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Friday, February 24, 2017

JPE on Duterte's absence at #EDSA31: We too didn't have president in 1986 uprising

Published February 24, 2017 12:04pm

Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile believes there is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to attend this year's commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution, saying they, too, did not have a president when they held the peaceful uprising in 1986.

"Hindi naman kailangan 'yung presidente dito eh. Noong ginawa namin 'yung EDSA, wala namang presidente," Enrile said on Friday during the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

"Nagkaroon yata ng misa sa Malacañang, puwede na 'yun," he added.

Duterte was not able to attend the EDSA rites at Camp Aguinaldo because he had to lead the re-launch of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro efforts in Davao City on Friday.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, however, read Duterte's message for the celebration on his behalf.

EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) vice chairperson Joey Concepcion, in an earlier interview, said Duterte's absence should not mean that the event was not important to him.

"I don’t think so. I mean, if his schedule is busy, he has a reason that he can’t attend," Concepcion said.

"And it doesn’t mean that he will never attend any event. It just happens that, as I said, there are just so many things that are happening in our country today," he added. 

Bakit piyesta?

Enrile also believes that this year's commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution should be "simple and quiet."

"Dapat lang simple ang selebrasyon. Kayong mga kabataan, hindi ninyo alam ang nangyari noon eh. Buhay ang itinaya namin, bakit kayo magpi-piyesta? Anong dahilan nun?" he said.

Asked if he agrees with the Duterte administration's notion of a simple celebration as moving on from the past, Enrile said: "Totoo 'yun. Hindi dahil siya ang presidente, pero tama 'yung sinasabi niya. Tayo gusto natin bongga para sa sarili natin, hindi para sa bayan."

Enrile, then defense minister of former President Ferdinand Marcos, played a vital role in the toppling of the dictatorial rule in 1986.

He, along with then-Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel Ramos, withdrew support from Marcos, triggering a series of events that culminated in the historic EDSA People Power Revolution and eventually led to Marcos' ouster.

Enrile's presence this year also marked the first time after a long time that he attended the EDSA rites. — MDM, GMA News


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