In 1983, the year of crisis resulting from the Benigno Aquino
assassination, members of the Philippine Military Academy class
of 1971 formed the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM).
Notable among its leaders was the chief of Enrile's security
detail, Colonel Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan. RAM first demonstrated
against corruption in the armed forces in 1985, while Marcos was
president. Most RAM officers, including Honasan, have not
supported a political idealogy. They viewed themselves as
protectors of the people against corrupt, incompetent civilians.
Others espoused an agenda with a populist, or even leftist tone.
By 1990 RAM was said to no longer stand for Reform the Armed
Forces Movement but rather for Rebolusyonariong Alyansang
Makabayan, or Revolutionary Nationalist Alliance.
The military in 1991 contained many factions based on
loyalties to military and civilian patrons, military academy
class ties, linguistic differences, and generational differences.
One faction consisted of those still loyal to Marcos; others
consisted of those loyal to Enrile or to Ramos. Discord existed
between Tagalogs and Ilocanos. Graduates of the Philippine
Military Academy in Baguio were at odds with reserve and
noncommissioned officers. Within the Philippine Military Academy
faction, loyalties ran according to year of graduation. Another
faction, the Young Officers' Union (YOU), was made up of a
younger group of officers, distinct from RAM. YOU leaders were
well educated; some were intelligence officers who had penetrated
the communist underground and might have gained some respect for
communist organizing principles, revolutionary puritanism, and
dedication to ideology. They studied the writings of the late
Filipino nationalist Claro M. Recto, espoused a doctrine they
called Philippine nationalism, and were reported to believe that
a social revolution could be sparked by a military uprising. By
1991 politicized military officers began to focus less on Aquino
than on her possible successors. Whatever political leaders it
supported, the Philippine military in the 1990s was expected by
some observers to remain fractured, factionalized, and
frustrated, and civilian control was by no means guaranteed.
Data as of June 1991