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COLLAPSED Hyatt Terraces Hotel in Baguio due to killer earthquake MT. PINATUBO eruption in 1991: Power blast ORMOC flood: Grisly reminder of nature’s wrath

1985-2010: TURNING POINTS that shook the country

From page A1 rebellion. Malaysia and brought them to
ipinos had to pay for high pow-
A group that broke away Jolo. It earned millions of pesos
protests and prayer rallies against er rates whether or not they
from the MNLF continues the for the release of many of the
the Charter change (Cha-cha) used the electricity that private
fight for a separate Moro home- hostages.
campaigns of Fidel Ramos, firms generated.
land in Mindanao. Talks be- A year later, the group ab-
Joseph Estrada and Gloria Maca- tween the Moro Islamic Libera-
pagal-Arroyo. The protests and 6. Senate vote vs US bases ducted 20 people from the Dos
Voting 12-11, the Senate re- tion Front and government Palmas resort in Puerto Prince-
Supreme Court rulings against broke down in 2008 following
jected on Sept. 16, 1991 a new sa. Some hostages either es-
signature campaigns to amend the Supreme Court’s decision to
treaty seeking to extend the caped or were rescued, while
the Charter blocked the Cha-cha stop the signing of a memoran-
stay of US bases despite pleas others, like American Guillermo
moves. dum of agreement on ancestral
from President Corazon Aquino Sobero, were beheaded. In a
The Constitution, drafted by domain that would have dis-
for the chamber to approve it. military rescue operation in
men and women chosen by membered the Republic of the
“Consummatum est (It is fin- June 2002, American mission-
Aquino, prohibits reelection of the Philippines.
ished),” Ernesto Maceda, one of ary Martin Burnham and Fil-
president, creates the Human Also stalled were the negotia-
the “Magnificent 12,” said with ipino nurse Edibora Yap were
Rights Commission and bans nu- tions between the government
flourish on the Senate floor at 3 killed while Burnham’s wife,
clear weapons in the country. and the National Democratic
p.m. The historic vote ended Gracia, was wounded.
Marginalized sectors are to be Front. The war the NDF is wag-
nearly a century of US military US forces have been de-
represented in the House of Rep- ing has become one of the
presence in the country. ployed in selected areas in Min-
resentatives. The charter also world’s longest-running com-
Contrary to the gloom-and- danao to help the Philippine
makes it harder to declare martial munist insurgencies. These
doom scenario painted by the NATION turned emotional as President Cory Aquino is laid to rest military go after the Abu
law or suspend the writ of habeas decades-old conflicts have cre-
pro-bases camp, the former Sayyaf. Their efforts led to the
corpus. Congress may revoke the roared through the province on cent history was in response to ated a huge population of
Clark Air Base and Subic Naval death of Abu Sayyaf leader Abu
declaration or suspension that the Nov. 30, 2006. Some 10 million El Niño sweeping the country refugees in the country, mostly
Base, turned into a free port Sabaya in a dramatic speedboat
President cannot set aside. cubic meters of volcanic debris, from 1997 to 1998, driving in Mindanao.
and special economic zone, re- chase off Zamboanga Sibugay.
3. Coup d’etats spectively, have attracted bil- loosened by Reming from the nearly a million families in Min-
lions of dollars in investments slopes of Mt. Mayon, buried danao to starvation. 13. Cell phone surge 17. Edsa II, Estrada ouster
The “Soldiers of the Filipino Lee Kwan Yew’s joke in 1992
and generated thousands of houses. More than 1,200 people Responding to the crisis, Ta- The trigger was the vote by
people” didn’t stay long in the that 98 percent of the popula-
jobs. either died or were missing. bang Mindanaw was formed by supporters of President Joseph
barracks after the fall of Mar- tion in the Philippines was wait-
US forces made a comeback the private sector and the Estrada in the Senate impeach-
cos. Led by Army officer Gringo 10. The face of the OFW ing for a telephone and the other
with the Senate ratification of Church in partnership with the ment court against opening an
Honasan, RAM launched seven Despite pleas to stay her exe- 2 percent for a dial tone is a dis-
the RP-US Visiting Forces Agree- government. It helped drought envelope that would determine
coup attempts that almost top- cution, Filipino domestic helper tant memory. One can now have
ment in May 1999. Critics claim victims form a long-term food whether he had P3.3 billion in a
pled Cory Aquino. To say the at- Flor Contemplacion was a wireless line in a day and have
that the agreement has allowed security program, establish sus- secret bank account. Sen. Tessie
tempts set back the economy is hanged in Singapore in 1995 a cellular phone activated in sec-
the United States to indefinitely tainable agriculture, and taught Oreta’s jig before a live TV cov-
an understatement. for the killing of fellow Filipino onds. Thanks to the Ramos ad-
station a military unit in the farms and water systems in var- erage of the trial added insult to
The bloodiest was in Decem- Delia Maga and her young ministration’s liberalization of
country since 2002, making the ious communities. injury. Before long, text mes-
ber 1989, which lasted a week, ward. the telecom industry that broke
Philippines a US forward oper- Some “lumad” farmers in sages spread rallying the people
leaving a hundred dead. Rebel The execution sparked street the PLDT “monopoly.” Ramos’
ating base in the war on terror- Maguindanao died after eating to gather at the Edsa Shrine on
forces occupied the Makati fi- protests from enraged Filipinos. policies paved the way for the
ism, specifically against the al- wild yams to survive the long the night of Jan. 16, 2001 to
nancial district. It took flyovers The outrage led to the sacking cell phone revolution in the
Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf. drought. While edible, the wild protest the vote.
by US Phantom jets in so-called of the then Foreign Secretary country.
yams are poisonous if prepared The protesters came and
persuasion flights to drive away Roberto Romulo and Labor Sec- Price-busters offered by
7. 1990 killer quake improperly. their numbers swelled as Jaime
rebel gunships and turn the tide retary Nieves Confesor. Smart and promos of its com-
A quake measuring 7.8 on Cardinal Sin and former Presi-
in favor of government forces. Overseas Filipinos workers 12. Peace with MNLF, not petitors have made cell phones
the Richter scale devastated the dent Corazon Aquino called on
Honasan is now a senator. In
2003, soldiers calling themselves cities of Baguio and Dagupan, have not only endured being quite with MILF, NPA still ubiquitous in the country. By the citizenry to protest the Sen-
and the rest of Northern Luzon away from their families, but al- world’s longest insurgency 1999, the country was consid- ate vote. The military withdrew
the Magdalo Group seized the so imprisonment, rape and oth- ered the text messaging capital
on July 16, 1990. The temblor, The secessionist Moro Na- support for Estrada and key
Oakwood serviced apartments in er forms of abuse. The Philip- of the world. As of September,
whose epicenter was in Ca- tional Liberation Front signed a Cabinet officials abandoned
Makati. The mutiny was put pine “diaspora,” the OFWs in Smart, Globe and Sun had a
banatuan City, Nueva Ecija, left peace agreement with the gov- him.
down and the soldiers were more than 100 countries and combined 84 million sub-
around 1,600 dead and de- ernment in September 1996, Chief Justice Hilario Davide
locked up. In prison, mutiny lead- Filipinos living abroad—who scribers, many of them using
stroyed property and infrastruc- ending nearly three decades of Jr. hurriedly swore in then Vice
er Antonio Trillanes IV ran for now account for about 10 per- more than one cell phone.
ture worth at least P10 billion. war in Mindanao, which had President Gloria Macapagal-Ar-
senator in 2007 and won. cent of the Philippine popula-
One of the survivors, Sonia claimed more than 100,000 royo president at the Edsa
tion—have helped keep the 14. Low-budget carriers Shrine on Jan. 20 while Estrada
4. Doña Paz Roco, wife of the late Sen. Raul lives. Despite the deal, Misuari Cebu Pacific blazed a trail for
Roco, was in a seminar in one of country afloat with their huge was still in Malacañang. Hours
More than 4,000 people died attacked military camps in Sulu low-cost carriers when it en-
the eight hotels in Baguio City remittances. later, Estrada left on a Navy
when MV Doña Paz collided in 2001 in an effort to stop elec- tered the airline industry in
leveled by the temblor. She was tions in the Autonomous Re- boat. The tribunal ruled that
with oil tanker MT Vector and 11. Hunger in Mindanao March 1996. It was the first to
rescued nearly 36 hours after gion in Muslim Mindanao. He Estrada had effectively resigned
sank in Tablas Strait amid a sea One of the biggest multisec- offer “P1 seats.” Its pricing
the quake. was detained and charged with when Arroyo was sworn in.
of flames on the night of Dec. toral humanitarian efforts in re- strategy reflected its slogan, The world, however, had sec-
20, 1987. There were only 26 “It’s time every Juan flies,” and
survivors in what is still the 8. Pinatubo eruption ond thoughts about the second
Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption in encouraged Filipinos to shift to people power that ousted a
world’s worst peacetime ship- a more affordable air travel. By
June 1991 after six centuries democratically elected leader.
ping disaster. 2009, Cebu Pacific had cap-
years of slumber was the most Estrada was later found
Since then, other ships, big tured 51-percent of the domes-
powerful in nearly a century. guilty of plunder. He was de-
and small, not a few of them tic air travel market.
The volcano emitted a giant tained for more than six years
overloaded and manned by ill- The competition led PAL’s sis-
plume of ash more than 20 kilo- during his trial. Sentenced to up
trained personnel, have sunk or ter airline, Airphil, to reposition
meters high and spewed molten to 40 years in prison on Sept.
capsized in the waters of the itself as a low-cost carrier. Other
rock and superheated gas. The 12, 2007, Arroyo pardoned him
archipelago in good weather airlines like Zest Air are also of-
eruption killed some 300 peo- a month later.
and bad. More than a thousand fering low fares.
passengers and crew died. ple. One of Pinatubo’s blasts co-
incided with a typhoon that 18. Hello Garci
The disasters were waiting to 15. The terrorists are here
spread volcanic ash far and Allegations broke out in June
happen. Coast Guard personnel Five explosions struck Metro
wide. Many buildings and 2005 that Arroyo and then Elec-
allowed ships to set sail even dur- Manila on Rizal Day in 2000,
homes in Central Luzon col- CALL centers have become the country’s sunshine industry tions Commissioner Virgilio
ing bad weather and let unsafe occurring within minutes of
lapsed from the sheer weight of Garcillano conspired during
vessels ply their routes. On sever- each other. Among those hit
ash that collected on roofs. phone conversations caught on
al occasions, the weather bureau was the Light Rail Transit in Sta.
The blast has one positive ef- tape to rig the 2004 presidential
did not issue warnings or got the Cruz, Manila. Police said the
fect—cooling the planet. More election. The taped conversa-
paths of storms wrong. Marine bombings that killed 14 people
than 20 million tons of sulfur tions between Arroyo and “Gar-
board inquiries, influenced by were the handiwork of Jemaah
dioxide discharged into the at- ci” ushered in a political crisis
ship owners, were exercises in fu- Islamiyah, an ally of Abu Sayyaf
mosphere acted like a layer of that nearly toppled her admin-
tility. When will we ever learn? and the Asian arm of al-Qaida.
sunscreen. Global temperatures istration.
Abu Sayyaf struck again in Street protests erupted and
5. Blackouts dropped by an average of near-
February 2004. It set off a bomb
ly 1 degree Fahrenheit or 0.5 were gathering strength and
The early ’90s were a throw- that sank SuperFerry 14 off Cor-
degree Celsius over the next getting louder that Arroyo apol-
back to the “dark ages.” Up to regidor Island, killing more than
two years ogized to the nation in an “I-
10-to 12-hour power outages 100 people. The terror did not am-sorry” speech. On July 8,
kept machinery from humming, end there. On Feb. 14, 2005, the
and office equipment and home 9. Nature strikes back 2005, seven members of the
Floods spawned by Tropical group bombed a passenger bus in Cabinet and three agency heads
appliances from running, re- Makati, a mall in General Santos,
Storm “Uring” killed 8,000 in announced their resignation
sulting in economic losses of at and a bus terminal in Davao that
Ormoc City on Nov. 5, 1991. En- and called on her to step aside.
least P30 billion. killed eight people.
vironmentalists and officials The opposition filed impeach-
Demand for power outpaced
pointed to deforestation as the ment cases against her, but Ar-
supply because no power plants MILF camp in ruins after an all-out attack ordered by President Estrada. 16. Sipadan, Dos Palmas
cause of the flash floods. royo’s House allies had the
were put up to replace aging
ones and the mothballed graft- Other natural disasters that kidnappings put PH on numbers. She survived the cri-
followed showed why the coun- map sis but her legitimacy as presi-
ridden and defective 600-
try is one of the most vulnerable Abu Sayyaf, founded in 1991 dent became suspect till the end
megawatt Bataan Nuclear Pow-
to natural disasters. On Feb. 17, in Basilan by Abdurajak of her tenure.
er Plant. The government paid
2006, mud and rocks tumbled Abubakar Janjalani, saw its first Other scandals that rocked
creditors a total of P120 billion
down Mt. Kan-Abag in St. large-scale action in 1995 with her administration include the
for the nuclear plant although it
Bernard, Southern Leyte after a raid on Ipil, Zamboanga del $329-million national broad-
did not generate a single watt.
heavy rains, swallowing the Sur that left the town in ruins band network deal with China’s
Then President Fidel Ramos,
town of Guinsaugon. More than and about 100 residents dead. ZTE Corp.; the “Jose Pidal” di-
granted emergency powers in
150 died while 900 others re- The bandit group gained in- verted campaign funds; the
1993 to address the crisis, of-
mained missing and were pre- ternational notoriety when it P728-million fertilizer-fund
fered incentives to investors to
sumed dead. abducted in 2000 21 people, in- scam; jueteng payola allegedly
entice them into putting up new
A similar disaster struck Al- cluding 10 European tourists, in given as protection money to
power plants fast. The crisis
was solved in no time, but Fil- bay as Supertyphoon “Reming” PARCHED rice field in Central Luzon due to El Niño a diving resort in Sipadan, TURNING/ V3

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