The Philippines The Coup That Failed

Aquino survives the fifth -- and bloodiest -- attempt on her rule

Swiftly, silently, 16 trucks and buses rolled into Manila under the cover of a moonless tropical night. The curious convoy carried an estimated 800 Philippine army troops, all loaded down with weapons. According to a carefully laid plan, the vehicles split up and, as midnight approached, drove to assigned points around the city. Two of the trucks proceeded to a key location: Malacanang Palace, the headquarters of President Corazon Aquino, 54. Asleep in her residence about 50 yds. away from the main building, Aquino did not hear their approach.

Shortly after 1 a.m., a woman sitting in a snack bar near...