FACT CHECK: Youtuber’s claim that Marcos Sr. is the ‘true hero’ of 1986 EDSA People Power misleads audiences

Feb. 13, 2023

CLAIM: A four-minute video uploaded on a YouTube channel claimed the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was the “true hero” of the 1986 EDSA People Power. 

YouTuber Kaloy Roy of “Bagong Lipunan” said due to Marcos’s “love” for the Filipinos, the EDSA People Power became bloodless. 

His video featured a clip of Dr. Amalia Rosales in a 2017 documentary made for Marcos and a PTV clip of Marcos ordering Gen. Fabian Ver, then chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to “disperse the crowd without shooting them”.

RATING: Misleading


The late Marcos Sr., who ruled the country from 1965 to 1986, declared martial law in 1972. During the Martial Law era, rights watchdog Amnesty International documented human rights violations which “showed a pattern of widespread arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, killings, and torture of people that were critical of the government or perceived as political opponents”.

Amnesty International said from 1972 to 1981, there were 3,257 political killings. Some 70,000 people were also incarcerated while thousands were tortured.

The Marcos family and their allies plundered billions of dollars from State coffers while the country’s debt ballooned, and millions of Filipinos lived in extreme poverty.

In February 1986, Filipinos marched along the streets of EDSA in Metro Manila to protest the results of the snap elections, where the late dictator was declared the winner despite electoral fraud. 

More people flocked to the streets and converged at Camps Aguinaldo and Crame to shield former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and then Armed Forces vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos along with other sympathetic troops after a botched coup attempt. The two publicly announced their withdrawal of support from Marcos.

Reports stated that Marcos Sr. was determined to crush the mutiny by force. He dispatched heavy armored vehicles to disperse the crowds around the two military camps.

By then, more government and military officials joined the side of rebel soldiers. Even the US government urged Marcos to step down. Pres. Ronald Reagan had threatened Marcos with halting U.S. military and economic aid.

The corrupt and violent rule of Marcos Sr. for two decades was finally stopped through the unity of the people now called EDSA People Power. 

Davao Today is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, email info@factsfirst.ph.

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