Reform the Armed Forces Movement

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The Reform the Armed Forces Movement, also referred to by the acronym RAM, was a cabal of officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that attempted to seize power in the Philippines during the 1980s and 1990s. These officers were instrumental in the destabilization of the Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino presidencies.


RAM was founded by a group of junior military officers who were disgruntled by the patronage politics and corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1980. The RAM officers, most of whom were graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Classes of 1971, 1972, and 1978,Template:Citation needed developed their careers during the Martial Law Years (September 21, 1972 to January 17, 1981).

RAM was placed under the leadership of the Ministry of National Defense security and intelligence force, then commanded by then Army Colonel Gregorio Honasan, who was also then the chief security officer of then-Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, who gave the blessing in forming the organization because Enrile also wanted reforms in the military.

From being an apolitical and professional organization, the AFP during the Marcos administration became highly politicized, and promotions were given not through merit but through affiliation or patronageTemplate:Citation needed – in the Philippines this is better known as the Padrino System. The PMA Class of 1971 Matatag, spearheaded the struggle of RAM to "reform the service, foster nationalism and patriotism, and fight against corruption and criminal activities." As well as tackle the "problem of favoritism, incompetence, and corruption in senior leadership."[1]

RAM played a crucial role in the mutiny that spurred the first EDSA People Power Revolution in the Philippines. But after the downfall of the Marcos dictatorial regime, the RAM movement was used repeatedly by the anti-Aquino faction of the elite for their own ends, i.e., in order to stage successive coups d'état against the Aquino administration in their bid for power. All these coup attempts failed miserably in the end.Template:Citation needed

Role in the ouster of Ferdinand E. Marcos

RAM attempted to bomb the Malacañang Palace in February 1986. However, they failed and instead supported the events in EDSA that would eventually put Cory Aquino in the place of Marcos.[2]

Coup attempts during the Aquino Administration

The following years remained hostile for the Philippines, a series of bloody coup attempts led by then-Col. Gregorio Honasan of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, involved thousands of renegade troops, including elite units from the army and marines, in a coordinated series of attacks on Malacanang and several major military camps in Manila and surrounding provinces, including Sangley and Villamor Air Base, using the T-28 aircraft for aerial assaults. President Corazon Aquino found it necessary to request United States support to put down the uprising. As a result, a large U.S. special operations force was formed and named Operation Classic Resolve, as USAF F-4 fighter aircraft stationed at Clark Air Base patrolled above rebel air bases, and two aircraft carriers were positioned off the Philippines. The U.S. operation soon caused the coup to collapse. Additional U.S. forces were then sent to secure the American embassy in Manila. The military uprisings resulted in an estimated US$1.5 billion loss to the Philippine economy.[3]


In 1990, RAM cut its ties with the SFP (Soldiers of the Filipino People), and changed its name to Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (Revolutionary Nationalist Alliance).[4]

See also


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