IN COMPARING our Edsa I to the people power uprisings in the Middle East, Amando Doronila (?Tolstoy?s happy families and people power revolts,? Inquirer, 2/28/11) and Conrado de Quiros (?The power and the glory,? 2/28/11) attribute our success to the courage of the people on the streets, while former President Fidel V. Ramos attributes it to the split military. They are all only partly right. But they neglect, whether deliberately or unwittingly, to give credit to the loyalist soldiers, Marines General Artemio Tadiar and Col. Braulio Balbas who were given the kill-order.
Yes, Ferdinand Marcos did give the order to shoot even if he denied it on television in that exchange with his loyalist Armed Forces chief of staff, Fabian Ver, which was purely a zarzuela. Tadiar on Day 2 at Ortigas was ordered to plow through the crowd, never mind if civilians got hurt, but he did not. Balbas on Day 3 was ordered to bomb Camp Crame from Aguinaldo, never mind if it was full of civilians, and he did not. (?How revolt was won...? by Alexander Aguirre in the Feb. 25, 2011 issue of the Inquirer)
They are the unsung heroes of Edsa I. They were infinitely more heroic, even if they did not defect, than the soldiers who defected and then hid behind the skirts of nuns and other civilians.