By AYIE LICSI Published Feb 25, 2024 7:41 pm

On Feb. 26, 1986, the Filipino people ousted a dictator.

In the days leading up to the moment, non-violent demonstrations were held along the stretch of EDSA, gathering over two million people who called for the end of then-president Ferdinand E. Marcos' regime.

Marcos had been ruling the Philippines for 21 years with 14 of those being under martial law, a period marked with human rights abuses.

A snap poll was held in February 1986 wherein Marcos was declared president by the Commission on Elections while Cory Aquino, the widow of the assassinated Ninoy Aquino, was named winner by poll watcher National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL).

Civilians, nuns, priests, and military groups in Metro Manila took to the streets to campaign against electoral fraud, standing with linked arms to block tanks and armored vans.

Men stand arm-in-arm as they face soldiers

Nuns kneel in front of the path of soldiers

People lay their hands on a tank

Loyalists Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Deputy Armed Forces Chief Fidel Ramos turn on Marcos

Girls offer flowers to soldiers

Filipinos with rosary beads kneel in protest in front of tanks approaching Quezon City

Aquino was inaugurated president at Club Filipino while an hour later, Marcos had his own oathtaking in Malacañang as he prepared to flee the country. Around midnight the first family had left for Guam, causing demonstrators to cheer and dance in the streets.

Aquino was sworn in as the president of the Philippines, taking her oath on a bible owned by Aurora Aquino, the mother of her husband

Bedroom of Imelda Marcos in Malacañang

People rejoice upon learning Marcos had fled the country