Palace on Edsa: Don’t get stuck in the past
Saying Filipinos should not “get stuck in the past,” Malacañang announced on Thursday that the first commemoration of the 1986 People Power Revolution under President Duterte—who allowed the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery three months earlier—would be simple and quiet and focused on moving forward.
“The emphasis has shifted. It is no longer a celebration of the past. It is now a reflection on what can happen in the future,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.
The theme of the 31st anniversary is “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power for Nation Building.”
According to Abella, Malacañang was thinking “wholistically” in commemorating the 1986 Edsa Revolution.
“It’s time to move on from just celebrating the past, remembering the past, and to move on to the whole aspect of nation building to give it a more positive outlook and give it a more positive understanding,” he said. “The whole nation is evolving. We can’t get stuck in the past.”
This year’s commemoration would be held in Camp Aguinaldo but simple rites in Malacañang, including a Mass, also had been planned, Abella said.
Abella could not definitely say whether the President would participate in any of the commemorative events.
The President would “hopefully” show up if an event was held on the palace grounds, he said.
The Feb. 22-25, 1986, revolt toppled Marcos’ two-decade rule, most of it under martial law when his regime was accused of killing and torturing dissenters and of looting the country’s coffers.
The President’s decision to allow the dictator’s burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani had triggered outrage among martial law victims and other citizens who fear that it would aid in whitewashing the atrocities under the Marcos dictatorship.
Mr. Duterte, who made Marcos’ burial at Libingan during an election campaign promise, has also shown his close ties to the Marcoses.
He earlier said he was indebted to Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos who helped his presidential campaign. Marcos’ eldest daughter, however, was not listed as a contributor to his campaign, and she had denied giving him money for his election.
The President had also said he did not want to hurt the feelings of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., which was why he was reluctant to include Vice President Leni Robredo in his Cabinet. The dictator’s namesake lost the vice presidential race to Robredo.