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People Power Revolution commemorated

under Marcos Jr.’s presidency


Revisiting history. The 37th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution is commemorated at the People Power Monument in Quezon City on February 25, 2023, led by Mayor Joy Belmonte and officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Photo: Quezon City Facebok

The Philippines on February 25 marked the 37th anniversary of the People Power Revolution that ended the two-decade rule of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., father and namesake of the incumbent leader.

A commemorative event was held in the morning at the EDSA People Power Monument along EDSA corner White Plains in Quezon City, with the theme, EDSA 2023: Pagkakaisa Tungo sa Kapayapaan at Pagbangon.

The celebration was led by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), in coordination with the Spirit of EDSA Foundation (SOEF), Quezon City Government, and other groups and government agencies.

Among the officials present were Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, NHCP chair Rene Escalante and Christopher Carrion of the SOEF.

A holy mass was offered at 10:00 a.m. at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace at the EDSA Shrine.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said in a statement that he is “one with the nation in remembering those times of tribulation and how we came out of them united and stronger as a nation.”

It is the first time the Philippines is commemorating the EDSA Revolution under a Marcos presidency following the election last year of the younger Marcos.

Marcos Jr. referred to that “time in our history” as one “that divided the Filipino people.”

“I once again offer my hand of reconciliation to those with different political persuasions to come together as one in forging a better society – one that will pursue progress and peace and a better life for all Filipinos,” he said.

The president had initially declared Saturday, February 25, as a special non-working day, but moved it a day earlier. According to his latest proclamation, “The celebration of EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary may be moved from February 25 to 24 provided the historical significance of the EDSA People Power Revolution is maintained.”

On the eve of the People Power anniversary, Marcos Jr. was in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte for the Tan-ok ni Ilocano: Festival of Festivals. He was not present at the People Power Monument on Saturday, but he sent a wreath for the occasion.

Marcos, Jr., who will serve until 2028, had previously defended his father’s imposition of Martial Law from 1972 until 1981.

Remembering the Filipino people’s heroism

The February 25, 1986, EDSA People Power Revolution was the culmination of protests against the administration of Marcos Sr. that was marred by corruption and human rights violation during the Martial Law imposition from 1972. “It showcased to the world the remarkable resolve of the Filipino people” and “heralded an era of peace,” according to the Official Gazette, the country’s official journal.

The peaceful revolt installed Corazon “Cory” Aquino, widow of the assassinated Marcos political nemesis Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., into the presidency. She would later be hailed as an icon of democracy.

“Today, we remember the heroism of the Filipino people who fought to end the Marcos dictatorship, thus restoring democracy in our country,” the Aquino family said in a statement.

“The EDSA People Power Revolution showed the world that it was possible for a courageous and truly unified people to reclaim the freedom that a dictatorship had denied them. We believe that the indomitable spirit exemplified by one Filipino nation 37 years ago remains alive to this very day,” they added.

“It is the same spirit that guards and protects our democracy, confronting those who attempt to deceive us and undermine our rights and liberties.”

The official program at the People Power Monument concluded with the playing of a medley of Isang Lahi and Magkaisa, performed by musical artists Edwin Cando and Harietta Aragoncillo.

About six in 10 Filipinos believe the spirit of the EDSA Revolution is alive, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released February 23, 2023.

Source: Karen De Guzman and Champ de Lunas, ABS-CBN News