MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is urging state employees to “actively take part” in activities marking the 27th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.
President Benigno Aquino III will highlight this year’s celebration by signing on Monday the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, a landmark legislation dealing with the atrocities committed by the Marcos dictatorship.
In a memorandum circular, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. called on all civil servants, including those in government-owned and-controlled corporations, as well as local government units, “to engage in the activities prepared to commemorate the 27th Edsa People Power anniversary.”
Ochoa, who heads the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC), asked local government units to hold their own activities to commemorate the event.
“The Edsa event demonstrates how we care and share as a people, as it likewise proves that Filipinos are capable of great courage in moments of overwhelming adversity,” Ochoa said in a statement.
The activities include the “Salubungan” of the military and civilians to “highlight how both can work together to achieve a common goal,” Ochoa said.
In the actual Salubungan, ordinary citizens and members of the religious sector marched together on Edsa in 1986 and met rebel soldiers to stop military tanks and convince other soldiers to join them in their uprising against Marcos.
The Salubungan commemoration will be held simultaneously on Monday in Manila, Virac, Dumaguete and Zamboanga.
Other events include the opening up of military camps and police offices to the public to celebrate their roles in the success of the revolt, and the holding of parades in various localities.
Aquino will attend a flag-raising ceremony at the People Power monument on Edsa on Monday, the culmination of the three-day commemoration which has for its theme, “Pilipinas Natin, Abot-tanaw na!”
In the afternoon, Malacañang will welcome children from various orphanages to the Kalayaan grounds from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Today, Saturday, former President Fidel V. Ramos, one of the main players of the revolution, will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
In cooperation with the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges Student Network-National Capital Region, the EPPC will hold a fun run at Edsa on Sunday.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said special learning modules on the lessons of the Edsa revolution would be introduced this week in all public elementary and secondary schools as the Department of Education’s contribution to the commemoration.
“Edsa People Power is about freedom, democracy and unity which we should always protect and cherish,” Luistro said as he stressed the importance of teaching history to the next generation.
The modules were developed by the National Educators Academy of the Philippines. (With reports from Michael Lim Ubac and Dona Z. Pazzibugan)