currency out of there, That was in violation of our law. I thought I was going home.'

 

Negotiations

"Apparently, negotiations to permit the Marcoses to go home were still under way when their entourage was flown by helicopter into Clark Airbase from the presidential palace. But I understand Mrs. Aquino and more particularly General Ramos feared he would be a very bad force if he stayed in the Philippines and so the Marcoses were flown to Guam."

Astonishingly, or maybe stupidly, a Twitter account believed to be that of Kris Aquino (KrisAquinoWorld) claimed that it was fake news that Cory blocked Marcos' evacuation to Ilocos, based on the testimony of former Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma, published in the book People Power: An Eyewitness to History.

However, Palma's account confirms the two above-discussed narratives.

"On Tuesday evening, I was with Cory in the house of her sister Josephine Reyes. There Cory received the phone call from Ambassador Bosworth, telling her that Marcos was ready to leave but was asking to stay for at least two days in Paoay, his home in the north.

"Cory's initial reaction was: 'Poor man, let us give him two days.' But we did not agree with that idea. We thought that given the chance, Marcos may regroup and extend his stay indefinitely.

"Cory then called Ambassador Bosworth to say she could not grant the request. Marcos should just leave the country. (Emphasis mine.)"

 

Veritas

And lastly, here's another account of the same event — reported by Cory herself, in a candid interview with Radio Veritas on Feb. 21,1988:

"Ambassador Bosworth called me. He said that the Marcoses would be leaving and they would be flown to Clark, When they reached Clark, Ambassador Bosworth again called me and said, 'Will it be possible for the Marcoses to stay overnight in Clark? He is asking if he can fly to Ilocos Norte.' I said: 'No, he can rest in Clark, but he has to leave first thing in the morning.' And so that was the agreement, and was why Marcos and his family flew the next day to Honolulu."

For all the purported glory of the People Power uprising, it involved America's shanghaiing of a Philippine president to the US, against his will, requested by a vengeful widow whom the Americans shepherded to power. How can we be proud of that, to even celebrate it every year?

 

*****



Quoted fully from Mr. Rigoberto Tiglao’s column

The Manila Times

July 25, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

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