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Gen. Fabian C. Ver AFP
|Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines|
August 15, 1981 – October 24, 1984
|Preceded by||Romeo Espino|
|Succeeded by||Fidel Ramos|
December 2, 1985 – February 25, 1986
|Preceded by||Fidel Ramos|
|Succeeded by||Fidel Ramos|
Fabian Crisologo Ver|
January 20, 1920
Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
November 21, 1998 (aged 78)|
|Resting place||Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippines|
|Commands||Armed Forces of the Philippines|
World War II|
Early life and education
Ver attended the University of Manila where he obtained a Bachelor of Law degree and later the University of Louisville where he graduated with a degree in police administration in 1963. He also undertook training in Hawaii and with the Los Angeles Police Department
Military and political career
During World War II, he acted as a guerrilla intelligence officer with the rank of third lieutenant and after the war, he went on in the military service. During then Senator Ferdinand Marcos' term as Senate President in the early 1960s, he was one of his military advisers. He was at that time serving in the Criminal Investigation Service of the Philippine Constabulary with the rank of Captain.
The Philippine Constabulary was a that time, a major service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that deals with law enforcement and peace and order in the country. It is now at present, the Philippine National Police.
According to the autobiography book of former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile entitled, "Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir", Ver was a man of Marcos through and through. He could not and would not say no to Marcos and would blindly carry out the wishes and orders of Marcos without question.
Thus, he became the most loyal officer to Marcos and upon the latter's election as President of the Philippines in 1965, he became part of the latter's inner circle. And, Ver worked his way up through the military ranks.
He was most trusted military officer of then President Ferdinand Marcos as Martial Law was declared on September 21, 1972. and he was also known as one of Marcos' chief enforcers,and was the highest among the Rolex 12. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, as the Martial Law Architect, the highest among the Rolex 12.
He became further fiercely loyal to Marcos, and Marcos repaid his loyalty by appointing him as the commanding general of the Presidential Security Group, then known as the Presidential Security Command or PSC that tasked to secure Marcos and his family. When he was due for retirement in 1976, Marcos extended his term indefinitely. He also headed the then National Intelligence and Security Authority or NISA (now, the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency), then, the vast and well-armed and well-equipped intelligence department of the Philippines, sending government agents to search for anti-Marcos critics. It placed spies in all government and private entities. In effect, NISA acts as secret police force of the Marcos regime. And since NISA was under the direct control of the Office of the President, Ver directly reports to Marcos. And under the 1978 National Security Code, NISA also was given functional supervision and control over the Intelligence Service of the AFP or ISAFP, thus its chief reports to Ver directly, thus widening his powers in the military gaining full suzerainty of the ISAFP to further NISA's functions. In fact in the Batas Militar documentary on 1997, the late General Romeo Espino, the then chief of staff of the AFP said Ver was a powerful man and he checks his recommendations for promotions and appointments before it reaches Marcos. And, if Ver decides to release any political prisoner detained by NISA, it equals that of Marcos as his signature is also considered as the latter's.
Martial law was lifted in 1981, and Ver was appointed as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines over a cousin, then Major-General Fidel Valdez Ramos, then the chief of the Philippine Constabulary. Thus, Ver became the most powerful officer in the military, as he headed now three institutions: the entire AFP, the PSC and NISA. Police officials, military men, businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats and other prominent figures kowtowed to him.
Many feared to displease him as he has direct access to Marcos and has his ear as well as of then First Lady Imelda Marcos. In fact, his three sons, who are all military officers like him were in the zenith of power. His eldest son, Irwin was rapidly promoted to colonel and named chief of staff of the Presidential Security Command. His other son, Rexor was the chief of the close- in security of Marcos and youngest son, Wyrlo, was the commander of the Armored Unit of Malacanang Palace. Irwin Ver graduated no. 1 in the Philippine Military Academy in 1970. During Ver's term as AFP chief of staff, he was biased in favor of the military officers that came from ROTC program by giving them incentives and named them to key important posts in the military,thus, this made the military officers who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy resentful. He also extended schooling privileges to his relatives, friends in the military especially the graduates of professional military schools that are close to him, to Marcos and to Imelda, including those who paid homage to him and filled the high posts in the military with Ilocano ROTC-trained military officers. This was the era of favoritism in the AFP. General Romeo Espino, Ver's predecessor, was AFP Chief of Staff for the longest term in the Philippines military, was like Ver, Espino was too an ROTC graduate in the University of the Philippines, but he was fair in administration of military affairs during his time, unlike Ver.
Ver also instituted, along with Marcos the extension of services in the military of those military officers loyal to them, who overreached their retirement age.
As Marcos disregarded the authority of then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile in the 1980s, he changed the military chain of command. Under the new chain of command, the authority would evolve from Marcos as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces up to Ver, the chief of staff of the armed forces.
As such, Ver replaced Enrile as the second most powerful high government official in the country, the status which the latter held during Martial Law when he was tasked to administer it.
Ver kept aging officers loyal to himself and also to Marcos on the armed forces, thus making young officers disgruntled. The Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) was formed by these young officers, led by then Colonel Gregorio Honasan as a result of this. The RAMboys, as they were known in the Philippines, played a key role in Marcos' overthrow. As the Marcos regime grew unpopular during these years, Marcos would be in and out of office due to kidney ailments. Political mismanagement would ensue, culminating with the 1983 assassination of popular oppositionist Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. upon his return from exile in the United States. The Agrava Commission, an independent fact-finding body put up by Ferdinand Marcos found evidence to verify that the military and Ver were involved, but he was subsequently acquitted in 1985 by Marcos. After the tumultuous snap elections on February 7, Marcos announced that he was replacing Ver with Fidel Ramos due to his alleged ties with the Aquino assassination although he tacitly kept Ver in power.
Later life and death
After the tumultuous snap elections of 1986, the EDSA Revolution would come. Ver advised Marcos to give him orders to fire on the swelling number of protesters, but Marcos stubbornly refused to and dismissed him with a salute. This led to the end of the Marcos regime.
Following the People Power Revolution, Ver and his family along with the Marcoses were exiled to Hawaii. He was not allowed to return to the country during the administration of Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. He returned during the presidency of Joseph Estrada but faced lawsuits which linked him to the assassination of Ninoy Aquino and Aquino's alleged assassin, Rolando Galman.
- Rolex 12
- Presidential Security Group / Presidential Security Command
- National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)
- Sterling Seagrave
- University of the Philippines ROTC Unit
- "A Filipino on Spot". The New York Times. 25 October 1984. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "General Fabian C. Ver". University of the Philippines - Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- Vanzi, Sol Jose (21 November 1998). "Newsflash !!! General Ver is Dead". Philippine Headline News Online. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
- "Marcos Ally Ver Dies In Bangkok". The Filipino Express. 6 December 1998. Retrieved 26 February 2016.