1986–1990 Philippine coup attempts
|Attempts at regime change in the Philippines (1970–2007)|
|Civil unrest (1970)|
|People Power (1986)|
|Honasan's Second (1989)|
|Fall of Estrada (2001)|
|May 1 riots (2001)|
|Oakwood mutiny (2003)|
|State of emergency (2006)|
|Manila Peninsula rebellion (2007)|
||This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2008)|
From 1986 to 1987, there were six plots to overthrow the government of Philippine President Corazon Aquino involving various members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. A significant number of the military participants in these attempts belonged to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), while others were identified loyalists to former President Ferdinand Marcos, who had been deposed in February 1986. Two of the attempts — the November 1986 "God Save the Queen" plot and the July 1987 plot — were uncovered and quashed by authorities before they could be operationalized. Save for the August 1987 coup attempts, which left 53 people dead, the other plots were repelled with minimal or no violence.
An even more serious coup attempt would be staged against the Aquino government in December 1989. Following the failure of that coup, President Aquino established a Fact-Finding Commission headed by then-COMELEC Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr. to investigate and provide a full report on the series of coup attempts against her government. The report would become known as the Davide Commission Report.
July 1986 Manila Hotel plot 
The first occurred on July 6, 1986, when some 490 armed soldiers and 15,000 civilians loyal to Ferdinand Marcos occupied the Manila Hotel for 37 hours. At the Manila Hotel, Marcos's vice-presidential running-mate Arturo Tolentino announced that Marcos had authorized him to temporarily take over the government, took his oath as "acting President", and designated a cabinet. The public remained generally unaffected by this incident, and it ended without violence by July 8.
November 1986 "God Save the Queen" plot 
A more serious plot unfolded a few months later with the so-called "God Save the Queen Plot", which the Davide Commission concluded was actively participated in by Defense Secretary Enrile and members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM). The plot, scheduled for November 11, 1986, was discovered by the Aquino government several days in advance and was deliberately leaked to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, thus thwarting the plan. The government then learnt that the plot was rescheduled for November 22, 1986. On November 22, the military was placed on red alert and the rebel troops were blockaded, leading them to return to barracks. The following day, Aquino announced she had sacked Enrile as Defense Secretary and that she would revamp her Cabinet, "to give the government a chance to start all over again."
January 1987 GMA-7 incident 
From January 27 to 29, around 100 soldiers led by Colonel Oscar Canlas seized the main compound of GMA Network in Quezon City, while other troops attempted in vain to capture Sangley Point Air Force Base in Cavite. One rebel soldier was killed, while thirty five people were injured.
April 1987 "Black Saturday" incident 
July 1987 MIA plot 
On July 1987, a plot to stage another coup attempt through a military takeover of the Manila International Airport was uncovered before it could be implemented, with four officers being court-martialed for the plot.
August 1987 coup attempt 
On August 28, 1987, the most serious attempt up to then to overthrow Aquino's government was launched by members of the RAM, led by Colonel Gregorio Honasan, who had been a former top aide to Enrile. On the early morning of the 28th, rebel soldiers launched an attack on Malacañan Palace. The siege was repelled in a few hours with several military and civilian casualties, including Aquino's son, now current President Benigno Aquino III, who was wounded. Honasan himself led soldiers that seized portions of Camp Aguinaldo, including the headquarters of the Department of National Defense. Rebel soldiers also seized parts of Villamor Airbase, three television stations in Manila, military camps in Pampanga and Cebu, and the airport in Legaspi City. Various statements broadcast by the rebels referred to "the overindulgence in politics which now pervades in society", the supposed mishandling of the communist insurgency, and the deplorable economic condition of the military rebels. However, by the end of the day, government troops were able to recapture most of the rebel-held facilities, and the coup had fizzled by the 29th, with 53 people dead and more than 200 wounded. Many of the dead were unarmed civilian onlookers who were fired upon by the rebels after they were jeered by the crowd. Honasan himself evaded capture, while Enrile, by then a Senator, denied involvement in the coup.
Following the August 1987 coup attempt, the Aquino government was seen to have veered to the right, dismissing perceived left-leaning officials such as Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo and tacitly authorizing the establishment of armed quasi-military groups to combat the communist insurgency. It was also believed that General Ramos, who remained loyal to Aquino, emerged as the second most powerful person in government following his successful quelling of the coup. Across-the-board wage increases for soldiers were also granted. Aquino herself sued Philippine Star columnist Louie Beltran for libel after he wrote that the President hid under her bed at the start of the siege of Malacañang.
January 1989 plot 
Government troops shot at and dropped bombs upon the camp. After the fight, the whole camp collapsed. Seven people were killed including Batallia and Abendan. Alih escaped to Malaysia. The camp was then rebuilt and was renamed in the honor of General Batallia. Twenty years later, Alih was arrested in 2009, in a manhunt operation and sentenced to maximum imprisonment.
December 1989 coup attempt 
On December 1, 1989 three rebel T-28D Trojans (Tora-Toras) raked Malacañan Palace with rockets and gunfire. The rebel soldiers wrongly assumed that they achieved air superiority by effectively neutralizing the assets of the 5th Fighter Wing. Rebel soldiers at Mactan successfully trapped most of the F-5s and combat ready pilots preventing them from interfering with the rebel's operations. Meanwhile at Basa Air Base only three F-5A and an F-5B remained partial mission capability. ACER Atienza the Squadron Commander of the 6th Fighter Squadron ordered his maintenance crew to expedite bringing the F-5s back to full operation. Later that same day, three F-5s under the command of Atienza rose to challenge the rebel T-28s. It culminated with the destruction of the Tora-Toras on the ground at Sangley Point but at the cost of one F-5A (flown by Atienza, who died in one of the strafing runs). The elimination of the T-28s turned the tide against the rebels, for his heroism Atienza was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor and in honor of his sacrifice the airfield at Sangley Point was named after him.
March 1990 coup attempt 
On March 4, 1990, suspended Cagayan governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo and his armed men of 200 seized Hotel Delfino in Tuguegarao, Cagayan as a result in the previous failed coup against the president. Brigader General Oscar Florendo, his driver and four members of the civilian staff, and several other people were made as hostages led an another mutiny to end. Several hours later, a gunfight was launched to kill Aguinaldo and his men but one of the suspended governor's men was found dead in a checkpoint shootout, Brig. Gen. Florendo and 12 others were also dead and 10 more wounded. Aguinaldo is also slightly wounded in a car gunfight until eventually escaped and hid into the mountains.
October 1990 coup attempt 
The last of ten coup attempts happened on October 4, 1990, when mutinous soldiers stormed an army base in Mindanao at dawn and lasted for two days. Again it failed when Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and 21 others surrendered to the government on October 6.
See also 
- Davide Commission Report, p. 135
- Davide Commission Report, p. 146. "Perhaps the most significant indication of the public sentiment towards the Manila Hotel incident was the fact that people generally went about their own business, unaffected by the loyalists' call for support."
- Davide Commission Report, p. 142
- Davide Commission Report, p. 146
- Davide Commission Report, p. 148-155
- Davide Commission Report, p. 149
- Davide Commission Report, p. 151-152.
- Davide Commission Report, p. 154
- Davide Commission Report, p. 155
- Davide Commission Report, p. 163-165
- Davide Commission Report, p. 160
- Davide Commission Report, pp. 161-165
- Davide Commission Report, pp. 168-169
- Davide Commission Report, pp. 173-175
- Davide Commission Report, p. 119-120.
- Davide Commission Report, p. 181-182.
- Davide Commission Report, pp. 182-186
- Davide Commission Report, pp. 186-196
- Davide Commission Report, p. 188
- Davide Commission Report, p. 196
- Davide Commission Report, p. 200
- Davide Commission Report, p. 201. "Many political watchers believe that the 28 August coup attempt pulled the Aquino administration towards the right in the ideological spectrum..."
- Davide Commission Report, p. 201.
- Davide Commission Report, p. 200.