WHILE the late President Fidel V. Ramos wasn’t the highest ranking officer in the military establishment that supported Ferdinand E. Marcos’ martial law when it was imposed — Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Espino who served until 1981 was — he was widely viewed as its strongest pillar.
This was not only because he was Marcos’ second cousin, who under Filipino culture would profess undying loyalty to the strongman. Ramos was head for 14 years until 1985 (when he was appointed acting AFP chief of staff), of the powerful and centralized Philippine Constabulary (PC).
It was the PC which had the main task of going after “subversives,” which included all civilians that were plotting against Marcos. The other three service commands were tasked mainly to go after the Moro insurgents. It was the PC’s dreaded Constabulary Security Units in each region which captured most of the Communist Party’s leaders, in my case, with members of the Manila-Rizal regional committee, the 5th CSU.(more…)