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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is the 1986 EDSA revolution still relevant today?

It’s hard to imagine why there are Filipinos who still feel the need to celebrate the anniversary of the first EDSA or People Power revolution held in 1986. As I keep saying every year, not much has changed since former President Ferdinand Marcos left the building.
I was not there and I am glad I wasn’t because I do not share any of the nostalgia that seems to hold some people back from moving forward. I mean, it’s one thing to celebrate it but it’s another for Aquino propagandists to keep making it look like the family owns the copyright to the concept of street revolutions. When are we ever going to see the end of yellow paraphernalia when the EDSA revolution is celebrated? Enough is enough. The yellow color has become divisive to our society. Not everyone subscribes to the Liberal Party’s political views.
We cannot continue to pretend that it was Cory Aquino who was the only person instrumental to toppling what everyone keeps referring to as a dictator. Former President Fidel Ramos was actually quoted saying that “The spirit of the 1986 People Power Revolution belongs to the people, and politicians, political groups and religious personalities should not use it for their own interest.” So it seems even he is fed up with the way the Aquinos and their minions keep bragging — as if EDSA was their own exclusive victory.
The records show that former President, Corazon “Cory” Aquino wasn’t even out on the streets with the people and did not participate in the three-day rally at all. It’s a real mystery how she turned into the “people power” icon. The people who participated should give themselves more credit for the success of this so-called revolution. Likewise, they should also take the blame for putting in power a housewife who some say was just a front for an oligarchy that continues to benefit from the 1987 Philippine constitution. We all know them. They are the ones that apply a singular focus on protecting the interests of their stakeholders in the Philippines.
When you look at the gathering of what was said to number over two million Filipinos, you will realize that it was just like any other rally that preceded it except it was bigger. It was nothing more than a mob. Whether the first EDSA revolution was justified or not, the fact remains, the people who participated in toppling Marcos threw the rulebook out the window. And some of the participants there got addicted to the short-term gain from such impulsive behaviors.
As I keep saying in the past, there are grave consequences when using shortcuts. It’s no different to considering defying the law as an option for getting something done quickly. Most people have not realized it yet but removing an elected leader unconstitutionally the first time already set a dangerous precedent. It gave people excuse or reason to justify doing it again and again. Following “revolutions” that removed Marcos then Erap, rumors now abound of PNoy, his minions and other elements taking advantage of the situation and gearing up for another revolt — this time against the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Renato Corona.
I say good luck to PNoy in his plan to incite the gullible crowd into hitting the streets to demand for the resignation of the Chief Justice. It would be interesting to see how he can manage to muster enough people to follow his lead. Not even his Number One mouthpiece, Conrado de Quiros, writing in what some people refer to as the “yellow pages” of the Inquirer.netcan convince us that “occupying the Supreme Court” is the ultimate solution to the ongoing constitutional crisis — well, maybe except for a handful of Aquino fanatics. But more and more people are getting disillusioned with the way the current government is meddling with the impeachment process of Chief Justice Corona.
Ironically PNoy, the son of the “people power” icon, is to blame for tainting the memory of the EDSA revolution. Prior to his win in the presidential election in 2010, some people were getting tired of the same old story of how his parents, Ninoy and Cory, made huge sacrifices for the country. Some were already questioning why they should remain beholden to them. Alas, PNoy’s lackluster performance in office and his vindictiveness towards his political enemies put an end to whatever indebtedness some old folks still felt towards the Aquinos. PNoy’s arrogance pushed a lot of people over the edge and erased whatever moral obligation or kindness that kept them from being critical. Some even regret ever participating in EDSA.
Twenty-six years after toppling “the dictator”, the incumbent PNoy is even being hailed as worse than Marcos thanks to his penchant for strong-arming his allies. I can agree with this because PNoy pretends to be fighting corruption but appears to be committing the same offenses with allegations of coddling incompetence among his staff and his habit of applying double standards to his appointed friends in government already well-known. Worse, a lot of Filipinos who look back at the memories of EDSA can’t help but wonder if the Philippines would have been better off if Marcos had stayed on. Some can’t help compare PNoy’s very unstatesmanlike manner to that of Senator Bongbong Marcos who appears to be a more skillful and respected impartial politician. The only son of former President Marcos recently wrote about his thoughts on the anniversary of EDSA revolution:
As for what took place in February of 1986, 26 years ago to this month, again, I am in no position to pass judgment that would be seen as impartial simply because of my obvious personal involvement.
Most of what we hear now from all sides are still within the ambit of propaganda.
But I certainly am concerned with the state of our country today, more than a quarter of a century since the experience of EDSA 1, as it has come to be known.
I have chosen not to indulge in the “blame game” and rather, invest my energy in helping move this country forward.
But if comparisons are to be made, and if there is a need to evaluate the road taken since then and what has resulted from it, it’s not difficult to arrive at answers, provided we ask the right questions.
Has poverty been alleviated? Is the wealth of the country more equitably distributed? Do we have more jobs available at home? Has there been a rise in the quality of our education? Are we self-sufficient in our daily food requirements? Is there less hunger? Crime? Insurgency? Corruption? Basic services? Health?
The same questions can be asked of other countries, our neighboring countries specifically, and see whether we can answer the same way they would.
China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia can all point to the progress they have made these last 26 years but unfortunately, for the majority of our people, nothing much has changed and today, and just this morning, a survey placed our unemployment rate at 24% or close to 10 million unemployed adults.
The country’s economic performance last year sunk to a dismal 3.7% growth.
The problems we face remain daunting and there is still that need for Filipinos to unite and face these challenges as one nation, with a singular aim and direction, with a leadership that is willing to make sacrifices and capable of harnessing the talents of our people.
We have seen what our neighbors have been able to achieve in the last 26 years. There is no reason why we cannot at least match their achievements if not do better.
We need to change the politics of this country.
Whether you subscribe to Senator Marcos’s politics or not, you have to agree, the politics of this country needs to change. But it looks like we need to either wait for PNoy to change and adopt this mindset, or wait for the next election. Let’s just hope that those who harbor strong inclinations towards taking shortcuts can hold on for another four years. Otherwise, people might have to celebrate the EDSA revolution with a new date if, yet again, PNoy gets booted out by mob rule.

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