By Hannah Torregoza and Alexandria Dennise San Juan
Liberal Party (LP) senators urged the public to remember the core lessons of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution as the nation commemorated yesterday the country’s liberation from the Marcos dictatorship.
In a statement, the senators said it is imperative to remember the historical event that changed the course of the nation as a democratic society.
“Amidst the countless trials our country faces today, there remains no lesson more important than those we now look back on as we commemorate the 32nd anniversary of EDSA People Power I,” the LP senators said in a statement.
“And of all the messages of that first EDSA People Power, perhaps most important is this: that at the core of all democracies is the duty to listen to the people,” they stated.
Among the senators allied with the former ruling party are members of the Senate minority bloc led by Sen. Franklin Drilon.
Other LP senators are Senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, and allies Akbayan Partylist Senator Risa Hontiveros and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Former president and People Power hero Fidel Ramos addressed the crowd at the commemoration rites held at the People Power Monument in Quezon City, saying the 1986 bloodless revolution was the start of a positive change for Filipinos and not the end.
“Unang-una, ’yung ating 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution ay simula lamang ng pagbabago, hindi ang katapusan (First of all, our 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution was the start for a change, not the end),” Ramos said.
“We are just beginning. The outcome, which is a better future for all Filipinos, must be done by all succeeding presidential administrations,” he added.
Ramos led the flag-raising and wreathlaying ceremonies organized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Maj. Gen. Rene Glen Paje led the military’s participation in the rites.
Army in solidarity
The spokesman of the Philippine Army (PA) yesterday said that EDSA revolution is a landmark of hope and unity that the Filipino people never hesitated to make to show their love for country.
Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said the military “has a rich history of struggle and sacrifices that is synonymous to the desire and aspiration of the people shall continue to perform its mandate to preserve democracy and protect the interest of its citizenry.”
For his part, Brig. Gen. Allan Arrojado, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force-NCR, said JTF-NCR joins the Filipino people in commemorating this historic event that marked the people’s common fight against authoritarianism and human rights abuse.
Around 4,000 people were in attendance, said Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Guillermo Eleazar.
Ramos also reminded the public and reached out the youth to keep in mind the values taught by the 1986 event: Unity, solidarity, and teamwork in community.
“Walang Ilokano, walang Tagalog, walang Dabawenyo, Cebuano o Ilonggo. Lahat tayo Filipino. Embrace opposition. Tayong mga Pilipino na nasa EDSA,” he said.
Social justice elusive
Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) said that 32 years after the historic EDSA revolution, social justice still remains elusive in the country.
“Today, the social justice radiated at the EDSA Uprising remains elusive,” NCCP said in a statement signed by NCCP General Secretary Rev. Rex Reyes.
The group said this take on several manifestations in the systems and structures that: “Commodify people and exploit women, the youth and children; disrupts the economic-social life of indigenous peoples as they are forced out of their domains in the name of development and anti-insurgency; heighten impunity and extra-judicial killings; indiscriminately targets the poor in the war against drugs, the hasty move to change the form of government, and engage in massive resource extraction without regard for the future, among others.”
NCCP said these social injustices can be witnessed not only here but around the world as well.
Power in Filipinos
For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo said Filipinos should remember the most important lesson of the 1986 EDSA Revolution –that the power is in their hands and they all fought together for democracy.
“Iyong kapangyarihan talaga nasa kamay nating lahat, nasa kamay ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi pwede iaasa sa gobyerno lamang (Power is in the hands of everyone. It is in the hand of every Filipino. We can’t solely depend on the government),” she said.
Robredo, who was in Naga City, delivered her message for the annual celebration of the peaceful demonstration that ended the Marcos dictatorship during her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni.” (With reports from Leslie Ann G. Aquino, Francis T. Wakefield, and Raymund F. Antonio)
Tags: Akbayan Partylist Senator Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, EDSA People Power, EDSA People Power Revolution, Fidel Ramos, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Marcos dictatorship, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, NCCP, Quezon City Police District, Remember core lessons of People Power – LP