Everyday History
Col. Alexander Noble and his followers during the Mindanao Crisis
Corazon Aquino Administration Daily History

Renegade soldiers trigger Mindanao Crisis: Oct. 4, 1990

On this day in 1990, Col. Alexander Noble and over 1,000 of his followers in the military occupied three military camps in three cities in Mindanao, triggering the Mindanao Crisis.

In the attempted coup against the Cory Aquino Administration, the rebels peacefully occupied Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental as well as Camp Bancasi in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. Noble entered the camp in an armored car while being cheered by soldiers and civilian supporters.

Since August 1990, Noble had been hiding among the indigenous people of Mindanao after a military search for him ever since he participated in the aborted coup against Aquino in December 1989.

Prior to his rebellion against the Aquino government, Noble was known in the military in the late 1970s for organizing various paramilitary groups within different indigenous groups in Mindanao to fight Muslim cessationist and communist rebels.

After surfacing in Cagayan de Oro City, he declared the establishment of the Federal Republic of Mindanao and the independence of the island from the rest of the Philippines. His government would be a military-civilian junta, to be led by former Cagayan de Oro City mayor Reuben Canoy, who is also the founder of the Mindanao Independence Movement.

During the course of the Mindanao Crisis, more than 150 elite Scout Rangers at Camp Overton in Iligan City also defected to the side of the rebels.

Government response

The Aquino Administration responded with forces, sending two T-28 Trojan planes to bomb the camp as well as flying in loyal troops from Cebu and Manila. Defense Secretary Fidel Ramos also visited military camps in Zamboanga, Davao, General Santos, and Cotabato to ensure the loyalty of military units there. Meanwhile, the United States expressed support for the Aquino government and warned that it would not allow the government to be destabilized.

By Oct. 6, soldiers loyal to the government have surrounded the three military camps, and Noble began negotiations with government representatives. He, along with fugitive Col. Victor Erfe, later surrendered to Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a senator from Cagayan de Oro City. Canoy was later arrested by authorities in the city after he went into hiding.

In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Noble as a member of the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation’s (PHIVIDEC) Board of Directors.

The Mindanao Crisis was the seventh and the last coup attempt that the Aquino Administration faced in its six years in office.

References:

The Associated Press. “Filipino mutineers strikes two cities, proclaims independence.” The Southeast Missourian. October 5, 1990. Accessed through Google News Archive Search.

The Associated Press. “Philippine government bombs rebel camp.” Reading Eagle. October 5, 2014. Accessed through Google News Archive Search.

The Associated Press. “Leader of Filipino rebels arrested after coup fails.” The Pittsburgh Press. October 6, 1990. Accessed through Google News Archive Search.

The Associated Press. “Philippine Rebellion Ends in Surrender: Mindanao: A renegade colonel gives himself up, and government forces recover two military camps on southern island.” Los Angeles Times. October 6, 1990.

The Associated Press. “Renegade Filipino colonel surrenders“. The Tuscaloosa News. October 6, 1990. Accessed through Google News Archive Search.

Wudunn, Sheryl. “Rebel Leader Surrenders in Philippines.” The New York Times. October 6, 1990.

Branigin, William. “Leader of rebellion flown to Manila and jailed.” The Washington Post. October 7, 1990.

Yap, Quijano, Noble, among new Duterte appointees who took their oath yesterday.CDODev.com. August 30, 2017

Trivia Question:

Noble was the former deputy chief of which protective service unit of the Department of National Defense?

Yesterday’s answer: Procopio Bonifacio

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