The memory of the 1986 EDSA people power revolution was ruined by the image of former singer Jim Paredes bullying pro-Duterte supporters during the 31st anniversary commemoration on the 25th of February 2017.
A video of Paredes was circulating on the Net showing him mumbling something incoherent after approaching a few young men holding a pro-Duterte sign. A lot of people thought he was going nuts with the way he was so in-your-face with his approach. His face was literally inches away from those of the young men as he forced them to look him in the eye. He was definitely not in his Zen state. He could use some of his advice in his blog about how to be calm and collected. It was not a very good sight. Some people also felt sorry for Paredes since the years have not been kind to him. Gone are his youthful good looks that made him famous during his heyday as a member of the popular singing trio Apo Hiking Society. It could also be his negative mental attitude that is making him look shabby.
The problem with Paredes is he thinks he and his allies own the “spirit” of the EDSA revolt. This was evident in his excuse for his erratic behaviour. He said that the pro-Duterte supporters were being disrespectful when they showed up during the commemoration. If he was a true supporter of freedom of speech, he would not have minded the presence of the opposition at the event. Instead of trying to shoo them away, he would have defended their right to free expression especially since he was there to celebrate that so-called freedom from oppression tenet won in Edsa.
Paredes seems to think that he has a monopoly on being right. To him, everyone else who oppose his views of the world are wrong. He is the epitome of what is wrong with the Liberal Party and the people who still believe that what they call the “bloodless” revolution was good for the Philippines.
Paredes and people like him have not evolved well. They cling on to the failed idea that ousting a sitting President back in 1986 amounts to a real revolution. A lot of Filipinos already see it for what it was – simply a power grab. A real revolution results in real reforms – reforms that would result in real progress. A real revolution means a change in the system of government and change in the behaviour of the people. All these did not happen after the “bloodless” revolution of 1986.
Aside from Paredes, other so-called “democracy” supporters were annoyed that pro-Duterte supporters held their own rally in Luneta during the Edsa31 celebrations. They also demonstrated their intolerance.
What the pro-Duterte supporters did — hold a rally on EDSA anniversary — is exactly what the spirit of people power was supposed to mean.
Paredes and people like him need to accept the truth that what happened then and what they are celebrating year after year did not amount to anything good for the majority. It was only beneficial to the members of the Philippine oligarchy especially those allied with the Aquinos. It is ironic that Paredes does not realise this considering he and his family had to leave the country for a better life overseas.
Paredes is full of contradictions as usual. He doesn’t practice the tolerance that he preaches — for he is intolerant of views that differ to his own. This is strange considering he is an old man. We expect old men to have the patience and wisdom to accept that not everyone will subscribe to their views. I suppose we have to be the one to adjust and not expect too much from Paredes. After all, he seems to have been brainwashed into believing that he is a “hero” and should be accorded “respect”. Never mind that he does not show respect to people with other different beliefs and point of view.